A light drizzle turned to showers as we gathered again, pouring over our receipts, snacks and clippings from magazines. Initial nerves are now replaced with the comfort of familiarity, excitement at the possibility of a big group effort, and a healthy amount of apprehension about making big decisions together.
We started the day by having students work on collages for a few collective zines we are making. It was a great feeling all working together and everyone in their own little zone creating. Each person was charged with creating pages around each of the concepts: “labor,” “money,” “play,” and “action.” We shared individual pages with each other and launched into a conversation based on the Marx reading from the night before and the short reading by William Morris called “Art and Socialism.” We read sections out loud to the group and debated the merits and faults of capitalism, the idea of productivity, and the role of competition in the market and in our own personal lives.
The students all had really differing opinions. Some students spoke from their own experiences while others spoke more broadly and referred to texts that they had read or heard about before. The discussion got particularly heated around the question of whether competition was an immutable part of human nature with one student asserting “Survival of the fittest is human nature just because the biggest asshole beats everyone up and says it’s human nature!”
In terms of competition in the workshop, it’s definitely a challenge making sure that everyone’s voice is heard. It’s often tricky when there are a few students who are more assertive than others, so as facilitators, we are constantly working on making sure to distribute that power to everyone present.
Student Feedback on the Day:
[The work] was hard! I was totally surprised by the level of discussion and expectations of Hong-An and Huong. I underestimated the project and I was happy and intimidated by the difficulty. I am sick of worshippers of Marx, but I haven’t bothered to really read the “Manifesto” so I’m a pretentious doo doo butt. We all have “it” much better than we think we do and we all have “it” worse at the same time, it just depends on how we look at “it”.
- Robert Cipriano
To see the readings, exercises and media used today, click here.