News of the Fair Literal Barcelona

Silvia Federici at the fair Literal 2019

Sunday 12 May at 19h
Fabra I Coats

Silvia Federici: Feminist reference in times of witch-hunt

Sunday 12 May at 19h
Fabra I Coats

Olga Rodríguez will be interviewed by Silvia Federici

We are many who know the thought of Silvia Federici through Caliban and the witch: women, body and primitive accumulation (2004. Translated into 15 languages, including Catalan). The book fell into our hands in times of strikes, night demonstrations and squatting of universities, buildings and squares all over the territory, wrapped perfectly in the questions we then had. What is the relationship between capitalism, patriarchy and colonialism? Why do jobs that take care of life fall on women's backs? How have they come to be invisible and underserved? What violent dynamics generates the current economy? As if it were a tale with a Moraline final, Federici spoke to us about how the original accumulation – the process of transforming feudalism to capitalism in Europe – would not have been possible without the witch-hunt and colonialism, opening up our gaze at The complexity of the violent history of Europe and the understanding of many dynamics of the present.

In the patriarchy of the wage: Feminist criticisms to Marxism (2018) we could immerse ourselves in the feminist debates around the capital of Karl Marx. Federici, as well as other materialist feminists like Dalla Costa or Selma James, takes us into the strong debates of the seventies, when the "personal is political" and the analysis of the economic model were fruitful. In the book we find a series of articles that are both a recognition and a strong critique of the thought and activism of the left to invisibilize domestic work and reproduce it in its own patriarchal power relations. An essay that allows us not only to introduce us to the reflections of the political economy, but also to understand some strong tensions to the social movements.

But not everything is debate. As a result of the ideas put forward, Federici was one of the founders of the international salary for domestic workers committee. From the committee they understood that, defending a salary, they put light on the exploitation of unpaid work by obtaining capitalist benefits and the need to understand the home as a feminist revolt space. In The New York Wages For Housework Committee: History, Theory, Documents. 1972-1977 (2017), Federici relates the experience of the New York Committee and vindicates the forms of political organization related to kitchens, to the care of others, to the feminized bodies. "To what they say love, we call it unpaid work", reminds us of the mobilizer. Federici is also one of the founders of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, a university movement that in the 1980s fought against the structural adjustment plans of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and the project against the penalty of death Of the Radical philosopher, placing on the table how the currently perpetuating and strengthening of violent practices and institutions that feed the colonial patriarchate capitalism.

The patriarchcal and colonial violence is, therefore, a foundational element of the economic system: it allowed its birth and allows nowadays its maintenance. Revolución in Zero point. Trabajo doméstico, Reproducción y Luchas feminist (2014) is another interesting compilation of articles in which we can follow the transformation of the thought of this activist of the Seventies to the present day and, with her, find represented several generations of and their debates. Although in the Seventies the struggle for the salary for housework was an important bet for Federici, in the actuality and in front of the neoliberal policies, the Mobilizer defends work for the construction of the Commons, by the need to appropriate us and to create spaces and That let us decide collectively about our lives. Federici reflects in this direction the last book Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons (2018), which will soon appear in Catalan in Tigre de Paper And in Spanish at Traficantes de Sueños . Silvia Federici will be interviewed by the journalist Olga Rodríguez in the frame of the fair. In his 77 years, this emeritus professor at the University of Hofstra (new York) continues to share reflections on the feminist history, theory and political philosophy and has become for many in a reference. And it is that the thought of Federici has given us meaning and we have changed the senses when looking at our collective history. For us, that "we come from a silence" and we are in an increasingly misty context, it is important to move the paths of the feminist memory and claim the referents located, human, solidarity, with which we talk to understand and transform the World.

In times of accumulation due to the dispossession, closure of borders and the rise of fascism, as it is important that Federici reminded us that "the whole world needs a great shake".