Welcome to The RYSE - The Radical Youth Space for Educations - our project to build a radical educational space for youth organisers, the space we need if together we are going to weave truly transformative social movements - aka:
A Home for our Generation to Learn the Art of Disobedience
This is a BIG project and there are loads of threads, we'll try to lay them all out here but if you've got any furter questions then please do email us and connect - for now though, here's what we are weaving:
So, let's start with what The RYSE means in practice. For us there are 4 key practical elements to the project - radical education, building community, youth activism and creating space. Let's dive a bit deeper into each one.
Fundamentally The RYSE is an experiment in radical education - a chance for us to build upon on the legacies of our chosen ancestors, like Paulo Freire, and the spaces that inspire us, like The Highlander Folk School. In practical terms, we're working to create 'learning communities' of youth organisers that are centered around key areas of learning. These communities will be formed through our Residential Workshops in Winter and Summer, and supported by fieldwork in the Spring and Autumn - make sure you check out our upcoming sessions!
As The RYSE, we see ourselves as part of building two communities - one of affinity and one of place. In affinity we stand with those of our generation rising in rebellion against imperialism, and for true justice. The place we live, as The RYSE, is in Stroud, Gloucestershire - a long time hotbed of eco/alternative living where we're very excited to connect with community farms, halls, kitchens, breweries, woods and more. These are the tapestries into which we're weaving The RYSE and the communities that we are committing to help build.
In very simple terms The RYSE is built to serve the radical youth. To serve all those of our generation rising for change by creating a place to learn, to ground and connect in, and ultimately to become a home for us to return too. We believe in the power that youth hold, the role we play in challenging the present, the drive we have to build a better future, and yet we need support. The RYSE will be part of that support - linking youth with elders, running educational residentials, building learning communities and reclaiming the space we need.
Youth in the UK are systemically denied access to space. Media campaigns name us as threats, laws are created to criminalise us, and so we have a generation that has grown in total dislocation from space, from a land to call their own. As such, fundamental to The RYSE is the creation of our own physical space; a space youth can stand in and feel powerful. To begin, this means partnering with awesome spaces like the Trinity Rooms, before working to find our own building, our own land; ground to call our own - watch this space!
Why The RYSE?
So, what are the deeper stories here? Well, while we've laid out some above, this work sits on a huge amount of personal learning and transformation within the team - alongside the histories and threads of resistance which we are looking to step into. As such, rather than write a bunch of paragraphs here Robin, Meg, Nils and Freya from the team sat down and recorded y'all a podcast.
We talk through our personal experiences, inspirations, chosen ancestors, feelings of solidarity and more - its all crammed into 30mins, so have a listen and let us know what you think!
We are so disconnected from the cycles of the world. Stuck within modernity's addication to constant production, we are taught to always be on, always in 'go mode' - and yet we know this is burning us out, we know their must be other ways of living and working.
And so, at The RYSE, we're looking back in time and towards the more-than-human world, by organising our work along a 'seasonal cycle'. Designed so our work mirror's the energy of each season - allowing for regular reflection, rest and reimagination - its flow can be summarised as:
Winter - a darker time for deeper residential work in smaller groups. Inviting youth to, and from, Stroud to begin seeding the work for the year ahead by creating learning communities.
Spring - a time to take our work back out into the field, to support and connect with youth in their local contexts. Nurturing our learning communties to take root.
Summer - bursting with life we will again invite youth to Stroud for bigger gatherings; skill sharing weekends, resistance jams and more - this is us in full bloom.
Autumn - as the cold returns, we will turn inward to reflect on all the year has brought. In havesting all this learning, we will reground and prepare for the following cycle to come.
^ click to enlarge and explore ^
We believe, that in these times of crisis, it is not about 'organising fast', its about 'organsing right'; it's about launching the spiral that starts small, yet - in its deeply grounded nature - is able to grow into the transformative energy we need. This is our attempt to re-root, and we're excited to see where it will take us.
We're coming into this project on the back of 2+ years of full-time youth activism, and in that time we've been lucky enough to both hold and be part of some incredible educational moments and processes. We wanted to take a moment here to let you explore some of these experiences, which form the backbone of the learning we are bringing into the RYSE - just click a picture, it'll pop-up full size and you can read all about what's behind it:
^ click to enlarge and read through our experience ^
1. To work through popular education to support the young generation of activists in the UK, who are working for the liberation of all peoples.
2. To create a physical space for learning together amongst groups and organisations; connected to a movement-wide learning community, and making space to learn from movement elders and resistance histories.
3. Building a shared sense of purpose between the youth of the minority world and the Global Majority, working especially so our generation in the UK choose the side of the Majority.
Together these intentions inform and drive our work in developing The RYSE - they are the grounding on which we build and what we will always return to during our periods of reflection and re-rooting.
Our Educational Pillars
Trust the young people: Schooling is denying trust in young people, and in creating a better world it is aessential to trust that people can, and must, know the solutions to their own problems for those solutions to work
We need to learn together: Making space for participation from different groups with broad common ground, with the aim of creating something bigger than the sum of our parts
Popular education: Sharing lived experiences to create the knowledge needed to take action for liberation
Resistance his/her-stories and experiences: Exploring and learning from all peoples traditions of resistance, including reclaiming the radical people’s history of Europe
Intergenerational solidarity: Making space to allow youth activists to make new contributions, guided by the experiences of older generations
Internationalism: Looking at how things happening in one part of the world are relevant to other parts, and how its all part of the same picture
Combining theory and practice: What Paulo Freire called Praxis, because neither theory or practice are good just on its own when doing nonviolent direct action, community organising, or other methods to create change
The RYSE is growing and changing everyday - we're mad excited about this and we want you all to be involved - so please email us with any questions or hit us up using the social links below.
Big love and Power from us all!