To be solid is to be entire: dense, compact, undivided. Can the same be said of solidarity? In the UK solidarity is associated with unionisation and workers’ struggles. Solidarity is also connected to political alliance, tethered to politics of naming and being named, seeing and being seen, standing up and being counted. But solidarity can be a problematic term, linked to histories of patriarchal forms of power and silencing.
What are the nuances within solidarity, the opportunities for dissent? What might it mean to stand in solidarity, even alongside those with whom you disagree? How might we stand in alliance while also being attuned to the ongoing political and institutional legislation of difference, and to both the living and non living? What place does solidarity have in the current political and ecological moment, and what forms of attention or dismantling does it require?
Inevitably, Something Other leans towards solidarity for our Eighth Chapter in response to the foment of our times. With the UK ruptured not only by the EU referendum vote of 2016, but also the ongoing violences of austerity and the hostile environment, we search for solidarity as a form of community building, but also find solidarity invoked for the purposes of fracture, recrimination and mistrust.
We share this call-out in a mood of critical hope: that the resulting chapter might discover ways in which to think about the possibilities of solidarity, holding in one place multiplicity and difference, trusting that some collectivity will emerge from it. Etymologically, solidarity denotes a “communion of interests and responsibilities”. In the space opened up by this chapter we will commune together, but also take responsibility: for each other, for experiment, for the possible, for the unknown.
We invite submissions for the Eighth Chapter: On Solidarity for publication, performance, or both. We invite you to think of this as an opportunity to present work-in-process, to experiment, and to play. Have a look at our previous chapters to see the range of forms this has already taken, although we are always open to something new. Deadline in all cases is 10am on Friday 3 May.
Submission guidelines for publication online can be read here.
Our performance night, Something Other Live, will take place on Thursday 13 June at the Live Art Development Agency in London. We welcome readings, screenings and performances up to 10 minutes long. Please consider when submitting a proposal that our technical capabilities are limited, and that LADA isn’t a fully kitted venue.
Something Other and Something Other Live are entirely unfunded, and SOL is un-ticketed. Any proceeds raised on the night are donated to a charity related to the chapter’s theme. Our chosen charity for the Eighth Chapter: On Solidarity is the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.