Versita

THE POLITICS OF SEPARATION AND PARTICIPATION: AUTONOMOUS SPACES IN KAUNAS, LITHUANIA

Tomas Marcinkevičius
Keywords: Kaunas, autonomous space, autonomism, squatting, social centre, political participation ,

Abstract

For the past four years autonomous spaces that vary in nature but are run by virtually the same group of people have been operating in Kaunas, Lithuania. In the Lithuanian context, they are one of the most prominent recent attempts at continuous radical leftist political infrastructure. In the Central and Eastern European context, they are peculiar for not being connected to public housing struggles. This article draws an outline of their modes of operation and paradigmatic shifts by examining their history as well as theoretical and sociological material and using extensive interviews conducted with participants. Awareness of the complicated relation between meaningful separation and broader participation is suggested as a reflexive means of becoming hubs of political involvement.