Founded in 2011 in Costa Rica, ESCRIBANA is based on a ‘chaordic’ strategy (combining chaos and order) and organizational form that is created and re-created within the “science of complexity” that has evolved beyond a behavioral sciences or positivist paradigm – a worldview that assumes that social change can be measured, planned and controlled. ESCRIBANA is based on “complex thinking,” with an assumption that all organisms are complex adaptive systems, with multiple connections to other organisms and the planet itself. ‘Adaptive’ suggests the ability to modify or change, that is, to learn from experience. A ‘system’ is a set of connected and interdependent elements.
The dispersion and fragmentation of media and information today, accelerated under the neoliberal paradigm has contributed to the “transparentization”* of women, their organizations and movements. The result is an undermining of women’s ability to shape the public agenda and take action in their own terms, voices and parameters. This means that alternatives that emerge from women’s experiences and perspectives are often marginalized or remain outside the mainstream society.
*Transparentization: To be present, to appear to be taken into account but not in our own terms, and therefore have less power.
In addition, one of the most damaging effects of the current hegemonic model is that we are made to believe that this imaginary platform is the only way to be and act in the world, and that it has been the best model throughout history. The result is that other alternatives, and particularly those proposed by women, go unnoticed. Media depictions of the “new feminism” of today often focus on female individualism and consumerism, “disarticulated” from an emphasis on women’s organizing and connections through groups or movements at the local, national or international level (McRobbie, 2009).
Our work is focused on women/gender as one dimension of intersectionality that also interconnects with race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, age, nation, etc.. We are aware that these intersections illustrate the fact that it is important to address intersecting oppressions in social justice work, rather than just one type.
Angela McRobbie, The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change 2009, p 12.
To help develop the capacities of women, their organizations, institutions and movements to creatively express their actions, experiences and visions.
ESCRIBANA also seeks to demonstrate through our work that the dominant hegemonic neoliberal model is not unique nor necessarily the best, and to explore other models, paradigms and practices of women.