Blogs

The Workerant

First published at Critical Legal Thinking

In the unfolding drama of work in the digital age, new circumstance demands new language. Gig economy, on-demand work, sharing economy, precarious work, automation, zero-hour contracts, outsourcing, workfare. Whilst the entire stage set changes, the central character of the drama remains. The worker. If this indicates both a resilience yet a revisionism of the worker today, there is the need to probe the worker subject of the new economies through new ones. Thus here is the Workerant.

Recovering Community (2)

Remembering the Jungle at Jules Ferry Calais 2017
First published at Public Seminar

In its time at Jules Ferry, the Jungle crossed a threshold in the nature of its transgression as a political subject. This transgression was its establishment of community. What the Jungle came to embody in political form was a common project; common, that is, in two senses of the word. As a common space for the intersection of multiple social agencies and as the ground for community as being-in-common.

Recovering Community (1)

Remembering the Jungle at Jules Ferry Calais 2017
First published at Public Seminar

We know the scene; there is a gathering, and someone is telling a story. We do not yet know whether these people gathered together form an assembly, if they are a horde or a tribe. But we call them brothers and sisters because they are gathered together and because they are listening to the same story.
– Jean-Luc Nancy

The Republics of the Jungle

First published at Critical Legal Thinking.

The Jungle is not just a camp for the undocumented, it is also a social body and above all a political subject. The way it has evolved gives us insights into how the political problems that produced it can be resolved through the relationship between the Jungle and the Republic as subjects.

Darkness Visible

A New Years Eve at the Calais Jungle
with Black Sartre, White Fanon and friends.

First published at Critical Legal Thinking.

This is a recounting of a New Year’s eve night at the makeshift settlement known as the Calais ‘jungle’ that is the subject of so much media attention of late. A cold wet sludge of a jungle that’s home to some 6000 people, the migrants of Calais. The encounters over the course of the night blown through by wintry gusts offer another insight into why this jungle exists and the significance of its place in the contemporary colonial question.

The Jungle

Post revised December 2016 following demolition of Jules Ferry

Reading the Jungle through the word that names it. A sort of double reading on one of today's most misunderstood subjects. In its evolution the jungle in Calais is uniquely a 21st century political entity that defies easy categorisation. It fuses improvised modes of existence and production of precarious architectures to parallel new globalised realities of human relations. The Jungle, symbolic and real, is many things but we can use its naming as a guide to lead an understanding of its multiple facets.

Shut it Down #YarlsWood

The migrant detention centre through new formations of resistance and solidarity
Yarl’s Wood 7 November 2015
First published at Critical Legal Thinking

On a wet windy November day in Bedfordshire, outside the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre, Judith an ex-detainee is on the mobile sound system.

My sisters on the inside
On the 8th August I was on the inside and you were on the outside.
If you can see the third window at the bottom, that was my room — Jud98
I wrote SOS, red lipstick on blue pillow case.

Revisiting Laing

Reflections on Laing in the 21st century
A reading group on the dissident psychiatrist at the Claremont Project
Islington London 2015

'Insanity - a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world', a R. D. Laing quote from Rebecca Greenslade who brought together the reading group. 5 meetings in as many months made for an intriguing space for the differing ways of reading all our psychotic symptoms via Laing's writing.

Neue Stadt (of art and labour)

An essay in fragments and gaffa GDR Berlin

Scharnweberstr, Friedrichshain

 

Neue Stadt is an essay written on the surface of Berlin with gaffa tape, the Berlin that is already a cacophony of subcultural signs and graffiti. 

One Piece at a Time

On work, theft and the age of automation
through a reading of Johnny Cash’s classic song 1976

Johnny Cash’s One Piece at a Time is a song about how he makes his own dream Cadillac by smuggling out all the parts from the factory over twenty years. It’s essentially about stealing from work but that’s not how it’s meant to be understood. As the lyrics go,
I’ve never considered myself a thief
But GM wouldn’t miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

 

First published at Critical Legal Thinking. Republished in Digital Culturist #1.

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