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Arts of the Working Class

ISSUE 30: CAMPS

ISSUE 30: CAMPS

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EXILE IS A HARD JOB

In our time of commodified panicked sociality, our capacity for interiority depends on how many of us can sit down together after a long day of darkness. There is too much ideological loneliness out there, too much exhaustion. How do we stop fearing disagreement and start cultivating it as a practice of conversation? With this question in mind, we seek to infiltrate the spaces where the replication of patriarchal, capitalist, and neo-colonialist desires takes place, and the mirroring of the shortcomings and violence of political polarization is reproduced. 

Guided by the spirit of questioning the internalized rules that shape our togetherness, our editorial frame in 2024 is Codes of Conduct. As an overarching topic across AWC’s five issues throughout the year, this frame will challenge the ecologies of our practices concerning discourses, institutions, and communities that plot against the interlocking oppressions that shape violent social patterns.

Codes of Conduct will undertake a semantic shift by overwriting large-scale hegemonic formations with the vocabularies of locally rehearsed practices, replacing communal fatalism with risk-taking. The first issue of the year, No. 30, is entitled Camps. It will center the people migrating in search of marginal opportunities for survival, only to end up in camps to nowhere. 

Because the politics of concentration/isolation/agglomeration have deep colonial roots, we seek to make evident the control and dispossession of oppressed people in cities that employ them. These politics are an intrinsic feature of Germany’s imperialist legacy, which at the beginning of the twentieth century pioneered the use of then-novel “concentration camps” in its colonies in Namibia, perpetrating a largely forgotten genocide against the Herero, Mbanderu, and Nama people, later re-importing this technology for its genocide against Jews during World War II. 

This dark chapter of history emanates today as an unprocessed form of guilt in Germany’s facilitation of the expulsion and mass murder of Palestinians, as well as in the scrutiny applied in mainstream media to activists and even internationally recognized institutions such as UNRWA to undermine solidarity or calls for humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip. In this light, our first issue of 2024 amplifies the urgency of naming the links of the fence that partitions humanity into caravans of bodies and resources, in the language of the author and filmmaker Ariella Aïsha Azoulay. 

Increasing numbers of people may be familiar with the experience of forced displacement, Kafka-esque border regimes, and the rhythms of life in refugee camps, labor camps, and “high-density” camps. Others have different experiences of what “camp” means. Having spent summers camping, enjoying the outdoors, seeking reconnection with nature and the inner self under an all-encompassing capitalist system. Often these people are relatively privileged, yet powerless. Meanwhile, millions live in tents elsewhere without electricity, potable water, or food.

This issue is thus broken down into two chapters: firstly: The Policies and Politics of Encampment which contextualizes the dialectical relationship between reasoning and the lived experience of de/re-territorialization. This chapter provides a historical capsule, introducing the notion of the “surplus population”, for example as discussed in the essay by Bue Rübner Hansen. The second chapter – Cultures of Liberation – in collaboration with the participants of the program We Who Move the World Forward: Listening To Resistance Inside Germany’s Migrant Histories at ACUD MACHT NEU in Berlin, shows how those once dispossessed continue to long for a genuine sense of belonging, counterposing the insolation/isolation of privilege with the joy of redistribution. 

Regardless of your state of privilege, you will, sooner or later, be awakened by the earth’s trembling fluxes of migrants fleeing from the south to the north and east to west, chasing a dream of better living conditions foreclosed in their native lands by global extractive industries, fabricated scarcity, climate crisis, war, and occupation. 

With Contributions by Sheriff Abisoye Adenkule, Hossam Aldeen, Ghayath Almadhoun, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Leem Baha, Member of Arts and Cultural Alliance Berlin, Heath Bexley, Fetewei Tarekegn and Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Nicky Böhm, Irus Braverman, Nino Bulling, DMT, Grieving Doves, Kuba Szreder and the Center for Plausible Economies, Cana Bilier Meier and Semra Ertan, Holger Fröhlich, Sara Pierce x Gfzk, Bue Rübner Hansen, Artists + Allies x Hebron, Amelie Jakubek, Abolitionist Jelly, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Dalia Maini, Alesa Mustar, We Are Not Numbers, Lilo Ruminawi, Shibboleth, Hariati Sinaga, International Women* Space, Didem Yazıcı, Huda Zikry, Rico Zyrrano

And Artworks by Nil Yalter, Mehmet Güler, Gülsün Karamustafa, Tanya Habjouqa, Sigrid Weise, Hayv Kahraman 


Impressum / Imprint

Founders / Publishers / Directors
Verantwortlicher i.S.d . 18 Abs. 2 MStV
María Inés Plaza Lazo, Pauł Sochacki

Managing / Artistic Director
Amelie Jakubek

Editor in Chief
Dalia Maini

Advising Editor
Max Haiven

Editor
Elisa Fuenzalida

Graphic Design
Manuel Bürger

Artistic Project Development
Theresa Zwerschke

Administrative Assistance
Selma Louise Christoph

Distribution Assistance
Miguel Angel Espinoza

Proofreading
William Kherbek, Anne Waak

Online Design
Giorgia Belotti

We thank our dear Volunteers:
Hassoumi Moctar Agali, Amina Zerourou, Manuela Miel


Druck
BV Berliner Zeitungsdruck GmbH
Alle Vertriebs- und Kund*innenanfragen an die Verlagsadresse

Reflektor Monde gUG (haftungsbeschränkt)
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hey@artsoftheworkingclass.org


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