m of care – sept 22
via nika dubrovsky on fb:
Dear all, here is our updated schedule for today https://museum.care/…/visual-assembly-in-madrid-22…/
Please, join us! we start in two hours and will continue for a while. Feels like a big family: there are so many of us: in zoom and off-line.
Please, join! Nika
Join us on September 22 at 3 PM Madrid time for the 1st year memorial of David Graeber, in person or on zoom:
For a conversation with friends, street dinner, dancing, singing and collective reading of David’s text with Jeremy Corbyn, Reverend Billy and Church of Stop Shopping, Nika Dubrovsky, Extinction Rebellion, Steve Keen, Boris Groys, The Yes Man Group, Anton Newcombe and many more.
David Graeber was an activist, writer, anthropologist, one of the authors of “we are the 99%,” and member of Occupy movement who died last year in Venice. Last year instead of a funeral, we organized a Carnival4David that took place in 250 places worldwide.
This year many artists came to Madrid from Mexico – a composer Tareke Ortiz and freinds, New York City- Church of Stop Shopping, London- Museum of Care, Berlin – Carnival4David last year, Bologna – Museum of Care, etc. to take part in Visual Assembly to commemorate David Graeber’s life.
Our project was so innocent – we planned to use chalk for the public art project combining street theatre, painting, and a virtual assembly of people worldwide.
Over the past months, many times, we applied for the city’s permit, but we were finally denied.
So, this is the invitation to the canceled event, to a street dinner, to a collective reading, to a space where we can be together, and we promised: it would be fun!
Let’s talk about freedom and care, and why one is impossible without the other.
David Graeber used to say that prisons claim to take care of their inmates—provide them with housing, food, even medical attention—and yet it is the worst place to be. While mothers take of their kids to lets them play, prison is here to punish and control.
On the 10th anniversary of the Occupy, it is a time to talk about why promises of care so often end up in fascism.
notes/quotes from zoom (55 here at start):
nika (in madrid): opening.. lasso was in charge of va and will describe that.. so.. dangerous to paint w chalk on street.. so we changed.. looks like we got a present from madrid govt.. instead of art.. which we can do anytime.. we will talk on politics.. colonialism.. et al.. 10 anniv of occupy.. perfect to talk about how often talk of care and freedom turn out in oppression.. .. while mothers take care of kids to play.. prison punish.. then on david’s parents.. fam so related to anarchist movements.. so why in this times.. what to do.. david would say.. let’s talk..
antonio rodriques (in madrid.. from chapas mexico): in spanish/english.. something that unites us all.. on death celebrated.. as celebrating the life.. departing from the memory we have.. zapatista’s released a text you can find.. talks about all people who are no longer w us.. and now we are the extension of their worth.. ‘the word of the flower may die.. who names the flower today.. all of us here now we have a word..’ .. now what i want to say.. (lost him).. important to think about the word we want to leave.. it’s only when we are alive we have the power to speak.. and sometimes we speak w/o helping those who will come after us.. i say that because i’m originally from indigenous in mexico.. in our upbringing we have pressing that our life is going to go on beyond us.. has nothing to do w whether we have children or not.. but that life goes on w/o us.. so we are responsible for that future.. we need to think what word do we want to give.. and the future we want to inherit.. so when we speak about the word of flower.. we’re thinking about our desire/heart/future-we-want..
(now 63 here)
jeremy corbyn: it’s hard to believe this time has passed since david went away.. thank you to david for solidarity he gave me many times during enormous pressure.. he had this amazing imagination.. to challenge the econ norms and empower people and to rep people.. he left behind things very few of us do.. imagination and hope.. he inspired/change minds.. so.. laid seeds for more hopeful future.. in david’s memory.. let’s do that work.. challenge concept of eternal growth.. environ sustainability
astra taylor: a few days before david passed trying to get together and he texted: ‘no idea of time.. time is being reinvented..’ .. now instantaneously we became friends.. that was david.. he was incredibly gregarious.. that sociability fed into his activism.. aug 2011 sent me an email as invite to planning for occupy.. i remember how please david was at zuccati park.. he didn’t push.. he kept opening doors.. led to my work in debt.. ‘we ultimately understand that to be able to take care of people we care about.. that no govt can measure.. take away from us.. every dollar is a tiny piece of our own life we can give back..’ to david it was all bout love.. public convo in 2019 david talked about ‘the pleasure of changing your mind’ that our minds/societies/values can be changed.. very often the stories we are told just aren’t true.. all these arrangements can be transformed.. but david realized.. can’t change them alone.. ie: via books.. need to be activists.. i respected how much he embodied those perspectives.. persistence on seeing things diff.. siding w underdog.. challenging the pompous.. keeping joy.. refuse to lose site of the possibility .. not necessarily the inevitability.. of our liberation..
anton newcombe: when you think about occupy and what people were trying to accomplish.. most would be shocked how these issues have multiplied in these 10 yrs.. ie: now few trillion dollars.. et al.. such a mad world now.. more importantly.. now activists .. people i love.. so frustrated.. and lashing out at others.. this outrage.. because overwhelming.. so think about david.. the one thing from times i spent/talked w him.. how his mental attitude was pretty positive.. even w the serious business he dealt with.. his positive mental attitude was really helpful.. you might not be able to grasp all his academic skills.. processing info.. but you can learn something from that real positivity of what you’re doing.. i want to keep reminding myself of that.. ie: friend in us.. so smart.. but so in outrage.. and justified.. so angry.. but not helpful..
james: nika just said in the chat: we need the joy
steve keen: you have to be very personal/analytical about david.. it’s as much personal and intellectual.. i evaded 2020.. covid.. essentially was a spectator.. then in convo.. and saw message that david had died.. i was devastated.. and i remember thinking.. here is how you didn’t evade 2020.. if you learn econ as well as i have.. you realize it’s built on myths.. i call it mythamatics..
steve keen: my fav part of debt: ‘we’re still trucking/bartering.. only wanted to talk about money.. everywhere.. even in madagascar.. there’s no evidence it (barter) ever happened .. economists live w myths.. ignore info that made it clear that ie: smith made it up…’.. the same nonsense is alive on steroids today.. ie: on climate change data .. nonsense conclusion from square of time/temp increase.. (talking math).. what david id’d .. the myths.. are still there.. and we should honor david by getting rid of traditional econ
molly crabapple: david.. constant inspiration to all.. so much already said.. i want to talk about two other qualities 1\ generosity 2\ sense of michief .. on generosity.. allowing any reader to see themselves in his work.. no matter their ed background et al.. when walked streets was friends w every type of people.. bought me a book out of the blue.. he liked to give/get gifts.. that capacity of joy.. on mischief.. this dorky boy who has seen all the ridiculous ness of the world.. and his kind of laughing at it.. that i can see my way out of this bs trap.. he had sign no cops/journalists and i was a journalist.. we just laughed.. he was always ready to pick a fight for injustice.. but never bitter.. the world is smaller for david’s loss.. no consolation in that except that we need to try to live in those ways he embodied best.. of questioning bs.. of laughter..
(now 70 here)
david riff: on visual assembly w david and nika.. and imagining it in lockdown.. ie: rethinking healthcare when crisis of care was so heightened.. responding to what nika sent and tools to fight fascism today.. came from debt book.. section on communism.. ie: much of our thinking about communism is mythamatical.. ie: ‘garden of eden.. h/g bands.. then fall.. getting to position to put things back.. ‘.. david points out this is a bad direction.. instead he argues ‘communism is something that exists right now.. all of us act like communists at sometime.. none of us all the time.. bedrock for all human sociability.. solidarity more in some people than others.. this is the problem.. ruptures.. when hospitality becomes hostility.. that’s when this happens’.. when i read this .. really impressed.. ie: communism not utopianism.. it’s here and now.. when strangers becomes sisters/brothers.. i don’t want to say that only emergencies prompt this.. david saw this baseline all the time.. and he lived on.. everyday communism being potential in our lives
vinay (friend of david’s): i’m in a town in armenia .. thinking about the ghosts of communism.. and struggle of communities to determine their own fate.. thinking about chapas.. and difficulty to find a language w/in a dissolving union around communism.. ie: 4000 died from invasion.. in context of population.. 400 000 in us.. .. i think david for me is a comrade that tried to think that impossible space of reconciling leftist history w all the limits/blind-spots.. basically the reinvention of diff politics.. sense of politics.. is a very precious loss.. this month is going to be heavy.. marking 1 yr of a lot of young people that died.. trying to reconcile lives lost who have no recognition compared to david remembered by so many.. he was also an every man.. that special quality to be involved in everything.. fully present.. (someone starts talking over him.. he says: it makes sense to have someone talking at the same time right now).. to make sense of whatever has been a left.. and some affinity to change..
ekaterina degot: from same festival as david riff.. will always remain an unrealized project.. so what is debt about for me.. to always see big picture of world.. which is to see how horribly wrong since 60s.. is it more justice.. or more injustice legalized.. et al.. david is the one to look for answers here.. he’s the one to read.. the one who always shows the light in the tunnels.. he helps me from ie: bs art.. performance/commercialized/work-with-wage.. led to trap of art as part of corp production machine.. so non bs art.. would not be about being useful.. but for everyone and relevant.. and we should never forget the notion of play..
andris brinkmanis: never known david in person.. sadly.. my beginning started with (?) asking me to help nika.. found nika sitting in restaurant w her children next to my house w/o a cell phone use.. i started working on translation.. (for david’s death?).. then nika invited me to participate.. in m of care.. w my students.. anarchist anthology: ‘what is revolutionary action.. any action that rejects/confronts power.. doesn’t have to topple govts.. creates autonomous communities.. continual acts can change almost anything’.. so to me being able to be involved in this is that.. create collectively.. that will sooner/later change on a greater level
jacques (andy/yes men): quote from dawn of everything .. ‘what’s meant by self conscious political actor.. neursce’s tell us we spend most of time on auto pilot.. when capable of self aware.. usually during brief time.. roughly 7 sec.. what neurosci’s almost never notice.. is that the great exception to this is when we’re talking to someone else.. in convo.. almost for hours on end.. human thought inherently dialogic.. can even talk to self.. humans only conscious when arguing.. trying to work out problem.. what we’d now call political consciousness always assumed to come first.. on seeing rational individual as crazy man in cage.. ‘the rational actor as myth’.. before that.. believed people blind fully followed traditions.. convince selves restoring ancient customs or divine inspiration.. ‘.. goes on to how rich history of people coming up w new social orders is.. the book expresses the kind/hope he embodied..
havin gunesar: nika called me from venice when david died and immediately went there.. he has been w us every step of the way.. by way of realizing the desire of free/equal world.. if one thing about david.. his insistence on seeing things differently.. he was able to bring things together in novel ways.. his unmatched creativity.. a revolutionary/visionary w/o a doubt.. esp in rojava.. whenever oppressed trying to take things in own hands and build something new.. david was always there.. he took on the whole world.. in essay on political philosophy of rojava: ‘refusal to believe that anyone that has taken effective political action.. can also have equal development of ideas/thoughts.. ‘.. he was the intellectual our world needs.. able to resist the academic worlds uniformity.. met him when he came to talk about debt in germany.. we talked about museum of care and revolution and struggles against fascism.. he supported radical movements that changed our lives forever.. only way out of existent quagmire is .. based on..freedom of one.. is freedom of others.. a brilliant anthro.. activist.. capacity for producing meaning.. he lives on wherever there is free human spirit
last speaker.. then on to madrid speakers.. before the open mic
debbie bookchin: david used to say anarchism was not his id but something he did.. that described his approach to life.. that rare academic.. that ideas were not just for contemplating in ivory tower.. but found purest meaning when put into practice.. david was never subject to the cant of the uni.. ideas for him were basis for building new/enchanted life.. what he and i worked together on: rojava.. he had keen understanding of egal society being built there.. he knew how much *ed/patience it takes to put direct democracy into practice.. today.. we’ve narrowed our vision so much.. ie: a united 99% has been forgotten.. esp in us.. country of david’s birth.. lost forest for trees.. failed to see (effects of )presence in ie: syria/rojava, turkey.. of a few.. if we don’t care deeply about others.. not really true revolutionaries.. time for us to carry david’s values forward in daily lives.. to actively stand w oppressed everywhere.. ie: turkey, syria.. do it because david isn’t here to do it for us
james schneider (host): to 2nd part.. back to madrid
nika: inviting those w her to talk.. sing.. ‘you explained what people were doing to us in a way we never understood’
jamie kelsey (extinction rebellion guy.. hosting open mic): summary: on flowers and joy and humility and occupy): when rev billy arrived in occupy london.. came straight from prison.. his first question.. where’s the kitchen.. we all thought he was hungry.. but he did washing up for 3 hrs.. that’s humility.. we’ll hear form him later.. but fist laura (jeremy’s half)
laura alvarez: i can think of no one better than david.. in his own words.. an event he felt passionately about.. indigenous group in s america 2009.. et al.. david said.. environ justice won’t happen w/o social justice
jamie: a lot of english spoken and we need to make sure we remember this isn’t the only language..
maria prieto: show people in the square.. speaking in spanish.. don’t see anyone wanting to speak
jamie: great person we haven’t heard from.. when david and nika met art dept of extinction rebellion.. m of care exploded in working w clive, charlie and claire.. visual assembly really emerged.. so clive.. from this aint rock and roll.. grand dad unmute yourself..
clive russell: i was amazed to finally meet david and nika.. very difficult to do these things (extinction rebellion) and you don’t do it alone.. am trying to explain something we originally wanted to do today.. something visual.. so hard.. ‘madrid cares’.. in fact authorities were ‘careless’.. we can still sing.. ie: w rev billy.. but that’s not what we imagined.. placing thoughts online.. and people in madrid.. and jamie conducting english/spanish versions online.. a crazy/chaotic/joyous painting made from lots of stencils made from across the world.. we will do a visual assembly in my hometown.. london.. and we’d like to help others across the world do this as well.. connected together online.. point of this assembly will be.. then info on how to be a part.. remember.. art can be a weapon.. art really hasn’t ever been as important as it is now.. not enough to have good songs.. we need to win the culture war and have songs about care and freedom
jamie: siesta time in barcelona.. so people not up yet.. so .. going to start w the assembly..
maria prieto: intro this section in english/spanish.. invite you to speak about community of care..
then open mic in madrid..
first guy who was working w david at occupy.. et al
i left zoom.. after 105 min
The stencils I prepared for the Visual Assembly in Madrid:
Edward Gordon Craig + his super marionette and David Graeber’s signature from the books in his library.
Many others can be downloaded at the link at the bottom of the page:
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1439715714202574854