A Striking Abundance: A workshop on the Political Imaginaries of Striking Otherwise

A striking Abundance: A workshop on the Political Imaginaries of Striking Otherwise organised by Valeria Graziano, Giulia Palladini and Jenny Richards as part of the exhibition A Careful Strike* curated by Michele Masucci at Mint.

This event is a workshop on zoom, with limited space. To book a place or for any questions please email Jenny: jennyrichardsjenny@gmail.com.

The starting point of this workshop is the consideration that for many people the classical forms of strike – where workers withhold their labour and stand on picket lines in front of their workplace – is no longer, or has never been, a viable option. Workers tending to fundamental needs in the care sector, for instance, but also unemployed populations and those caught up in the gig economy that increasingly does not recognize their status as employees are all examples of a widespread condition that calls for an alternative political imaginary around what a strike is and what it can do.

The workshop will be structured in two sessions.

We will begin by looking at the current state of affairs with the right to strike in Sweden and beyond and by sharing some histories of powerful forms of struggle such as strike-ins, reverse strikes, alternative production strategies, plant takeovers, maintenance boycotts and self-reductions. What these different forms of strike action share is how they responded to their specific conditions of possibility by re-organizing labour otherwise. In doing so, they revealed the artificial nature of capital’s logic of scarcity, opening up instead a horizon of militant abundance.

In the second part of the workshop, we will facilitate some structured conversations to allow participants to actively engage with the question of strike organizing and explore together different political imaginaries applicable in their own locales.

The workshop is aimed primarily (but not exclusively) to those who are currently engaged in care work or precarious employment or thinking about ways to collectively address current working conditions, or for those putting pressure on employers within or outside unions.

Valeria Graziano is a theorist and educator currently based at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University, UK. Her research focuses on cultural practices that foster the refusal of work and the politicization of pleasure. Over the years, she has been involved in several initiatives of militant research across the cultural sector and social movements. She is one of the convenors of Pirate Care (https://pirate.care), a research process focusing on collective learning and disobedient responses to the current care crisis.

Giulia Palladini is a researcher and critical theorist currently based at the University of Roehampton, London. Her work explores the politics and erotics of artistic production, social and cultural history. In her writing, critical and educational practice she has engaged temporality and affect, historiography and the archive, relation between labor and pleasure, work and free time. Her texts appeared in several international journals, and she collaborated as theorist in a number of critical and artistic projects. She is the author of The Scene of Foreplay: Theater, Labor and Leisure in 1960s New York (Northwestern University Press, 2017) and of Lexicon for an Affective Archive (Bristol: Intellect, 2017, co-edited with Marco Pustianaz).

The workshop forms part of the ongoing Bodies of Care study sessions organised by Jenny Richards in collaboration with Mint that explores practices that reflect and resist the current expansion of commercialized, individualized and outsourced care.

Accessibility: The workshop will take place in English. There is unfortunately no BSL interpretation.

*Precarias a la deriva, 2005.