“The debt is owed to us”
Feminist Perspectives on Debt, Austerity, and Authoritarian Neoliberalism

Dienstag, 27. Juni 2023, 19.30 Uhr, diffrakt | zentrum für theoretische peripherie

Vortrag und Gespräch mit
Lucí Cavallero | Verónica Gago

Die Veranstaltung findet auf Englisch statt.

As activists engaged in the transnational feminist strike movements and members of the Argentinian Ni Una Menos Collective, Lucí Cavallero and Verónica Gago examine the relationship between debt, labor, and social reproduction. They demonstrate how debt is intimately linked to gendered violence, patriarchal notions of the family, cuts to public services, and accumulation by dispossession. Neoliberal debt management and austerity reinforce the exploitation of unpaid care work and tie concrete desires and needs of everyday life to the abstract logic of valorization. Moreover, the “financial terror” imposed by austerity policies and investment companies amplifies violence against women and queer people in precarious conditions. The increasing indebtedness of private households binds women to violent partners or traps them in abusive living conditions, while expanding the extent of unwaged labor taken on by women, particularly in poor households.

If we want to understand austerity, accordingly, we must begin with the bodies most burdened by debt. They not only analyze why women and LGBTQ+ people are those most affected by debt but present a feminist study of capitalist finance, in which debt is analyzed as a privileged apparatus of new forms of exploitation and extraction. It is against these mechanisms of financial capitalism that feminist movements such as Ni Una Menos create anti-austerity protests that put care and commons at the center of the political discourse in coalition with struggles around housing, evictions, pensions, mortgages, racial policing, and urban gentrification.

Drawing on concrete experiences and practices from Latin America and around the world, Lucí Cavallero and Verónica Gago will present their analysis of austerity and highlight ways in which debt can be resisted.

The event is hosted and organized by Katja Diefenbach, Jule Govrin, Ruth Sonderegger, Pablo Valdivia and the research project Perception, Rights and Valorization in Colonial Modernity: On the Nexus of Primitive Accumulation, Race, and Western Aesthetics (Cultural Philosophy/Philosophies of Culture, European University Frankfurt/Oder), Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna).