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Awareness concept camps and action at Rügen 2023
We understand awareness as a task of all of us. To have a good time together, we also need people to take on awareness shifts. If you want to take a shift please contact the us in awareness tent. Regular onboardings for awareness shifts will be offered at the Awareness tent.
1. What is Awareness?
The term “awareness” comes from “to be aware” and means (in a broader sense) to be “sensitized to certain problems”. We live in a society that is characterized by unequal power relations. People are advantaged (privileged) and disadvantaged (discriminated) on the basis of certain characteristics – whether exercised intentionally or unconsciously. Awareness as a concept opposes all forms of discrimination, violence and boundary violation. Violating and boundary-crossing behavior, such as sexist, racist, antisemitic, queer-phobic, ableist, classist or other discriminatory assaults, will not be tolerated at the camps and the action.
2. Why do we need Awareness?
The camps offer participants the space to learn with each other, to network and to further expand our resistant movement. Every person present should be given low barrier access to events, program points and collective protest during the camps. However, no human being is free of prejudice and discrimination in dealing with others. Therefore, a conscious reflection about this must take place with each individual person (critical self-reflection). As an awareness team, we cannot take this work off your hands. But we offer to accompany you in this process.
3. How does Awareness work?
Awareness teams or structures at events are responsive to people who have experienced boundary violations or conflicts with others or have a personal issue and seek support in dealing with them. This can be any perception of power imbalances (e.g., cis-male dominance behavior), disadvantage, exclusion, and overcoming current triggers. The Awareness Team is also available to people who have experienced police violence. We work in a partisan manner and in solidarity with affected individuals. At the same time, the power to define the violence and/or boundary violations experienced lies entirely with the affected person.
There are groups of people who are systemically more affected by discrimination than others. Therefore, there will be a safe space for BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) as a place of retreat. There will also be a quiet and retreat space open to all people. In teams of at least two people per shift, we can be found from 9am-9pm, in the tent designated as Awareness. Between 9pm and 9am, we can be reached via the awareness phone number. In addition, we try to be present and approachable at the camp plenarys and workshops taking place. Furthermore, there will also be awareness structures at announced actions. You can recognize us by the purple vest.
4. How can you support?
As the Awareness team, we offer concrete support to people affected by discrimination. What we can NOT do is e.g. conflict management, dispute resolution or therapeutic work. We can only create a safe space together and each one of us is responsible for making that happen. So be careful in dealing with other camp participants and inform yourself in advance about possible forms of discrimination. Here is a short summary from the fabulous “Glossary against fear of words” by Missy Magazine:
“From the binary opposition of emotion and reason, which has been deeply anchored in the Western tradition of thought and in patriarchy for centuries, follows an opposition of “rational experts” vs. “irrational victims”. Whoever is assigned to the latter category by the dominant society is often not taken seriously, is met with pity or irritation, is eyed with suspicion and smiled at”, is underestimated, is ignored, denied their rights. This leads to discriminatory behavior in many forms. The following is an incomplete list:
- Tone policing, in which a perceived inappropriate, “aggressive” tone is used rather than what is said.
- “When a decision is made solely on the basis of age, rather than a person’s abilities”, it is a form of age discrimination (e.g Ageism, Adultism).
- The basic needs of a person with disabilities are not considered because they cannot be met according to the norm. This and a general devaluation (also intelektuell) of the person because of his disability is called Ableism (derived from “being able”).
- An everyday form of discrimination are microaggressions (derogatory looks, e.g. stares, gestures, body posture, remarks or noises), which are intentionally or unconsciously the result of discriminatory thought patterns. These particularly affect marginalized groups. Often the person experiencing microagression is accused of being “too sensitive.”
Furthermore, “check your privilege” applies:
Privileges are – depending on the context – advantages that a person enjoys due to the current social order. These include positions such as white, male, cisgender, endowed with capital, or able-bodied. Depending on the initial privileges a person possesses, it is possible to gain further privileges over time – for example, economic privileges or privileges in the sense of education.
Helpful to be aware of this is a checklist developed by Peggy McIntosh, which you can find in the awareness tent or here: https://www.ende-gelaende.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/McIntosh-White-Privilege.pdf.
5. What we as awareness wish from you:
- Please do not walk around topless and cover your upper body. (http://www.klimacamp-im-rheinland.de/campinfo-2/vereinbarungen/oben-ohne/)
- Respect other people’s pronouns and never ascribe gender to people based on their appearance! Always ask people how they want to be addressed.
- Refrain from racist, antisemitic, sexist, homo- or trans*phobic, classist, ableistremarks and swear words.
- No Drugs! The camp and the action are essentally a drug-free space. The consumption of non-illegalized drugs is possible in the context of mindful consumption ONLY in designated places.
- We expressly ask that no drugs be consumed before or during the action. In case of tobacco consumption, please make sure that you do not force people to smoke passively. Medication is not a drug and is not covered by the rule.
- We do not want any party or national flags or national symbols on the camp or in the action.
- Please do not take photos without being asked. We desire respectful treatment of others’ privacy and need for safety.
- Do not assume based on outward appearance that a person speaks or does not speak a particular language. For example, if English is your vernacular, please address everyone at camp in English first, even if you suspect that person may not speak English.
- Hold back if you feel curiosity about what origin or identity is behind a person’s appearance. People can decide for themselves what and when they want to reveal something personal about themselves and do not need assumptions to do so.
- If you as white people wear dread locks, please cover them at the camp and in actionsof Ende Gelände. White locks are closely related to cultural appropriation.
- As white people, please refrain from appropriating cultural or religious symbols and practices
- Please be sensitive to other cultural symbols as well, if and how you appropriate them and do not instrumentalize them, whether at Ende Gelände or elsewhere. This applies, for example, to warbonnets, bindis, kimonos, and “Afro” wigs. Deal with the topic of cultural appropriation.
6. See you at the camps and the action
We hope you have fun with learning and experiencing at the camps and action. We look forward to seeing you there. You can also send us feedback, questions and comments about our awareness work by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to send us your feedback after the camps & action. We will then evaluate and reflect on this after the camps.
Your Awareness Crew
Note: This overview essentially corresponds to the awareness concept from the System Change Camp 2023 in Hannover. We have adopted the concept, revised and adapted it in parts. The concept was written by a predominantly white positioned group and revised by an exclusively white positioned group.
- Awareness Concept of the SCC 2022
- Awareness Concept of the SCC 2023
- Awareness Concept of the Stop Deportation Camp 2023
- Missy Magazine – Unser Glossar gegen die Angst vor Wörtern
- „White Privilege: Den unsichtbaren Rucksack auspacken“ von Peggy McIntosh 1988