Newsletter May 2023
DAVID GRAEBER INSTITUTE UPDATE
The David Graeber Institute begins its work by arranging talks on David Graeber’s latest book, Pirate Enlightenment, and developing the Brain Trust project. Both projects will begin in September. If you wish to stay up-to-date on the developments from the David Graeber Institute, consider subscribing to its Riseup mailing list. In the forthcoming newsletter, you will receive additional information on the projects’ advancement and opportunities to contribute.
In the past month, we hosted several events that were recorded and uploaded to the Museum of Care’s Youtube channel. Here is an overview of what has been going on recently:
- We had Benjamin Tarnoff as a guest speaker for the Open Assembly Tools of Care, where he discussed the ongoing technological revolution and how the David Graeber Institute can contribute to the trend of decentralized social networks. Watch it here.
- On April 12, we held our first fundraising screening of The Lonely Trees by Rojava Film Commune, with Debbie Bookchin as a guest speaker. The discussion part of the event is available here, while the film can be viewed on the Rojava Film Commune channel.
- On April 27, we had a talk about Soviet philosopher E. V. Ilyenkov and his essay “What is Personality” with founding members of the International Friends of Ilyenkov, Corinna Lotz and Kyrill Potapov. Watch the recording here and access an early draft of the essay’s upcoming English translation in our Library of Care
- Finally, you can find the recordings of our regular reading groups on David Graeber’s Debt: 5,000 Years and Roy Bhaskar’s Enlightened Common Sense in corresponding playlists.
To follow up on the Tools of Care Assembly, we will be gathering to develop rules for the David Graeber Institute’s Mastodon server at graeber.social. Be sure to sign up for our Mastodon and participate in the conversation on May 4 at 20:00. Your input and feedback are very welcome!
“BUREAUCRATS WITH GUNS…” BY ANDREW JOHNSON
Image: “There was a time before police, and there will be a time after.”
by DeLesslin George-Warren
On May 25, we’re having a discussion about an article by Andrew Johnson called “Bureaucrats with Guns: Or, How We Can Abolish the Police if We Just Stop Believing in Them”.
Andrew Johnson about his essay:
“While inspired by David Graeber’s essay “On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets: Broken Windows, Imaginary Jars of Urine, and the Cosmological Role of Police in American Culture”, my essay actually traverses Graeber’s entire oeuvre. There are stylistic allusions, jokes, criticism of both Graeber and contemporary social movements, biting commentary, and, at times, unfiltered rage. In many respects, while this is an essay about Graeber, it is every bit an essay about my own thoughts and worldview. Looking forward to our gathering together in May.”
Andrew Johnson received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2022, with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Global Studies. He is in the process of adapting his dissertation research into a book, entitled Theses on the History of Police. This book explores the historical narratives surrounding the formation and development of police institutions and contemporary social movements seeking to diminish their political power. Finally, when not struggling as a professional academic, he has spent half his time involved with community and political organizations dedicated to collective liberation.
Find the essay and register here
LAST MEETINGS OF THE DEBT READING GROUP
Our reading group on “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” has been meeting twice a month since October and is now coming to an end with only two meetings left. To make these final meetings special, we plan to invite guest speakers: professors Barry K. Gills and Michael Hudson. To make it happen, we are skipping our meeting on May 4 and meeting on May 18 and June 1. Follow the announcements and don’t miss this last opportunity to explore the ideas presented in “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”! Additionally, proposals for future reading groups are welcome.
Registration available here
FIGHT CLUB NEWS
The discoursive series “Fight Club” emerged after David Graeber’s death as an experiment in creating an out-of-academic Carnaval-like space to discuss crucial questions of our time. The installation created by Nika Dubrovsky as a follow-up to the Fight Club theatrical performance and assembly first shown in HKW, Berlin in 2022, was invited to participate at the Art Encounters Biennial 2023.
The next Fight Club will be an installation that will move between different exhibitions. Another part of it will include the distribution of memes on social media. We hope that this project will evolve into a larger project focused on the topic of war, which was the subject that David Graeber was concerned with in his last book.
Stay tuned for more updates
NEW APTART EXHIBITION IN PREPARATION
The exhibition “50 Years of Protest Posters in the UK“, timed with the opening of the David Graeber Institute, has ended. Organized by the Museum of Care and curated by Clive Russell and John Phillips, it included posters and banners from 1975 to the present day.
While our video project with anti-war speeches was suspended, we decided to arrange an exhibition project at the APTART Museum of Care called “War and Peace” at the end of June. Currently, we’re discussing the composition of the participants.
Simultaneously, we are assembling the David Graeber Institute collection to be able to exhibit our previous exhibition elsewhere. If you want to hose one of the Museum Of Care exhibitions at your place, you can either download and print our posters or contact us to arrange a travelling exhibition.
COLLECTIVITY ROOM: TALK WITH VIKTOR MISIANO
In late summer, we will have Viktor Misiano at the Museum of Care to talk about ideas on collectivity in Soviet and early post-soviet art communities. We will cover the ways they distinguished themselves from other artistic groups, the codes of behavior and traditions they adopted, and how they were different from socially accepted norms.
Follow the updates
Firstly, we have opened new rooms:
- Everyday Carnival is a new experimental room where we gather stories about identity and figure out how we can introduce carnivalesque practices into our projects.
- Another Art World: Reading Group and Discussion has emerged from a series of events, discussions, and dialogues around essays written by David Graeber and Nika Dubrovsky.
- Books and Stories is a space for book lovers to share their latest reads and stories.
The following rooms are looking for partners:
- Room of Idleness is looking for co/curators, speakers and partners
- David Graeber’s Tarot Cards is looking for photographer and actors to perform in the photoshoots.
- Books and Stories and Confederation: Mastodon are looking for collaborators
These rooms are still abandoned and waiting for occupation: