Supernormal Discussion: Temporary Autonomous Zones (T.A.Z.)
“Are we who live in the present doomed never to experience autonomy, never to stand for one moment on a bit of land ruled only by freedom?” Hakim Bey
Both Braziers Park Community (our hosts) and Supernormal Festival could arguably be described as temporary autonomous zones. Coined in 1990 by poet, anarcho-immediatist and Sufi scholar Hakim Bey, the term temporary autonomous zone (T.A.Z.) denotes ‘a liberated area “of land, time or imagination” where one can be for something, not just against, and where new ways of being human together can be explored and experimented with. Locating itself in the cracks and fault lines in the global grid of control and alienation, a T.A.Z. is an eruption of free culture where life is experienced at maximum intensity. It should feel like an exceptional party where for a brief moment our desires are made manifest and we all become the creators of the art of everyday life’.
Does this still have meaning or are we being self-indulgent and in denial of the reality faced by so many in a world where the hegemony of capitalism, state interests and cultural (in)difference engenders a never-ending cycle of injustice and horror that we are seemingly powerless to change or influence?
What next for Supernormal when it is increasingly subject to the pressures of finding funding, earning a living and hates the idea of being institutionalised and defined simply as just another event on the festival circuit? Perhaps we should as Hakim Bey avows “make a virtue of the temporary nature of these things…. Let’s have these communities and say that they’re only going to last for a short while. And as soon as the intensity fades, then it’s over. It’s finished. We wrap it up, go somewhere else, do something new”
Over to you folks…