We at RiVAL wish each and every one of you health and calm in this time of turmoil. Please take care of yourselves and one another. The struggles for life, for dignity and for justice that are continuing, beginning and yet to come will require all of us, and all our skills in the months and years to come.

Things we did and are doing

The Hologram

Cassie has been hard at work developing her participatory art project to build a new “social technology” for grassroots, feminist care: The Hologram. The Hologram has been incubating at Furtherfield in London and has recently been presented at University of Chicago, Portland State University, and Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna with support of pirate.care

  • Read more about the project here
  • Watch a video of her talking about it
  • Learn more about upcoming and ongoing opportunities to participate.

To learn more about the upcoming Hologram book and events, see below.

Revenge Capitalism

Max’s new book Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts is now out from Pluto Press.

  • Learn more about the book and order a copy
  • A short video describing the book
  • An interview, in text and in audio
  • Read “No return to normal: for a post-pandemic liberation,” the book’s postscript, at ROAR.

VAGABONDS

One of the most exciting projects of RiVAL, some three years in the making, is VAGABONDS, a new series of “radical, resonant and rigorous” pamphlets to “fan the flames of discontent,” edited by Max Haiven and published worldwide by Pluto Press. The first two titles in the series, due out in mid-July, are

  • 001 – Pandemonium: Proliferating Borders of Capital and the Pandemic Swerve, by Angela Mitropoulos
  • 002 – The Hologram: Feminist, Peer-to-Peer Health for a Post-Pandemic Future, by Cassie Thornton

RiVAL accelerator

RiVAL has opened a new line of activities we call an “accelerator.” Here, we take applications from people around for “impossible projects for the radical imagination.” We provide the most suitable proposal a small grant and four sessions of one-on-one conversations and feedback.

We are pleased to announce that the successful project in our first accelerator is UNGOVERNABLE, an art and social movements space in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Throughout the Spring and Summer RiVAL is also offering “office hours” to hear about and offer feedback on other “impossible projects for the radical imagination.” We are hoping to launch our next call for accelerator applications later in the summer.

The Order of Unmanageable Risks podcast on capitalism and anxiety

This Spring, Max as appointed visiting research fellow at University College London’s (UCL) Institute for Advanced Study in part to continue work with his colleague and member of the UCL sociology department, Dr. Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou on the “epidemic of student anxiety.” Their intesive research plans to run a series of workshops with students on this topic was, unfortunately, postponed due to the Pandemic, but Max and Aris took the opportunity to continue to expand their research and network through the development of a new podcast: The Order of Unmanageable Risks.

  • Episode 1: “The gifts of darkness?” with James Bridle
  • Episode 2: “Why is there no emoji for…?” with Esther Leslie
  • (coming soon) Episode 3: “The weaponized anxieties of the racially illiterate” with University of Western Sydney professor Alana Lentin
  • (coming soon) Episode 4: “Racism and mental health” with consultant, writer and speaker Hári Sewell
  • (coming soon) Episode 5: “Finance, uncertainty and anxiety” with New York University professor Arjun Appadurai

More episodes are in production.

Zero Credits: Countering the Dreams of Techno-finance

Based on their highly successful SSHRC-funded DEBT/DIGITAL/EMPIRE gathering in Vancouver last April, Max and his Simon Fraser University colleagues Dr. Enda Brophy and Ben Anderson have partnered with TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies to issue a call for a special issue titled “Zero Credits: Countering the Dreams of Technofinance,” with a special focus on the convergence of the financial and digital/data sectors of the capitalist economy in and beyond the pandemic moment. Abstracts are due June 15.

New team member: Ben Evans James

RiVAL is thrilled to welcome Ben Evans James to the team as our new production assistant. Ben began with us in early May and has been invaluable in helping all of RiVAL’s projects thrive.

Ben is a film-maker, curator and events organizer and one of the co-founders of the London independent art and film venue South Kiosk.

What is ReMatriation?

RiVAL was thrilled to be awarded a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant to work with the Thunder Bay Public Library to explore the topic of ReMatriation: the decolonization of land by Indigenous people. The grant helps fund the research component of this project and is being led by Dr. Adar Charlton (post-doctoral fellow at University of Manitoba) and Dr. Max Haiven. They have hired three excellent Lakehead students to explore different perspectives on this question: Matthew Benoit (English graduate student), Troy Glover (law student), Tina Munroe (Indigenous Learning and Philosophy undergraduate).

Public talks

Max gave some public talks

Things that got cancelled or postponed

  • A day-long seminar on “Abstraction as Method” at the UCL IAS in London, hosted by Max Haiven and Dr. Leigh Claire La berge (City University of New York)
  • A day-long seminar on “Rethinking the University Anxiety Epidemic in an Age of Capitalist Chaos” at the UCL IAS in London, hosted by Max Haiven and Dr. Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou (UCL).
  • A series of workshops with students at London universities about mental health, anxiety, capitalism and the contemporary university, led by Max and Aris.
  • Cassie and Max were slated to contribute to the 2020 European Capital of Culture as part of the art collective the Global Ports Authorty (with Oliver Lerone Schultz). The events have been postponed.
  • Cassie and Max were slated to participate in Moneylab 8 in Ljubljana, Slovenia in April. This event has been moved online through April and May. See below

Things we have planned

Hologram appearances

Revenge film club

To celebrate the publication of and explore Max’s new boo Revenge Capitalism RiVAL is organizing an online film club. Every week, members of the club watch a film about revenge and discuss it on Zoom. Details will soon be posted at RiVAL’s website and social media.

Thunder Bay anti-racist reading circle

Sadly, racism in Thunder Bay persists. So do we. We are in the early stages of planning an online version of our popular decolonization reading circle where we read texts aloud and discuss them. Stay tuned for more information.

Categories: Newsletter

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