The false symmetry of research-activism. Towards accomplicenship and undercommon praxis, Michele Lancione in conversation with Veda Popovici.
Academia and activism have long been exploring their intersections, overlaps and tensions. Going beyond a reductive “make academia more activist” slogan, we propose to start by exploring the false symmetry of academia vs activism from epistemological, material and geopolitical perspectives. With these in mind, we raise the questions: what is the starting point of a shared space between organising and the academy? What kind of epistemological change is needed in academia to work with organising? How can we work with the academia’s privileges for political struggle? We propose the concepts of accomplicenship and undercommon praxis to anchor a politics of duplicity (as opposed to one of authenticity) committed to radical redistribution and movement sustainability.