.4 freethought invites…Denise Ferreira da Silva ‘The “Refugee Crisis” and the racial (b)order of global capital’

.4 freethought invites…Denise Ferreira da Silva ‘The “Refugee Crisis” and the racial (b)order of global capital’
Monday 28 September 2015, Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen


Extract from Denise Ferreira da Silva’s lecture:

Following recent protests in the Britain and other countries European countries demanding that they ‘welcome refugees’, I cannot but recall how, Britain, for instance, will welcome them. For they will join migrants now subjected to various degrees of law enforcement – from registering with the Metropolitan Police to incarceration in a detention centre. Focusing on the in/distinction between refugee protection and border protection, I find that raciality accounts for why those displaced by wars of global capital do not really move out of what I call the zone of violence. For it is not only that Western Europe, the United States, and their global business partners are responsible for, with or without military presence, the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Somali, the DRC, Libya, to name a few. These wars as well as the ones in economically dispossessed spaces in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, are part of the global security apparatus. In that, they are the dynamic part of the racial ethico-juridic assemblage that facilitates global capital’s (that is, state capital) access to the productive resources – bodies and territories — needed for capital accumulation. My argument here that today the racial figure of the human plays for financial-global-capital, the same ethical role the notion of the nation played for industrial-state/empire-capital for most of the 20th century.

When putting this talk together, I envisioned a contribution the re-imagining of the social (of its the juridical, the economic, and the ethical) that is necessary if we are to create a legal order “where equal justice for all is a reality, not an aspiration.” Towards this goal this presentation takes three steps. First, I situate the refugee crisis in my larger argument regarding the role of raciality and show how the human functions as a global signifier. Second, I briefly revisit the compilation of the ontological pillars of the figure of human in two key philosophical statements and show how these work through the historical materialist text. And I conclude with an outline of an approach to materialism, namely raw materialism, one which does not rest on these pillars and which I believe might provide a radical of departure for re-imagining global justice.”

. about denise ferreira da silva
Denise Ferreira da Silva teaches at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice (GRSJ) at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is a Philosopher and Political and Critical Legal Theorist. Her recent publications include Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and co-editor of Race, Empire, and the Subprime Crisis (Johns Hopkins 2013), and Notes Towards the End of time (Living Commons Collective, 2015). Her recent most articles include “To Be Announced: Radical Praxis of Knowing at/the Limits of Justice” (Social Text, 2013) and (2014) “Transversing the Circuit of Dispossession” (The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 2014) and “Toward a Black Feminist Poethics: The Quest(ion) of Blackness Towards the End of the World” (The Black Scholar, 2014). She also co-edits the Routledge’s book series Law and the Postcolonial: Ethics, Politics, and Economy and Indigenous Peoples and the Law, is a founding member of the Living Commons Collective, and the editor of Living Commons Press.

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