Thursday 25 October 2012Posted in Past Events
Thursday 25 October 2012, 7:30 PM
Pandemonium, 2920 Dundas St. West (near Pacific)
Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books 2012) is written in response to the combined, global ecological and economic crisis now rocking the entire world—and comes out of an awareness of how these two aspects of the crisis drive each other forward in a sort of feedback loop, though the real motor of destruction behind both crises is the idea that constant growth is both necessary and desirable—the means and end of social production—to which everything—air water labour life—can and must be sacrificed.
More specifically, it’s a book about the response to this situation embodied in the Occupy movement and its associated global formations (Indignados, Red Squares, etc). This response takes the form, primarily, of a recognition that system change is the only “realistic” starting point for finding solutions to the global crisis: the current socio-economic system only really serves profit accumulation and the minority of people who are controlling the system in order to ensure their continuing unequal accumulation of profit. This leads to and is in fact predicated upon exploitation, oppression, and environmental destruction: it is always creating crises. And the situation is becoming starker, and thus clearer, all the time—in part because of certain ecological thresholds that we are now crossing.
In this talk poet Stephen Collis will discuss his new book and his involvement in the Occupy movement, covering topics ranging from the place of the movement in the history of recent social struggles, the movement’s future prospects and directions, and the role of poetry in the ongoing resistance.
Books will be available for purchase
Stephen Collis is an award winning poet, activist, and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (2005), The Commons (2008), Onthe Material (2010 — awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and the forthcoming To the Barricades and The Red Album (2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (2007). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (2012), comes out of his activist experiences and is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change. A Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University in 2011/12, Collis has read and lectured across Canada, the United States, and Europe.
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