The Acervus Project

A collective recovery of the works of thinkers and activists that emerged out of the constellation of conviviality surrounding Ivan Illich

The initiative has a double purpose: to contribute to the understanding of the critical current condition and to the analysis and debate of the existing options, based on the contributions of Ivan Illich’s circle, and to constitute a complete digital library of his work of general open access.

The initiative seeks to constitute a digital acervus of different authors like Ivan Illich, Jean Robert, Gustavo Esteva and others. All the material will be presented in a digital platform specially designed for easy access, referencing, reading in different supports/formats and re-edition in paper by independent groups with non-profit purposes.

This virtual space will be developed using open source technologies oriented to collaboration, decentralized self-publication and interaction with the contents in a diverse set of ways. This will make it possible to consolidate a reliable, legible and lasting source that will allow access to each work as well as refer to specific portions and extracts.

The library will consist of the books, their various versions in different languages (identifying whether they are direct translations of other versions), compilations, articles, interviews, audio and video recordings. It will be a dynamic and collaborative publishing platform.

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Centro Intercultural de Documentación de Cuernava (CIDOC): Recovering its past to transform our present

In this first public activity we will present the initiative to recover the history, intellectual production and textual, visual and oral memory of the Intercultural Center of Cuernavaca (CIDOC), which existed in the years 1966 and 1976 in Mexico. This mythical institution operated as a sort of “alternative university” and was the origin of reflections and intellectual productions that forever changed education in Latin America and the world.

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The origins of the Acervus Project

In early 2020, we began to envision the need for an intergenerational effort to recover the work of Ivan Illich. We thought of “recovering” in a broad sense of the term, not only giving access, but also making intelligible and facilitating the navigation through the complex layers of his thought. Together with Gustavo Esteva and Franco Augusto, we began to outline the idea of providing open access, non-commercial and collaborative access to all of Ivan's work, starting with the original texts. At the beginning we informally called this effort “Illich's Archives”.

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