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Categotry Archives: Events

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nanopolitics: an evening of bodies and books London October 9th

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Categories: Current Publications, Events, nanopolitics group

nanopolitics, exhaustion, biopolitics: an evening of bodies and books
London, October 9th 7pm @ no.w.here:
Top Floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 OAG

This evening will present an encounter of three lines of thought and practice relating to politics, bodies, life, the social and the common. Doing so, we attempt to think across conceptions and realities of micro, nano and biopolitics. Asking what it is that these dimensions may hold in common, what distinguishes them, and what they may learn from each other, we propose three short presentations followed by an open discussion.

First up is the handbook by the nanopolitics group from London, published with Minor Compositions this fall. Playfully sketching out the term ‘nanopolitics’, this handbook departs from bodies and their encounters in investigating the neoliberal city and workplace, the politics of crisis and austerity, precarity and collaboration. This book, packed with excercises and tools for action draws on social movements, grassroots organizing, dance, theatre and bodywork. As the hosts of this evening, the nanopolitics group will propose some ways of activating their handbook, which tries to think politics with and through the body. Continue reading →

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Mayday Screening: The Condition of the Working Class

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Categories: Events

Screening May 1: The Condition of the Working Class @ Wivenhoe
7:30 PM, May 1st @ Nottage Maritime Institute
The Quay Wivenhoe Colchester CO7 9BX

A new documentary feature film by Michael Wayne & Deirdre O’Neill
There will be a Q&A with the directors after the screening.

Everything changes and yet everything stays the same. 1844: Friedrich Engels writes his book The Condition of the Working Class in England, a classic denunciation of the appalling living conditions for working people living at the heart of the industrial revolution in Manchester, England. In 2012: a group of working class people from Manchester and Salford have the job of devising a theatrical show from scratch based on their own experiences and Engels’ book. They have 8 weeks before their first performance. The Condition of the Working Class follows the process from the first rehearsal to first night and situates their struggle to get the show on stage in the context of the daily struggles of working people facing economic crisis and austerity politics.

Condition of the Working Class Screening Flyer Continue reading →

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The Politics of Workers’ Inquiry Conference May 2-3

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Categories: Events, Militant Research, Undercommons

The Politics of Workers’ Inquiry Conference
May 2-3, 2013 @ University of Essex

Workers’ inquiry is an approach to and practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labor and its potential for revolutionary social transformation. It is the practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. Workers’ inquiry seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify social and political antagonisms.

This conference brings together various aspects of workers’ inquiry, from its historical origins and development to contemporary mutations and adaptations of it within contemporary struggles. It will expand the terrain and form of workers’ inquiry, focusing on topics including inquiries into cultural labor and the service economy, geographies of class conflict, transformation in value production, and the limits to workers’ inquiry as a political/research method. Continue reading →

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Lessons of 2011: Three Theses on Political Organization

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Categories: Events, Interventions

Seminar on Political Organization  March 12th
March 12th, 4PM-6PM @ University of Essex Room 5N.7.23
Centre for Work, Organization, and Society 

Rodrigo Nunes, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande Do Sul

With the Arab Spring, the Spanish indignados, Occupy and so much more, 2011 is likely to go down in history as a very special year – perhaps even the beginning of something. But what would that something be? This presentation attempts to draw some conclusions about the present state and future of politics and organization by examining the practices of the movements that erupted in the last year. Thinking beyond their usual representation by the media, trying to avoid either describing them as something entirely new and unheard of or as manifestations of an ultimately non-political culture, what can be the lessons of 2011?

Continue reading →

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12/12 Seminar: Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society

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Categories: Events

Models for a Peer-to-Peer Society
A seminar with Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation
Monday December 12th at 2pm in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall Seminar Room
Centre for Work, Organization and Society, University of Essex

Many observers argue that the change induced with the internet is on a par with at least the effects of the printing press, which was instrumental in creating a cascade of changes such as the renaissance, the reformation and the Enlightenment, culminating in the replacement of feudalism with capitalism. It is therefore reasonable to posit a phase transition this time as well, but what kind of transition and on which timescale? This is the question we want to address. Our first answer is that the emergence of a new hyper-productive mode of value creation, i.e. commons-based peer production as, a new ‘mode of production,’ and its co-emerging institutional framework, illuminate us about the incipient ‘patterns’ of the emergent new social order.  Continue reading →

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Six Impossible Politics Before Breakfast

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Categories: Events, Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

Six Impossible Politics Before Breakfast: A Discussion on Art & Politics in an Age of Austerity
Wednesday July 6, 7:30 PM @ Post-Museum 107+109 Rowell Road S209033

‘Be realistic, demand the impossible’ is one of the most famous slogans to come out of the May 1968 student movement. It marked a shift away from a politics of pragmatism, away from already existing institutional and political forms, and towards a demand for giving power to the imagination.

Over the last forty years later the situation is both radically different and strangely the same: the impossible is still demanded, but this time it is demanded of us. Immense efforts are mobilized to stabilize capital (bailing out the banks), while declarations of austerity are used to justify cuts to social welfare, pensions, and virtually any forms of public good that still exists. Perhaps the slogan for today should be something more like ‘be impossible, demand the realistic’ – but even this would a ‘realism’ where the horizon of possibility seems to have shrank. Continue reading →

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Reconsidering Commodities & Markets

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Categories: Events

Seminar: Reconsidering Commodities & Markets
Wednesday May 4th, 2011 @ 1pm
University of Essex Room 3.108

Seminar presentations by: Cecelia Cassinger (Essex), Emma Dowling (Queen Mary), Stephen Duncombe (NYU), George Tsogas (Cass)

What would commodities say if they could speak? Marx’s question can seem playful in some registers. And yet, objects voice themselves not only through our playful – or rueful – gaze.  If Marx had listened long enough, these talking commodities would have announced the traumas of their exploitative and violent birthing to him. Likewise the rise of consumer culture, the proliferation and intensification of the commodification, can be understood as the expansion of the violence of accumulation all across the social field. Today the critique and denunciation of these forces have become yet another commodity in the spectacle; something we witness today in the backlash against banks, bankers and speculators and all the glorified preening of capitalist consumption they stand for. Is this trend, then, the ‘new spirit of capitalism’? Continue reading →

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New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Occupation

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Categories: Events

New Lines of Alliance, New Spaces of Occupation
May 30, 2011, 7PM @ xero, kline, & coma 
258 Hackney Road London E2 7SJ

At the dawn of the 1980s, in the wake of the defeat of the autonomous movements of the 1970s, Félix Guattari and Antonio Negri embarked on an extraordinary collaboration to rescue communism from its own disrepute: to rethink categories of economic analysis and political organization. Today we find ourselves in a situation where such a rethinking is needed more than ever.

From anti-austerity struggles and university occupation movements to the circulations of the Arab spring and the revolts of Wisconsin and Greece: what new lines of alliance and spaces of liberty might be emerging within the present? How can we move from the occupation of a particular space (whether the university or the factory) to a general occupation of the social factory, to reclaiming the collective wealth of social imagination and time for life? Continue reading →

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I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention

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Categories: Events

I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention: Rethinking Social Wealth In & Against Times of Austerity
March 27th, 2011, 1PM @ The Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago

Tom Waits once quipped that he was so broke that he couldn’t even pay attention. While Waits is not typically thought of as a theorist of crisis, in a strangely prescient way this describes condition of economic and social crisis that we live through today. It gestures not only to the apparent lack of financial resources used to justify the imposition of austerity measures, but also corresponding a lack of time, affect, and care. We find ourselves not only struggling to keep up with bills, debt, rents, and work – but the intensification of these dynamics leaves us with less time and energy for relating as social beings rather than economic agents. Thus a financial crisis becomes an economic crisis, and then a crisis affecting the very fabric of social relations.

Economic and social crises are not only moments of rupture, upheavals in daily life, but also moments that clarify what is truly important. For economic elites this means reinstating forms of class power that had been held in check, but from a different perspective or it represents a reclaiming of enclosed resources and commons. It is to declare, as the slogan goes “We won’t pay for your crisis.” But in confronting the declaration that we live in times of austerity, it is not enough to simply denounce them (as important that is), but also to rethink what is important. Continue reading →

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San Precario Network Screening + Discussion

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Categories: Events

San Precario Network Screening + Discussion
December 5th at 7PM
16 Beaver Street 4th floor, New York

Over the past fifteen years the idea of precarity has emerged as a key area of social conflict and political organizing. But what is precarity, and what does a focus on it mean for political organizing and social movements? Come join us for an evening of discussion with members of the San Precario network on the politics of precarious labor and what they could mean for US based movements and campaigns.

The San Precario network is an Italian group of activists, collectives, social centers and workers that is one of the main organizers of the Milan EuroMayDay Parade. They will be presenting materials from their campaigns and work. Continue reading →

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