ARTS OF THE WORKING CLASS
Issue 21: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PAGES
Beyond: Thats where the world is now. At this moment in time, when cultural differences are caught between the interface of our own projections and the caducity of exponential growth, desire and extinction, meaning and performance, transgression and abstraction, reality shows and the virality of war images, to go beyond is todays kind of tourism. And that is an act of epistemic violence. On this side of AWC Issue 21, tourism is revisited as a method of expansion and tokenization. It is tourism which has contributed to mass movements of depravation, pollution and nationalistic fervor. With it, we perpetuate the hegemonic gaze that still wants to conquer, fetishise and deprive. Together with contributing editors Abhijan Toto and Daniela Labra, we collected the clearest examples available. The title of this tourism and displacement issue that we throw for the fourth year anniversary of our magazine takes Jules Vernes proto sci-fi book as a starting point for our shared research. Verne, the poet and writer whose narratives took us on a journey into imaginary and inconceivable worlds, left us with an invaluable lesson: we perceive the world in its entirety only through technology, and it is this technology that can only be helpful if its tools are accessible to everyone, rather than as means for individual convenience. Vernes Around the World in 80 Days was the prototype of the opposite intention: the model and passepartout of the easyJet traveler. Circumnavigating the world would be better not as a tourist, but as water. Shapeless, fearless, taking the form of the vessel in which we could travel and explore.
Beyond Borders. Beyond perception. Beyond colonial relations. The very presence of forcibly displaced individuals and immigrants in Europe today fuels the representative narrative of the EU itself. By allowing treacherous stereotypes to flood the shrinking common ground left with those on the other side of the war, new forms of racial and social discrimination are created. Borders are blocking us from de-escalating the anger towards everything that does not represent itself as the West, while prices keep working people hostage in an epistemic limbo of appearance and disposability within capitalism. Beyond, wrote Indian English scholar and critical theorist Homi K. Bhabha almost thirty years ago, is neither a new horizon, nor a leaving behind of the past. If thats the case, we are completely disoriented in a world of sophisticated and well-orchestrated economies of conflicts and division. Privilege maintains a castle in the clouds while we are forced to keep looking for its ladders. If this is social design, then who holds the power to impact global migration in times of accelerated mobility, persistent colonialism and war? Are we in a state of homelessness, as Turkish author and journalist Ece Temelkuran wrote? Homeless, she wrote, means not knowing who we tell our stories to. When the Istanbul Criminal Court delivered its outrageous verdict of lifelong imprisonment for opposition activist Osman Kavala in April, Temelkurans question of When can I return home? turned into Will there be a home to return to? The open mass production of homelessness and displacement for political leverage has amassed major capital for criminal warlords such as Erdogan and Putin. But displacement, like unemployment, is a central element of capitalist exploitation, and maybe the most characteristic feature of the economic system of our day. Four years ago, the force of this collective disorientation took the founders of this paper to consider language as the vehicle for comradery
in spite of dissonance and social crises that soak the arts and their function in global society that strides from distress to ecstasy, biennials to marches, poetics to politics, peripheries to centers of power and the persistence of tradition to abolitionist wonders.
We thank you, dear readers, for being bodies of restless and revisionary energy, sweating, swearing, contradicting the expanded field that we share now of mediatic eccentrism and lost subjectivities. To be continued.
With contributions from: Rahel Aima, Volodymyra Aminova, Jean Carlos Azuo, Francesca Bria and Jaya Klara Brekke, UBI Circles, George Edwards, Rosalia Namsai Engchuan, February24, Elise Girardot, The New Institut, Alexander Klose, Alina Kolar, Ira Konyukhova, Matylda Krzykowski, Daniela Labra, LIOS labs, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Filippe Lippe, Omri Livne, Pablo Santacan Lopez, Zoë Claire Miller, Jazz Money, Ido Nahari, Miwa Negoro, Theo Prodromidis, Pia Marie Remmers, Collective Rewilding, Nuno de Brito Rocha, Agnieszka Roguski, Marta Torres Ruiz, Federico Sancez, SexyKapitalismus, Arash Shahali, Elena Vogman and Joshua Simon, Kuba Szreder, Abhijan Toto, Florian Voss, Shen Xin