Debt and Property Violence Workshop

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Organizers: Verónica Gago and Luci Cavallero (GIIF-UBA) in collaboration with the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP)

August 20, 2020
4:00 pm, Buenos Aires 

Organized by GIIF (Grupo de Investigación e Intervención Feminista, Feminist Investigation and Intervention Group, at the University of Buenos Aires) in collaboration with the ICCTP, this is the first workshop in the ICCTP’s series on “Debt, Vulnerability, and Forms of Care.”

The workshop focuses on the relationship between debt and social reproduction along three main lines of inquiry. The first concerns access to housing, which has become a key terrain for the production of debt during the pandemic crisis, thereby intensifying long-standing processes of financial colonization. The second tracks ongoing redefinitions of the legal relationship between creditor and debtor during the pandemic and their culmination in “property violence,” massive evictions, and the expansion of new debts. The third probes the present intertwinement of so-called “essential labor” and gender mandates under forms of hyper-exploitation and moralization, turning the domestic space into a laboratory for capital.

Our guiding questions are: how does debt function as a concrete mechanism of disciplining and value extraction during the pandemic crisis? How does the space of the house, as well as the unequal access to it, function as a material and symbolic site for disputes over unequal, violent and gendered aspects of social reproduction?

This moment of global emergency also marks another emergence: that of conflicts and critiques that dispute the meaning of the pandemic crisis. In this sense, the workshop is an incubator through which we will develop analyses of the present moment as well as a strategy for confronting it. We seek to create a vocabulary that articulates a shared diagnosis of the situation and, in turn, reveals the political oppositional tools that are already present or that will become possible in the future. We aim to produce conceptualizations that will help us map forms of conflict in the pandemic and delineate potential alliances in response and in resistance to them.

In addition to scholars, the workshop will feature activist interventions by local members of tenants’ unions, organizations fighting for urban development in the precarious urban settlements known as “villas,” and LGBTQI+ housing activists.

Raquel Rolnik – LabCidade USP: Brasil
Michele Spanò – EHESS: France
Verónica Gago – GIIF – Ni Una Menos: Argentina
Luci Cavallero – GIIF – Ni Una Menos: Argentina
Liz Mason-Deese – GIIF: Argentina
Florencia Presta – Sindicato de Inquilinxs Agrupadxs: Argentina
Gervasio Muñoz – Sindicato de Inquilinxs Agrupadxs: Argentina
Pablo Vitale – Asociación civil por la igualdad y la Justicia: Argentina
Ana Clara Frosio – CTA-A Asamblea Feminista Villa 31: Argentina
Lucia Furster – Feminist activist for housing rights: Argentina
Pablo Ares – Iconoclasistas: Argentina
Julia Risler – Iconoclasistas: Argentina

Our goal is to continue this process of investigation and debate in a second workshop to be held in November 2020. We will elaborate on the relationship between debt, land, and extractivisms by looking at anti-extractivist struggles, their impact on the ecological crisis, and the connection between financialization and extractivism.


This workshop will take place on Zoom and is not open to the public.