Urban struggles, frontiers of capital, and migration in the current global crisis: A perspective from Berlin

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Manuela Bojadžijev - Speaker

    There are struggles in the past cycle of mobilizations that lack the iconic status of Zuccotti Park, Tahir Square, or Gezi. However, they echo the democratic expressions and deliver insights into practices that oppose the enduring crisis of capitalism. My paper will investigate a two-year long public occupation in Berlin, the capital city of a country that is seen as one of the profiteers of the debt and financial crisis. The occupation of a square at the rim of a roundabout in the inner city area has become the hub for organizing of a predominantly migrant tenant's initiative in a privatised social housing estate. Starting from their activities will help me to outline how the dominance of finance in capitalism 'hits the ground' and how frontiers of capital open up new territories to establish conditions for accumulation in our cities. I will also focus on the political technology that is driven by protocols of "social diversity" that arrange the parameters within which the business of privatisation can deal with cultural, religious, social contestations. I will draw on the initiative's mix of practices of collaboration, mobilisation, research, art practice, festive events, demonstrations, appeals, cultural initiatives, on their ability to organise collaborations on a local as well as on a European level. By doing so my paper will examine the factors, such as racism, poverty, the social composition of the activists, political traditions, productions of subjectivity, art practices that help to explain the initiative's articulating towards left without neglecting political complexities in the field.


    13th EASA Biennial Conference - EASA 2014: Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution - innovation and continuity in an interconnected world


    Tallinn, Estonia

    Event: Conference