In this seminar we will explore and discuss different tools and approaches within the field of militant research, and its suitability to the current situation of communities and activist organizations in COVID and Post-COVID cities.
Militant research has its starting point in the assumption that there is no such thing as a neutral standpoint for the production of historical, social or cultural research. But instead of a flat relativism, militant research proposes the conscious reflective study of the conditions in which research is produced. This process involves dealing with the, be it deeper or more evident, political meaning of research concerning societies and communities that are defined by, inner or outer, power inequalities. Inverting the classic ethnographical method of participant observation we could say that militant research is all about observational participation. Rather than pushing the academic agenda through social movements, militant research aims at using academical, or rather, theoretical and methodological, tools to ease the flow of bottom-up, or bottom-bottom, information as a means of going beyond the pure objectivist or subjectivist positions.
Isidro López Hernández, a sociologist, anthropologist, writer, and co-founder of the militant research collective Metropolitan Observatory of Madrid. Isidro was a deputy of Madrid’s Regional Assembly from 2015-2019 and a senior researcher of the Observatorio de la Sostenibilidad en España (OSE) at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares for over 8 years. He is a collaborator of the Barcelona based cooperative La Hidra. Isidro has authored and edited five books, including Fin de Ciclo: Financiarización, territorio y sociedad de proprietaries en la onda larga del capitalism hispano which brings to light the financialization processes of urban territories from 1959 to 2010 in Spain.
Miguel Robles-Durán, Associate Professor of Urbanism