• Grounded Voices: Towards Radical Democracy
    Activity Image
    Activity Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 14:00 UTC
    Duration: 90 min
    Brief Description:

    Across the world, 'democracy' has come to mean electoral politics and representative institutions of decision-making. Almost inevitably this leads to undemocratic tendencies like concentration of power in the hands of a few, and alienation between the 'rulers' and the 'ruled'. In contrast, peoples in many parts of the world are asserting that power is inherent in people and collectives. From this simple assertion flow processes where democracy is about decision-making focused first and foremost in local communities (rural and urban), empowerment of the most marginalised to be meaningfully part of such decision-making, self-determination for the most important aspects of life, and relative or absolute autonomy from centralised nation-states. This grounded form of politics (linked also to the democratisation of economies, social justice and equality, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological wisdom) is an antidote to the structures of oppression and unsustainability, including statism, patriarchy, capitalism, racism, and anthropocentrism.

    This session will feature initiatives (some very old, some new) from various parts of the world, towards such radical democracy, including amongst the Kurdish community in central Asia, the Zapatista in Mexico, adivasis in central India, Indigenous peoples in other parts of the world, and urban neighbourhood assemblies and communes in Europe.


    Elif Berk received her bachelor's degree from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University. She has been part of the Kurdish Women's Movement since her college years and worked in women's organizations. She has served on the board of the publishing committee of the Jineoloji Journal since 2015.

    Xochitl Leyva-Solano is a worker of Social Sciences and an activist and a member of anti-systemic networks. Her theoretical/practical work is the expression of her experience accompanying women and young people in Indigenous Communities in resistance in Chiapas, Mexico and Abya Yala. Since June 2021 she has been a promoter and member of the collective initiative called “Al Faro Zapatista” (

    Eva Schonveld is an activist, writer and process designer/facilitator. She works on Grassroots to Global which exists to address the interconnected social and environmental threats that arise from dividing humans from the wider ecology, and from dividing our minds from our hearts, by connecting open-hearted listening and creative culture re-design with collective decision making processes that enable meaningful change.

    Leman Kiwan Hasano, Vice co-president of the Department of Economics in AlJazeera region of the Kurdish movement. A member at KongraStar, a women organization in Syria. An economics certificate from Damascus university. Worked in social work since 2012.

    Language(s) of the Activity: Spanish, English
    How to get in touch and participate in activity?: /

    Link to the online meeting:

    Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 873 9885 6658 Passcode: 744834

    Related information (links to videos, initiatives, websites, pads...):
    Thematic space(s) of the activity: 6. Democracy, Political Participation, Building Critical Global Citizenships, and Autonomy, 10. Struggle against Discrimination, Racism and for Self-determination
    Modality: Virtual Activity (100% Online)