Category: Work and Labour Commoning

WORK AND LABOUR COMMONING – De-commodification of Work – Cultural Work and Immaterial Work – In 2009 the OECD calculated that half of the workers of the world worked in the informal economy. By 2020 it will be 2/3 of the global working population. In fact, the technologically determinist assumption, made by some post-capitalist scholars (Mason, 2016 and Srnicek and Williams, 2015) that the world is moving towards automated, information-driven and attention-based ‘platform capitalism’ (Srnicek, 2016) or even the idea of a global proletariat (Standing, 2016) underestimates the huge scale of the global informal economy, the low-skilled manual jobs in the service and tourism economies and the feminization and racialization of the economy that started in the peripheries in 1990s, has now reached the old centres. More research needs to be done on contemporary forms of precarious, domestic, informal and semi-rural employment for instance, on the subsistence of eco-femminist perspectives of Maria Miers (1999) and Vandana Shiva (2005); the domestic economy and the reproductive commons discussed by Silvia Federici (2012) and Federica Giardini (2015) and on the informal economy (Breman, 1996, Mollona, 2005). Informal workers tend to self-organise themselves in anti-establishment and community-based political groups and undercommons for instance, the urban cooperatives in El-Alto (Zibechi, 2005) and Rio de Janeiro or Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India. An important form of labour commoning is cooperative work. Cooperativism was central in anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and anti-dictatorship movements in Latin America, India and other non-aligned regions in the 1970s and 1980s. Then in the 2000s it was appropriated by the start-ups in Silicon Valley -for instance see the domesticated version of cooperativism by Wolff (2012). Can the IRI organize itself along the principles of mutuality and of cooperative labour?

ON THE BIENNALE’S RUINS? INHABITING THE VOID, COVERING THE DISTANCE by Marco Baravalle

Illustration by Kaya, On the Biennale’s ruins, 2020.

translation by Gabriella Riccio

Too much love and friendship connect me to many people working for and around Venice Biennale. Too much admiration connects me to many that thanks to La Biennale made Venice a place to come back to instead of a “once-in-a-lifetime” tourist destination. Not light-heartedly these pages will go down as an exercise of speculation and critique. I am  participating in the uncertainty of those people risking to lose their jobs, watching their business fail, not getting their contracts renewed, being unable to access the already miserable existing welfare measures. Considering the earnings in monetary terms: room attendants, janitors, technicians, workers, freelancers, researchers, teachers, journalists, tourist-guides, artists, architects, curators, performers, etc. will –  more or less – lose something due to a possible (yet hopefully unlikely) cancellation or postponed events programmes linked to the various departments of La Biennale.

Continue reading “ON THE BIENNALE’S RUINS? INHABITING THE VOID, COVERING THE DISTANCE by Marco Baravalle”

GESTURES OF RADICAL IMAGINATION: A PROGRAM FOR THE USEFUL REVOLUTION by Emanuele Braga

Image WHO

translation by Gabriella Riccio

Do we change, now? It will probably always be worse: the techno-authoritarian drift

Coronavirus management risks dragging everyone into techno-authoritarianism: a social life awaits us in which we are controlled every move we make. Through GPS, cell phones, cameras in public spaces and streets it will be possible to understand if we really respect the rules of social distancing. At first they will tell us that their data collection will respect anonymity and that it will be performed “only” to understand mass behavior. Then they will come to individual sanctions and integrated ranking systems. Those who are unemployed will have to stay at home or go shopping at the most, only those with a job will be allowed to move or take a plane.

Continue reading “GESTURES OF RADICAL IMAGINATION: A PROGRAM FOR THE USEFUL REVOLUTION by Emanuele Braga”