Doing things with words under neoliberalism

29-30 September together with art historian and curator Ieva Astahovska we were invited to hold a workshop in Riga in the framework of “Language: from Practice to Action” program curated by Maija Rudovska and Inga Lāce.

The starting point for this workshop was the politics of language and the operation of competition in the cultural scene. How does the neoliberal environment of competition shape our daily lives as professionals? What does it enable, and what does it withhold? In staying aware of its mechanisms, how can we avoid going along with its pressures? Furthermore, what is the impact of competition on the concepts that we use? When do concepts become labels? And what is the work that labelling does? Are there generational differences in using identical concepts? During the workshop we analyzed how language deals with these questions. We also sought together for creative tactics and models, how to do things differently under neoliberal pressures: for instance, how to create space for solidarity where it is not expected, and how to shift competition to cooperation or individual career-based models to the tactics of the commons.

Other workshops in the same program were organised by Victoria Ivanova and Kristel Raesaar, Anne Szefer Karlsen, Katia Krupennikova and Santa Hirša. For more information see here


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