Temporary Autonomous Zones

December 10, 2013 2 Comments

“A Temporary Autonomous Zone is 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.”

via beautifultrouble.org

This definition has become the guiding light for my colleague Maanav Thakore and I as we collaborate on the design of a cultural vitality network here in Boston.

We devote our time to designing and facilitating spaces that allow people to pursue justice, social transformation, in a more creative, collaborative way.  The TAZ is a lot more than that, but in some ways it is the logical conclusion of our work.

We can only fight for freedom if we’ve had a taste of it.  A TAZ generates the experience of liberation.  We feel a freedom that is but a temporary state, it is not permanent, but it grounds us in the very future that we are working to create.


  • Cynthia Silva Parker says:

    I love the statement “We can only fight for freedom if we’ve tasted it.” Reminds me of John Lewis’ latest book describing the principles behind his Civil Rights work and building the beloved community. Not only was he able to fight for freedom because he had tasted it personally and found his own voice, but he and his compatriots were building a kind of freedom within the movement itself.

  • M Beech says:

    A Temporary Autonomous Zone is a great concept that could be used in social impact investing. In the early stages of the project you do need some time to try a few methods to see which one has the biggest impact.

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