The Rural Commons Assembly is an iterative platform, laboratory and think tank for trans-local networking and learning. Over several days, it brings together initiatives and practitioners who confront social, political, economic and ecological complexities through developing cooperative and imaginative alternatives on a local scale. The assembly oﬀers safe spaces and public forums to its participants in order to facilitate encounters, mobilise situated knowledge, share and explore diverse practices, learn from diﬀerent experiences and foster possible new alliances.
In its ﬁrst edition “Art, Culture and Trans-Alpine Cooperation”, which took place from September 2nd to 5th 2021 in West-Austria, twelve initiatives from thre countries and ﬁve regions assembled for the ﬁrst time. This included the European Region (EUREGIO) of Austria and Italy (Tyrol, South Tyrol, Trentino) as well as the border areas of Switzerland (Engadin) and Slovenia (Friuli Venezia Giulia). That way, various venues in the towns of Innsbruck and Wattens became places for mutual learning through workshops, presentations, discussions, guided tours and convivial activities.
The idea for the Rural Commons Assembly was born during a series of ﬁeld trips undertaken by artist Johannes Reisigl around the Alps from 2019 onwards. In those years, he had been meeting various participating initiatives, weaving a patchwork of relations across regions and starting to sense overlapping themes, practices and interests; as much as problems, challenges and open questions. Understanding that there had been little resources and no spaces to federate these, he started to dedicate his own resources to shape such a space.