Manifesto for Becoming Autonomous Zones (BAZ)
“A place of relatively unaltered climate that is inhabited by plants and animals during a period of continental climate change (as a glaciation) and remains as a center of relict forms from which a new dispersion and speciation may take place after climatic readjustment.” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1976)
Sections of agricultural fields planted with non-transgenic crops, alternating with transgenic crops. This is thought to limit the rate of resistance mutation caused in susceptible insect and weed species by gene transfer from GE mono-culture crops.
A Becoming Autonomous Zone (BAZ) of desirous mixings and recombinations; splicing female sexual liberation and autonomy with cyberfeminist skills, theory, embodiment, and political activism.
A critical space of liberated social becoming and intellectual life; a space liberated from capitalist Taylorized production; a space of unregulated, unmanaged time for creative exchange and play; experimental action and learning; desiring production, cooking, eating, and skill sharing.
A reproducible concept that can be adapted to various climates, economies, and geographical regions worldwide. Any useless space can be claimed as a refugium: suburban lawns, vacant urban lots, rooftops, the edges of agricultural lands, clear-cut zones in forests, appropriated sections of mono-culture fields; fallow land, weed lots, transitional land, battle-fields, office-buildings, squats, etc. Also currently existing Refugia such as multi-cultivar rice paddies, companion planted fields, organic farms, home vegetable gardens, etc.
A post-modern commons; a resistant biotech victory garden; a space of convivial tinkering; a commonwealth in which common law rules. Not a retreat, but a space resistant to mono-culture in all its social, environmental, libidinal, political, and genetic forms.
A habitat for new AMOs (Autonomously Modified Organism) and agit-crops; for example, “ProActiva,” an herb that is a grafting of witch-root, mandrake, and all-heal.
A place of asylum for the recuperation, regeneration and revitalization of useless GE crops that have been corrupted by capitalist viruses and agribusiness greed.
A place of imaginative inertia that slows down the engines of corporate agro/biotech and allows time to assess its risks and benefits through long-term testing.
Neither a utopia nor a dystopia, but a haunted space for reverse engineering, monstrous graftings, spontaneous generation, recombination, difference, poly-versity hybridization, wildlings, mutations, mongrelizing, crop circles, anomalies, useless beauty, coalitions, agit-crops, and unseemly sproutings. Biotech and transgenic work in Refugia will be based on desire, consensual public risk assessment, informed amateur experimentation, contestational politics, nourishment and taste value, non-proprietary expertise, convivial delight, and healing.
subRosa’s on-going cyberfeminist hothouse of strategies and tactical actions.
Cyberfeminism, Becoming Autonomous Zones
In their "REFUGIA: MANIFESTO FOR BECOMING AUTUNOMOUS ZONES (BAZ)," subRosa theorizes a 'refugia' as both a cyberfeminist and ecological practice. Spatially oriented and politically charged, a refugia is an autonomous zone that opposes capital, privatization, and exploitation.
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Cyberfeminism, subRosa, Autonomous Zones