Power to the People Conference

24-26 March 2023


Kontakt: powertothepeople_conference@systemli.org


Awareness at the Power to the People Conference

The Power to the People Conference aims to create a collective space for discussion, networking and alternatives. "To be aware" means to inform oneself and to be sensitized to certain issues. We understand awareness as a collective practice and responsibility to stand up against discrimination and violating behavior and to support those affected. 

Awareness as collective responsibility
We wish for a collective criticism of and practice against sexist, racist, antisemitic, homophobic, transphobic, queerphobic, ableist or comparable statements and behaviors, also in our immediate environment. Awareness as a collective responsibility is the task of all conference participants.

We have all grown up in a society that is characterized by relations of inequality and domination. Violence and discrimination take place on many levels. We have internalized structural and institutional violence (e.g. in the form of social norms, attributions and assignment to certain social spheres) and reproduce it in personal interactions and relationships. 
We all come to this conference with our individual experiences, affectedness and knowledge about discrimination. These are not always visible from the outside. It is important that we become aware of our own social positioning and treat other participants with respect.
We come together from different movements, cities, spaces and with different approaches and priorities and want to create a space where people dare to ask questions and speak their opinions, but where it is also possible to change opinions or criticize them.

Reflective speaking behavior
To create a friendly and braver discussion atmosphere, we encourage you to reflect on your own speaking behavior in group discussions: Dominant speaking behaviors can make other participants feel uncomfortable and exclude important perspectives from the discussion. These include:
     long, self-congratulatory monologues
·      (repeated) interrupting of others,
·      Comments in between
·      discriminatory language
·      dominant communication patterns that do not directly verbally attack others, but nevertheless secure one's own (privileged) position in a discussion. This can be, for example, the (sometimes unconscious) taking of space by cis men who lecture others (especially women, lesbians, inter- and trans people, but also otherwise marginalized people), ignore their criticism and consider contributions from them less important.
 Help to support and implement good interaction!

What is the Awareness Team?
If there are boundary violations, assaults or discriminatory behavior in the course of how we treat each other that cannot be resolved directly and together, or you feel uncomfortable, get support. The Awareness Team is there for you in these cases as an partial and confidential support structure. You can also contact the Awareness Team if something is too much for you or if situations are bothering you.

 You can also recognize the people from the awareness team by a colored cloth band. In addition, there is a retreat room, which is also supervised as needed.   
The Awareness Team can be reached by phone or in person at the following times:  

Friday (6pm-9:30pm)
Saturday (9:30am-9:30pm)
Sunday (10:00am-10:00pm)
Awareness number: +43 677 615 894 25

The Awareness Team works confidentially, partial and affected-oriented. This means that your perceptions and needs will be taken seriously and what you tell will not be passed on to others unless you want it to be. The Awareness Team is available to help you negotiate situations that are difficult or hurtful for you.
Often, many resources are used to discuss how to deal with the person perpetrating/assaulting violence. With a focus on those affected, we want to use our energy in particular to ensure that those affected by discrimination and border violations can continue to use collective spaces and are not left alone. 
 Roles and limits of the awareness team
At this point we would like to point out that we as an awareness team do not have own experiences and knowledge of all discrimination situations. This can be helpful in some situations, if even those affected are relieved by it and do not have to do additional support work besides their repetitive struggles. However, we also understand the need when affected people (also due to bad experiences) prefer to talk to people who share their experiences.  
We too have our (emotional, psychological) limits. If we cannot support you, we will refer you to experts. We are not psychotherapists, doctors, etc., but a team of volunteers.
The awareness team is not responsible for problematic speech behavior, political negotiation processes, moderation or psychotherapeutic interventions. The awareness team is not to be understood as a control authority or security service, nor as an expert body.  
For feedback or criticism on content, procedures, or other points, please drop a note in the feedback box at the info point or write an email to the orga team at: powertothepeople_conference@systemli.org.