25 동경

Common Matters

The term “commons” is often used to characterize a more or less coherent community of people who share a specific resource and safeguard its fair use. The 21 elements presented here are representative of the wide and rich spectrum of community projects as well as big and small commons in Tokyo’s Yanaka neighbourhood. They are ordinary, everyday matters that show diverse motivations, strong individual aspirations, and the desire to collaborate with others, all of which are vital prerequisites of the commons. Community and commons don’t exist a priori, nor are commoners born as such. They co-emerge with common matters that connect people and places. Rather than being monolithic and unitary, commons coexist and co-emerge at various levels; nestled into one another, larger commons assembled by smaller ones, each of them dynamically expanding, contracting, or fusing with others. This nuanced view of the commons suggests that it is not necessary to coerce everyone into a unified common mindset. We should rather allow and embrace the co-existence of many motives, loosely connected to each other by small and big common matters. In pluralistic societies, a collection of independent actions with self-empowered, strong, intrinsic motivations are important to create sustainable projects and foster creativity.