Newsletter December 2023

Dear all,
Welcome to our newsletter!
We have had a lot of exciting developments over the past month and we would like to share some of them with you, as well as let you know what’s coming up in December. 

Material Photographies Reading Group

December 6, 12:30 (London time)The Material Photographies Reading Group meets regularly online to explore critical thinking/making around the photograph in its multiple forms and dynamic manifestations—to welcome new ways of thinking and celebrate the increasingly complex photosphere we inhabit. All are warmly invited to attend!

The Origins of Debt Politics in Greece and Rome – Reading Michael Hudson’s “The Collapse of Antiquity”, Part 4 

December 7, 20:00 (London time)

Have a look at the video from the previous session of “The Origins of Modern Debt Politics in Greece and Rome” here

In the fourth session we look at how public finance was taken over by oligarchs and how Sparta’s last kings tried and failed at reform. This closes our discussion of Greece as the spotlight turns on a much bigger predator – Rome.

Roy Bhaskar’s “Enlightened Common Sense” and “From Science to Emancipation” Reading Group / How to take over the “David and his 
Philosophers” Room

December 14, 20:00 (London time)
In the first part of this session we’ll discuss the relationship between Roy Bhaskar’s dialectics (outlined in chapter 6 of Enlightened Common Sense) and David Graeber’s discussion and use of Marx in Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value (page 100, page 69, and other mentions of Bhaskar in the text).In the second part, building on the foundation of this group and the “David Graeber and his Philosophers” room, we will discuss how the ideas explored in these two projects can be transformed into something altogether new. What is the best way to continue to explore the connection between David Graeber’s work and the philosophical texts that interested him? And how can we best construct the process of discussion, of talking to each other and engaging new people?


Bullshit Jobs, Part 2December 21, 20:00 (London Time)
Is your job killing you? Do you feel the crush of spiritual violence when at work? Are you a duct-taper, box-ticker, taskmaster, flunky, or goon? We’ve got the place for you. Join us. Bullshit Jobs: A Reading Group, where your humanity will be restored.

In this session, called “Capitalism and Communism: Where Bullshit Jobs Prevail”, We will discuss how, in the Soviet Union, bullshit jobs offered a kind of universal basic income with sociologists Elena Gapova and Zinaida Valilyeva.  

Facilitated by Steven Bachelor, This will be a monthly series, every 3rd Thursday. 

There will be a Housekeeping Committee / Mastodon Assembly on December 27 at 18:00. Email us if you want to join!

Carnival and War exhibition 

Our offline exhibition, Carnival and War, is continuing. Here are some photos.

Past events at the David Graeber Institute 

We’ve had a busy month at the David Graeber Institute, our partner institution. Have a look at the film that Dr Khalil ‘Avi’ Betz-Heineman made as part of his “Why do we Play? The Origins of Self-Consciousness, Freedom, and Morality”. Avi will be hosting the second part of his reading group on December 28. Look out for more information on our social media.The Bullshit Jobs reading group started in November. The video from the previous session can be found here. During the last Housekeeping Committee we discussed how rooms in the Museum can communicate and support each other. We will continue this discussion on December 28 during the next Housekeeping Committee.  We also hosted a very interesting discussion on Chile and the State together with the Real Democracy Movement. The first part of Seminars of Care was a huge success and we are planning to continue in February. More on that below!

Upcoming events at the David Graeber Institute 

Seminars of Care

Elke Krasny and Nika Dubrovksy will continue Seminars of Care in February 2024. Following the first session of Seminars of Care on November 19, The David Graeber Institute will continue the series with the second session on February 24, 2024 at 18:00 (London time). The meeting will explore Marxist feminists’ analyses of caring labor and David Graeber’s proposal to integrate it all into a new form of labor theory of value.In 2020, David Graeber and several LSE students set up a reading group devoted to the themes of care and caring. This group aimed to create a space for discussion on work that was then (and still is) little integrated into the classic corpus of anthropological teaching. Between February and May 2020, around ten people met in the Seligman Library (now the Old Anthropology Library) to discuss, for two hours, works at the crossroads of radical feminism and the anthropology of care.

Brain Trust Panel Discussion: Anatomy of a Collapse + workshop in Rowley Way

On December 16 at 18:00 we will host a panel discussion with renowned economist Steve Keen, Roc Sanford (writer and member of artists’ collective Ocean Rebellion) and artist Nika Dubrovsky as part of the Brain Trust. 

We thought about what to do before Christmas and New Year. What can be done at Rowley Way – the utopian London community center where the institute holds most of its events? We have already held lectures on architecture, food and isolation because we still believe that the most important thing we can do before the climate crisis begins (for now!) is collect, in one place, all the wonderful technologies that humanity has managed to create. This was the topic of our discussion at our first lecture with Adrian Bowyer. To our great surprise, while talking to people who came to the lecture, we realised that information about climate change is still uncommon. People were surprised and asked about the details of what could happen in the event of climate collapse, and even skeptically shook their heads – some things really do seem impossible to imagine! Therefore, we decided to invite Steve Keen, and in a conversation with Roc Sandford and Nika Dubrovsky, we will try to find out exactly what awaits us if the climate collapse does occur after all. As always, we invite everyone for food and drinks after the lecture.

Where: Alexandra & Ainsworth TRA Hall, 52 Boundary Rd, London NW8 0HJ
When: 18:00 / 16 December 2023

David Graeber’s Birthday: Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

On David Graeber’s birthday, this reading group, facilitated by Ayça Çubukçu (London School of Economics) will reflect on David Graeber’s most widely read book, Fragments of An Anarchist Anthropology.Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology prompts us to imagine a discipline that currently only exists as a concept: anarchist anthropology. Dr Ayça Çubukçu (Associate Professor in Human Rights, LSE and Co-Director, LSE Human Rights) will invite participants to explore and discuss this important text in celebration of David Graeber’s birthday on February 12, 2024 at 20:00 (London time).

Please keep an eye on our website and social media (FacebookInstagramTwitter) for more information about our events. 

See you soon, 
Your Museum