Pluto Bleibt (www.plutobleibt.com) is a research into protest movement. The name of the project comes from the many Berlin campaigns to reclaim the squats, which were to be taken away from the inhabitants by the government. Koepi Bleibt, Tacheles Bleibt… On a larger scale this is now happening all over the world: from the African revolutions to Occupy Wall Street to the Russian protest movement. People are self-organizing to stand for their rights and beliefs.
We are interested in running a protest movement in order to understand its inner workings. How is the initial unifying idea generated? How does it become contagious? What are the strategies for building a community around a cause? What is the evolution of a protest movement? In order to look deeper into this questions we started Pluto Bleibt. It’s an experiment that will utilise every mean to spread the cause: from traditional agitprop, word-of-mouth and conferences to social networks, mass media and advertising. We will share our findings along the way.
It’s important to notice that Pluto Bleibt is a non-ideological and non-political movement. Its form is more important than its essence, however, its form is the essence. It’s a movement about reclaiming the unattainable, believing in belief itself. In the world that’s poisoned by disappointment we want to see what should happen for people to unite around a cause that is about themselves and their power to believe. In this case Pluto itself doesn’t matter so much, what matters is the fuchsia dot that symbolizes the end of the sentence, the affirmative drive of the universe, of the human mind and body, our tendency to operate in entities, nodes, and networks. We are interested in the binding force that keeps multiplicity together, be it belief, scientifically proven knowledge, a human body, community of people, the world, and the universe itself.
Our dissemination strategy so far can be outlined as follows:
1. Focus on the target group first, which is Berlin; (hence, the message “Pluto Bleibt”)
2. Utilize location-based media and the city’s landscape (our crowd-sourced map serves to coordinate and report on that activity);
3. Use social networks to facilitate interaction and cooperation between the activists (see our Facebook group);
4. Create a centralized resource to coordinate activists’ activity and provide necessary support and materials (Pluto Bleibt website);
5. Recruit highly connected hubs (media, individuals) for promotion (see the local press Zitty, TAZ for reports and photos);
6. Provide an element of play in order to engage participants in spreading the message (our interactive map, where activists put up pictures of Pluto Bleibt they made);
7. Once the contagion in Berlin reaches saturation, expand the campaign to other German cities (Hamburg, Stuttgart, Koeln);
8. Once the information spreads through, utilize the network’s potential to spread the message abroad (the initial message may be modified and reduces to the fuchsia dot);
9. Initiate constant interaction between the participants in order to keep the network densely connected;
10. Recruit individuals on key positions in order to maintain the campaign independent of personalities and instead focused on its actual functioning;
As the campaign evolves, we will be reporting here on its advance, including the analysis of the network it’s creating (both of the participants and of the locations that are “occupied” with the Pluto Bleibt campaign).