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Subsistence Research Center of Southern Illinois

A few months ago, a group of friends and I were granted the opportunity to turn the old Big Muddy Independent Media Center in Carbondale, Illinois, into a radical info-shop. The Big Muddy IMC was exactly what the name states, an independent media center, that was last used during Occupy Carbondale. Now we have re-opened the space and turned it into a radical info-shop. What's an info shop? Well, it's a space where people involved in radical movements and countercultures can trade information, meet and network with other people or other groups, from their own town, other cities, or even other countries. It's also a space where various groups can hold meetings or events like, music, poetry, or seminars. Some infoshops house "free schools," meaning various educational workshops––that are offered to the public, for free.

Inoshops have been around since the 1930s, they began in Europe during the Spanish Revolution, and eventually inspired North Americans to begin housing their own infoshops during the 1980s. The aftermath of the Cold War in 1991 popped off a growing movement of radical infoshops in America, as anarchists felt the need to create spaces where people could gather and organize around various issues.

Our info-shop, which we may call "No-Coast" or "Fly-Over," has had a slow start. We are in dire need of new flooring, ceiling tiles, and money for utilities. There is a large network of earth activists, anti-police activists, and LGBQT activists in Carbondale––that have been using the space for meetings and workshops. Recently, I proposed by community soil bank and edible landscaping idea to the city of Carbondale. Both of these projects would be an extension of the info-shop, which is also known as the subsistence research center by locals. We are trying to create subsistence and community, essentially freeing Carbondale from the mass economic system. We also hope to eradicate the damage done by corporate acts of environmental racism.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (April 2015)