RAD Detroit: A Relationship Anarchy Unconference

Relationship Anarchy (RA) is a politic of relating that applies anarchistic principles to the interpersonal. The practice of RA is an emergent strategy to build non-hierarchical, anti-oppressive, autonomy-affirming community. RA’s may enact both anti-monogamy action and prefigurative building.

Supportive, exclusive space is critically needed for folks who are practicing anarchistic relating. Often people come to RA from polyamory, which is an apolitical form of non-monogamy. In most RA discussions and communities, polyamorous people who have no interest in examining roots causes or systems arrive in droves to react to threats to their liberal lifestyles, and defend systemic monogamism, coercive relating, and the state-sanctioned institution of marriage.

Building on 3 years of public and private community events, discussions and group praxis building, a small group of queer RAs (Juno, Benzi, Nicole, and Lily) have put together RAD (Relationship Anarchy Discussions). The RAD Unconference is a radical convergence in Detroit from Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19, 2019. The Unconference is a monogamy-critical space intended to center the needs, voices, and participation of people who have lived experience of RA. The event is built around three days of participatory break-out discussions—and will also include art, zine creation, performances, storytelling, shared meals, and casual hangout space. Our goal is to bring people together from all over the world for community building, skill sharing, inspiration, self-actualization, level-ups, and creating mutual aid networks.

There’s no registration fee, because we are interested in cultivating accessibility, as well as anti-capitalist modes of operating. This is not a profit-seeking enterprise; organizers aren’t making any money off the Unconference. Rather, lots of folks have engaged in mutual aid to build and sustain the unconference for all of us. People are still needed to do outreach, produce art, food, and transportation, as well as co-create aspects of the Unconference and community in several other ways. Housing is available for those who need/want it near the unconference location, as well as meals throughout the weekend at no cost. Please visit the RAD website to sign up to make the unconference happen with your skills/labor, offer mutual aid in the form of donations (which mainly support space, cohousing, and meals for those who can’t otherwise afford them), and register to attend.

Those who share our priority to undermine the couple form (couple bust) and “make intelligible the movement of history and revolutionary praxis as the only possible love story” are welcome to register until 3/31/19. Registration is an ongoing process of mutual discernment. The unconference is not a space for people who are new to RA or want to find out if it’s for them; but rather, for those are already deeply skeptical of the relationship escalator, coupledom, liberalism, respectability politics, rule-based relating, and coercive agreements.

The unconference format is a participant-driven process of self-organization in which the sessions and topics are created on-site by attendees. We’d like the organizing to be as decentralized as possible, and to directly meet the desires and needs of the people attending. Some imagined example session topics are: prefigurative politics, direct action against monogamism, pro-cheating, dismantling patriarchal relating, decolonizing love, and anarchistic world-building.

Bring your most radical self to the unconference, and let’s inspire and challenge one another! Registration ends by 3/31/19 (late registration may be available in April only if folks drop out and space becomes available). Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make the unconference more accessible to you.

—Juno Moriah and Nicole L. Rohrkemper

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