Sunday, August 21, 2011

On silence and cultural workers - Bojana Piškur

What is missing in most discourses on this subject today is concrete and radical proposals on how to separate culture from ideology, and an understanding of how the different levels of hegemony, exploitation and power relations manifest themselves in culture. The problem is primarily how to identify these issues in a way that would allow the multiple struggles in one field (i.e., culture) to connect with the struggles in other parts of the social factory. Or, as the students of the UC Santa Cruz put it in their manifesto: a free university in an unfree world is worthless; it can hardly exist. That is why cultural workers must address, in addition to the particular issues concerning their status, also the broader social issues surrounding the revolution of the everyday.[5]

[1] See: Isabell Lorey, 2006, Governmentality and Self-Precarization: On the normalization of cultural producers,; (accessed on November 1, 2010)

[2] Cultural workers are usually considered those who are involved in “cultural production”. We would like to expand this notion to the whole field of culture, therefore including all the workers in cultural institutions, such as service workers, staff workers, technicians, security etc.

[3] What we mean here is the lack of solidarity between cultural workers and other “workers in struggle”.

[4] George Caffentzis / Silvia Federici, 2007, Notes on edu-factory and Cognitive Capitalism,

[5] Thanks to Tjaša Pureber for pointing out this to me.

[6] For best compilation of such texts see

[7] Hal Foster, The Artist as Etnographer, in The return of the real, MIT Press, 1996, p. 175?

[8] See Gayatri Spivak. The concept refers to using the group identity as a basis of struggle to achieve certain goals.

[9] Jasna Koteska, 2006, Against the pre-Archival Mentality,

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