On Precarity and the Freedom f-r-o-m Security

Ana Vujanović (2016)

A review of the book State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious by Isabell Lorey, published by Verso in 2015.

 

The political theorist Isabell Lorey is one of the most striking European voices in the recent debate on precarity and precarization – terms that describe the systematic inequalities wrought by neoliberalism in the name of financial crisis and austerity, and which lead to such recent phenomena as militarized violence and xenophobia. For reference, Lorey draws from political and biopolitical theory, feminism, gender and postcolonial studies, as well as the interventions made by social and political movements, such as Euromayday, Occupy, and 15-M. This invigorating intersectionalism has created a potent critical platform for analyzing the present moment.

State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious is Aileen Derieg’s translation of Lorey’s book Die Regierung der Prekären (2012). It is her first book to appear in English, though she is the author of numerous works of cultural and political theory in German. Here Lorey is particularly concerned with the neoliberal “state of insecurity” and how it relates to the process of precarization. Lorey’s long-term research on precarity leads her to the question of neoliberal government, of government through and by insecurity. The first line of the book makes this clear: “If we fail to understand precarization, then we understand neither the politics nor the economy of the present” (1).

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Public Sphere by Performance

Public Sphere by Performance, with Bojana Cvejic
Berlin: b_books (in cooperation with co-publisher: Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers), 2012, 2015 second edition

publ sphere front

reviews:

  • Juliane Debeusscher, “Public Sphere by Performance”, Critique d’art [En ligne], 2012. Read here
  • Marko Đorđević, “Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić, The Public Sphere by Performance, 2012. recenzija”, Art + Media, Journal of Art and Media Studies no. 6, 2014. Read here

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Social Choreography: The “Black Wave” in the Yugoslav Slet

Ana Vujanović (2013)

Slets were a form of mass events that were staged in socialist Yugoslavia on a variety of occasions. The most famous and spectacular slets were staged on the Day of Youth, every May 25th, at the Yugoslav People’s Army Stadium in Belgrade. The slet was the central and final event of every Day of Youth, preceded by the Relay of Youth. The Relay was a form of ceremonial mass run organised every year beginning in 1945 and involving thousands of youths, who would run for dozens of miles across Yugoslavia, carrying a baton with a birthday card for Josip Broz Tito, the president of Yugoslavia.[1] In 1957, upon Tito’s suggestion, his birthday was made the Day of Youth and Tito’s Relay was renamed the Relay of Youth. Still, for the rest of his life, until 1980, he remained the “birthday boy” of the Day of Youth – every year, he received the baton, along with the card, and occupied the place of honour at the stadium.[2] This direct association of Tito’s birthday with celebrating youth seems odd, given that at the time, he wasn’t young anymore, not even at the beginning of the tradition – in 1957, he was already 65 – so could not really symbolise youth. Of course, the association was made for other reasons, which take us directly into the history of the slet and its social functions. First of all, it is well known that Tito seriously counted on Yugoslavia’s “youth” and tried to forge a direct link between them and himself, and that he used his speeches to interpellate them as those who would eventually take over and continue down the same path, where their elders – Tito’s own generation – were obliged to stop. But that couldn’t happen just like that. To continue down the path of revolution, which included labour as well as defensive warfare, Yugoslavia’s youth had to be healthy, strong, and physically and spiritually cultivated and robust. And the spectacular self-performance of a slet was the best way to show just how strong, cultivated, and robust they were.

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Performing Ideology // Madrid, 2013

full title: Ana Vujanović, "Performing Ideology: Immunitas and communitas in today’s neoliberal democratic society"

a lecture given at the international seminar No hay mas poesía que la acción (There is no other poetry than action) (the program of the seminar: in Spanish, in English)
Museo Reina Sofía / Artea
April 12-13, 2013, Madrid

Ana Vujanović’s lecture at: 01.52.00-02.22.30 min

Watch live streaming video from museoreinasofia at livestream.com