It was an incredible and bittersweet night and one that filled all of us, I think, with an intense feeling of joy despite the circumstances of our coming together.
…Well, we’re doing another one.
To have one’s consciousness raised is not merely to become aware of facts of which one was previously ignorant: it is instead to have one’s whole relationship to the world shifted.
Mark Fisher (1968 — 2017)
In his essay, ‘No Romance Without Finance’, Mark Fisher explored the ways that popular culture functions as a form of consciousness. Music culture, in particular, has largely untapped potentials as a tool for consciousness raising; a tool for the collective production of knowledges and subjectivities, particularly those outside the social mainstream.
The Left has repeatedly failed to harness these potentials in order to instantiate real social change. Countless cultures have been ravaged by the tendrils of a Thatcherite war on dance music that continues to extend into our futures. Nonetheless, Grime’s public embrace of Jeremy Corbyn, for example, was an unprecedented move in this direction.
Consciousness Razing is an attempt to channel these processes whilst celebrating and building upon Mark’s thought. We hope to create further conditions through which we might raze the prevailing cultural consciousness of corporate cultures in favour of a renewed political consciousness. As Mark’s final text, ‘Acid Communism’, demanded: “instead of seeking to overcome capital, we should focus on what capital must always obstruct: the collective capacity to produce, care and enjoy.”
Inherent to these collective capacities are politics of class. Participants are invited to consider class across the UK and globally. The contradictory role of the state is laid bare in its supposed enforcement of ‘common wealth’ (see: ‘aspirational’ culture, ‘social mobility’ or ‘big society’), the production of which it actually blocks (see: austerity, time poverty, visa restrictions). Supposed scarcity produces razed-states of negative solidarity, a race to the bottom that we see played out daily. How can we build anew, in order to raise each other, together?
Hosted by SET in Dalston on 9th June 2018, this afternoon event will position participatory workshops on class and political consciousness alongside a night of forward-thinking dance music, creating the conditions for new dialogues and activities that allow us to collectively navigate the terrain of Mark’s most infamous provocation: Is there no alternative?
Full Lineup TBC
Where: SET, 27a Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF
When: Saturday 9th June, 2pm – 2am
2pm – 9pm (workshops) £5
9pm – 2am (DJs) £5
2pm – 2am (workshops & DJs) £8
All welcome. Tickets available on the door.