Lina Dokuzovic - Creating a Politicized Space for Questioning Social
of Violence and Hatred from a Gendered Perspective
An Introduction to the Project “The
Regulation of Violence: On the Body, Otherness and the Crisis of (Human)
A violent imposition of divide and conquer ideology is used to maintain
a normalized status inside of the invisible borders that the “other”
is forced to protect. The body, therefore, replaces the border of this
very regulation. The body receives direct and displaced violence, and
through the continuous regulation of racial and gender stereotypes and
divisions, it more visibly marks this pathological social dichotomy
and acts as a landscape for global violence with the role as a de-territorialized
colony of the empire.
All those trying to challenge, cross or live between these conceptualizations
are forced to face the divisions and see the differences – which
those who are not challenged with this position are unable to witness.
Those who witness this gap are not only bearing witness to its existence
but experiencing it in the most extreme way – by existing as walking
commodities – whether they stand aware of their instrumentalization
and subjugation or not. The globalized homogenization of sexism and
racism immobilize the potential for resistance through a pathological
relationship of separation and remedy. The identification of that separation
could potentially incite confrontation and antagonism between the social
classes, posing a threat to comfortable ignorance and apathy.
Current EU initiatives in employment and education, such as the establishment
of the European Higher Education Area or the European Research Area,
promote the integration and advancement of women in the economy. Which
impact does the disappearing of and reestablishment of borders have
on this and vice versa? What is the link between the political and economic
within this scenario and how is the definition of “woman”
utilized to sustain this system; i.e. why is it in effect regulated?
And what is the role of integration within the current state of economic
An artificial balance is recreated through the tradeoff between the
freedom of the market and of life itself. The free market is projected
onto the body as an object of commodity and landscape of violence, erasing
a public and social history, imprinting it onto the very body itself.
Profit and rights are allowed within a framework of correspondingly
supporting private sector growth and profit. So then with this displacement
and reimposed practice of borders and violence, is the same thing not
happening with the current neoliberal crisis? Is the crisis of capital
not being transposed and imposed as a crisis of the body, producing
a greater level in displaced sexism, racism and gender articulation?
If it is precisely the constructed social divisions and dichotomies
which fuel the economy – and the gaps between these divisions
that symbolizes the accumulation of wealth – which role does queerness
hold in resistance? If the implications of queering the social are being
and have been explored, what are the potential implications of queering
the economic and is queer inherently a threat to the economic as well?
Is queer, by default then, not queering the economic? Or is it creating
a new frontier for market appropriation? If queer inherently defies
the divisions that supply economic growth, and neoliberal capitalism
lives off of the obscuring and displacing of borders, then what potentiality
is there for a queer strategy that considers the neoliberal condition?
Italian post-Marxist feminists, such as Silvia Federici, have introduced
the analysis of “reproductive labor” – the unpaid
labor with which women produce the major foundation of capitalist exploitation
– repositioning certain historical and contemporary theoretical
positions in a way that displaces the heteronormative tendencies in
art and theory. From this re-articulation of women’s role in the
(re-)production of capital, this workshop will take a look at the current
worldwide and EU initiatives during a time of economic crisis and disappearing
borders in order to evaluate what work is and what it means for the
livelihood of those who are forcefully excluded from the workforce.
How can we reclaim this reproductive power – not limited to reproducing
bodies, but extended as cultural workers, theorists, activists, artists,
educators, etc. – to intervene into social structures and (re-)produce
politicized platforms and ideologies the way that we want to?
The aim of this workshop and publication was, therefore, to analyze
how deregulation continues to regulate the social with a focus on how
gender and “otherness” are produced and which socially resistant
practices hold relevance within this scenario – such as artistic
practices, queerness, political activism, etc. – and through this
to create a politicized space for analysis, creating a history together,
mapping how social divisions have been used as a landscape for violence
and ultimately for economic productivity.
A series of on-going interviews and discussions with local and international
activists, artists and theorists composes the bulk of the textual content
as the contribution to a continuous platform for discussions, analyzing
the influence and continuities of capitalist imposition and nationalistic
policies onto the bodies and social landscape worldwide. A workshop,
a performative articulation of theory, as lectures, artworks, screenings,
discussions (in English and German) was to bring this virtual political
space to a concrete local space at the VBKÖ on October 3rd, 2009.
Project participants: Ricarda Denzer, Lina Dokuzovic, Silvia Federici,
Vlatka Frketic, Marina Grzinic, h.arta, Ana Hoffner, Ivana Marjanovic,
Sascha Reichstein, Johanna Schaffer, Khadija Sharife and Stasa Zajovic.
Workshop organization, exhibition and publication edited by Lina Dokuzovic.