Your Money or Your Life: Feminist Perspectives on Economy
Edited by Bonnie Fortune and Lise Skou
We are not a capitalist society on earth. We are mutual aid societies ravaged by capitalism.
– Rebecca Solnit
This series of short essays presents research, ideas, and proposals from four scholars and artists on contemporary life lived in the throes of global capitalism. The four women authors are responsible for creative opinions and approaches as to how we, as a culture, might come to inhabit different economic realities.
We, the editors, have been significantly inspired by the work of feminist geographers, J.K. Gibson-Graham, the pen name of scholars Katherine Gibson and the late Julie Graham. This book series came out of our 2014 project, Hidden Economies: a seminar on economic possibility (www.hiddeneconomies.net) which took Gibson-Graham’s The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) as its starting point. Gibson and Graham proposed that there is always already a place outside capitalism because of what they called “hidden economies,” the everyday exchanges from gift giving to theft, that exist within, behind, and next to the dominant economy. The seminar asked:
Capitalist processes shape our daily experiences but do they define them? How and where are people creating economies that ignore the dominant economic system? How do these economies–shared, exchange based, micro-local, etc.–function and what do they look like? Are they temporary or are they sustainable?
We continue this thinking with this series of publications that poke holes in the fabric of capitalism with ideas, theories, and independent trade based projects.
For the initial publication, we are reprinting Katherine Gibson’s contribution to the exhibition “Trade Show” (2013-2014) curated by Kathrin Böhm and Gavin Wade. “Trade Show” explored culturally based economic experiments and practices and different approaches to the concept of trade. Curator Kathrin Böhm contributes the second book with an essay on her project Company, a community-based economic experiment in creating a sustainable drinks industry on the outskirts of London. Marxist-feminist scholar, Kathi Weeks discusses the precarity of waged labor in the third book in the series, with her article “The Problems with Work.” Artist, Kate Rich’s text on Feral Trade, her ongoing hand-delivered grocery business, which trades goods over social networks concludes the series.
Please enjoy, and if you share your book with a friend be sure you trade her for something else.
P.S. Coincidentally, they all of the authors are named Katherine.