Counter-cartographies of the global supply chain

Counter-cartographies of the global supply chain: An insurgent mapping workshop

Supply chains justify their increasing reach into our daily lives by claiming that they provide us with critical necessities when we most need them. But do they? What are the unseen forms of violence, dispossession and exploitation that are concealed in the objects we buy with a simple click of the check-out button? Is there ethical consumption under capitalism? Does an ethical purchase at one site travel through multiple other sites of violence? How have logistical systems grown, developed, and shaped our spaces? Who funds them? Whose lives are considered expendable in their construction? This workshop will map the global supply chain through tracing the passage of everyday commodities from their point of production to your doorstep. In doing so, we will examine the infrastructure and ‘externalized costs’—human, economic, social and environmental—of the international flow of things. We will explore the potential for our own insurgent mapping projects, seeking to understand how supply chains are resilient yet vulnerable and fragile—and to identify where working-class solidarity has the greatest possibility to spread up and down the chain, across sectors, borders–and even oceans.

Charmaine Chua is a member of the Empire Logistics collective and Assistant Professor of Politics at Oberlin College. Her work examines the rise of logistics and containerized shipping in the context of the transPacific supply chain, and seeks to uncover how supply chains that claim to provision life actually distribute inequality, containment, and ‘vulnerability to premature death’.

Laurel Mei-Singh
serves as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in American Studies at Princeton University. Her research interests include land and militarization, the relationship of race and indigeneity to histories of war, and the Pacific. She is writing a book on military fences and grassroots struggles for land and livelihood in Hawai’i.

Tickets are sliding scale: no one turned away for inability to pay.

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The Grundrisse, The Chapter on Capital

Saturday sessions on essential works of Marx
Reading and discussion sessions with Sam Salour and others
This group will meet on Saturdays until June 17

“Forces of production and social relations — two different sides of the development of the social individual — appear to capital as mere means, and are merely means for it to produce on its limited foundation. In fact, however, they are the material conditions to blow this foundation sky-high…” —Karl Marx, The Grundrisse

Perhaps the most curious and least understood aspect of Marx’s work is his method of analysis. Marx viewed all his economic laws as tendencies and it is hard to deny that those tendencies are becoming more and more the realities of today’s capitalism. However, to understand our society we need to do more than reading and accepting his concepts, we must critically analyze them and look for the way of thinking that produced them. It is with this goal in my mind that we should embark on a journey through the long and complex sentences of The German Ideology and the Grundrisse. These works are perhaps the best representation of the process of thinking that found its culmination in Capital and we will be engaging with it during our study. Without a doubt, this will be a long and arduous process but we should always keep in mind that “there is no royal road to science and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits. Starting April 1 we will read from The Chapter on Capital from the Penguin edition of Marx’s Grundrisse. These three-hour sessions will have a 30 minute break at 12:30

No one turned away for inability to pay. $10 per session suggested fee.

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