Thoughts on Argentina's Conjunctures :: Recuperating Work, Recovering Life (2005-2007)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Entangled Territories - Event Announcement

A Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry event
With/in Adrian Blackwell's carpool + Republic of Safety
Sunday, August 6, 2006

Location: Idomo east parking lot, kitty-corner to the Downsview TTC stop (see here for further details).

The gentrification of Toronto's downtown has displaced low-income residents. New immigrants, often precariously employed, are warehoused in high-density structures within low-density suburbs. City land is rezoned for optimum profit extraction rather than for livability. The costs of using public transit are rising as new programs of surveillance carefully monitor the smog-saturated city.

This neoliberal agenda remains contested by urban social movements committed to the building of a new commons: street protests, squats, community gardens, housing co-ops, public-space interventions, regularization campaigns.

Toronto's territory is entangled in divergent forces of neoliberal enclosure and public commons. Animating this play of forces is a triad of actors: capitalists, governments, and multitudes. At stake in their balance of power is access to affordable places to live, sources of healthy food, a secure income, mobility, pleasurable forms of life.

+ How is capital capturing urban territories? Which spaces are currently under threat of enclosure?
+ What possibilities exist for the state to protect existing public spaces or initiate new ones, when its role has increasingly become the policing of space?
+ What capacities do we have for escaping existing enclosures, in the name of constructing new urban commons?

Join us for a conversation in and about the city's entangled territories. We'll move ourselves through a series of small-group discussions, and then end off the event with a collective conversation.

The event will be held in a parking lot near Downsview Park. This space is entangled, at the end of a subway line, yet in the middle of the city: in the inner suburbs, next to an army base, big boxes, and warehouses, at the confluence of highways, subways, and an airport. Our site is an abstract space of pause within this non-place of circulation.

Yvonne Bambrick (Streets are for People) + Sue Bunce (Planning Action) + Rob Gill (York) + Heather Haynes (Toronto Free Gallery) + Joe Hermer (UT) + Luis Jacob (artist) + Peter Nyers (McMaster) + Darren O'Donnell (artist) + Jay Pitter (artist) + SYN- (artists) + Leah Sandals (Spacing) + Jeff Shantz + Kika Thorne (artist) + Rinaldo Walcott (OISE) + others TBC

About TSCI
Collaborating with a network of activists, artists, and theorists, Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry initiates events that inquire into the new enclosures and creative pathways beyond them.

About carpool
carpool (apparatus of capture) is a tent that connects four cars to form a larger composition. The cars are caught in fabric, creating a structure as they move apart from one another, temporarily immobilizing them while opening their private interiors to public use.

My most recent article on Worker-Recovered Enterprises in this month's New Socialist magazine (Issue 57)

Argentina's Worker-Recovered Enterprises Movement: Reconstituting Working Lives

Monday, July 24, 2006

Coverage of Eduardo Murúa in Toronto, May-June 2006

Coverage from my friend, Rhiannon Edwards, of Eduardo Murúa's recent trip to Toronto.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Several articles on precarious work in Argentina

Courtesy of Indymedia Argentina: Contra el trabajo precario

Also see my previous post on this topic.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Worker-Recovered Enterprises in Argentina: The Political and Socioeconomic Challenges of Self-Management

A paper written by Andrés Ruggeri, professor at the University of Buenos Aires's Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and translated by me. The paper will be presented by Andrés next week at The Centre for Global Justice's annual conference, this year entitled Another World is Necessary. The conference will take place between July 19-29, 2006 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Here is the paper's abstract:

The worker-recovered enterprises (empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores, or ERT), defined as productive business unities abandoned or emptied by their owners and put into operation once again by their workers under self-management, are a relatively new phenomenon in Argentina and, on the whole, in Latin America. As such, they have attracted much world attention, especially after the Argentine crisis of December 2001. Nevertheless, the ERTs represent much more than a series of labour conflicts that culminate with the taking of factories and enterprises by workers. It is important to understand this process within the context of the almost total destruction of the nation’s productive apparatus and the sentencing of millions of workers to unemployment and structural marginality. Putting ERTs back into production signifies much for the almost 10,000 ERT workers that have engaged in these important and novel struggles, both from an economic as well as from a political and cultural point of view. In support of these workers, a research project out of the University of Buenos Aires has been developed to explore the historical, social, and economic contexts of the issues leading to the ERT movement and their particular characteristics and challenges. This research includes not only quantitative and qualitative data (detailed in the book The Recovered Enterprises in Argentina (Buenos Aires: Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Buenos Aires, 20051) but also a conceptual analysis pivoting on the concept of social innovation rooted in self-management. Fundamentally, we have come to understand this social innovation to include the strategies and methods destined to generate forms of productive unities outside of the paths dictated by the capitalist form of economic organization.

Read rest of paper.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

On Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Politics

Paper delivered by Kheya Bag at this year's Society for Existential Phenomenological Theory and Culture conference at York University during Congress 2006: "The Language of Real Life: Communication in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Politics"

My response to Kheya Bag's paper