TAZ is here, TAZ is gone

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The concept of the TAZ, or temporary autonomous zone, comes from “ontological anarchist” writer and poet Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson). It is intended to indicate a space of liberation, a space which is at once physical and real, if temporary, and metaphysical — a space of consciousness outside of the mental frames of social structure, from which a reimagination of the world may proceed.

To put a Buddhist spin on it, the TAZ is a space that is always accessible, present at the initiation of every moment, every drop of consciousness, yet always elusive — so quickly claimed, enclosed, captured, encircled and encompassed within the projects of a clingy (individual or collective) subjectivity.

With the fall of the Yanukovych regime, Ukraine has arguably become a TAZ, a space that is suddenly free of many of its orbital striations, the ordered sets of relationships regulating what can be done, how, and by whom. Suddenly a great deal more can happen than is usual, and the way in which this new opening gets rearranged and repatterned is difficult to predict. But it will rearrange itself quickly, and then a new TAZ will need to be invoked and spun into presence.

With the fall of that regime, this blog — formed to share statements about the Maidan movement — can move to a different task. Thus the new subtitle, “Analysis of the Maidan and Its Aftermath.”

The time has come to critically analyze

  • what happened: what the Maidan was (is?), how it came about, and how it and the forces it played with brought about the fall of the Yanukovych regime;
  • what the current situation is: what are the moving parts, the interacting force fields, how are they rearranging themselves and coalescing into new formations, and what are their risks and their promises;
  • and what can be done: how a better future can be made from those forces and flows (and, just as importantly, a worse one avoided).

I leave defining that “better future” for another time. The blog will be a place to collect things of use to those interested in this task. I invite collaborators and contributors; please write me if you are interested.

In a couple of days, I will be taking a week’s break from electronic correspondence. We’ll see how much has changed upon my return.

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