Among the numerous partner dances, Argentine Tango is known as “the king” due to its superlative demands and possibilities. Now a global culture with nightly events in most major cities, Tango reliably transports people not only to the psychological state of Flow but also to an experience of perfect unity with another person, accompanied by a sense of inevitability and a perception of artistic import. Dancers brag about their addiction while it emaciates their lives, displacing less intense activities and relationships.
Tango’s dark side is duly more sophisticated than guru authoritarianism, sexual abuse, and financial scandal. Its dark takes us directly to the failures of feminism, the commercialization of community, the violent silence of racism, and the conflict between culture and art.
The first critical book about Tango intended for a commercial readership as a Popular Culture reveal, Until Forever is informed by roughly 2000 conversations with dancers in 5 countries.
“I always knew” … “I finally found” … “I wasn’t happy”… These distinct and repeated biographical narratives drive people to build a business whose primary responsibility is to be a vessel for the pleasure and meaning of work. When artisans talk about making tables, cheese, guitars, and pants they say “I love every bit of it.” … “It’s an absolutely fantastic experience.” … “The best thing about the work is not delivering the shiny final product, but actually doing the work.” …. “When I come home inspired at the end of a day, my kids can look at work not as something to dread, but see that work can be inspiring and gives you joy and energy.”
Something is missing in the contemporary discourse on labor, something has gotten lost between exploitation and burnout: While obscene over- and under-compensation is surely an urgent issue,
It is a distinct and profound fact that not only circus artists and jazz musicians but also dairy farmers and war journalists subsidize their vocation with second jobs because the work is more important than the money.
As they have delivered work from labor and industrial logics, artisans have likewise redeemed materials from their status and calculus as “inputs”. Instead of villainizing consumption, the artisans suggest we can instead define a heroic form of consumption, one which is about quests and stewardship, repair and restoration, and collaboration with craftsmen.
In 2005 in Los Angeles I started running an underground restaurant. This was an expression of the perspectives developed over 10 years teaching the Political Economy of Food course, values that we have now seen blossoming in the Local Food Movement. It was also a way of making politics in a form that more people could relate to. Now 7 years later and 26 10-course dinners for 30 (in 3 countries!) later, I gave in to Andrea Godshalk’s urging that I write the story and teach people how to create politics in their living rooms.
As an underground restaurant, we invite strangers over for dinner. Underground restaurants are a phenomenon. It turns out people are clamoring for the chance to eat pork tartare cooked by untrained chefs in private homes with maybe not enough chairs for everyone to sit down at dinner. Every underground restaurant has its own flavor, ours is about enticing our guests to buy their food from local farmers and artisan producers.
Local food is a successful social movement that is transforming food from a commodity into a community. It turns out people would rather pay more for their food if they get to look the farmer in the eyes and they’d rather not have tomatoes all year long if they can have such amazing flavor when they are in season and picked ripe.
Local food and underground restaurants are ways that people are seeking to recover quality and meaning in their commercial exchanges. This book explains how this yearning can transform our unsustainable and terrifying economies, and how cultural activities like dinner parties are significant and powerful forms of social change.
In 2007 a wall was built in east Germany. Made of steel and cement blocks, topped with razor barbed wire, and reinforced with video monitors and movement sensors, this wall was not put up to protect a prison or a military base, but rather to guard a three-day meeting of the finance ministers of the Group of Eight (G8). The wall manifested a level of security that is increasingly commonplace at meetings regarding the global economy.
The first book to conceptualize the social control of dissent in the era of alterglobalization, it is based on direct observation of more than 20 global summits. It demonstrates that social control has become preemptive and relegates dissent to the realm of criminality.
The charge is insurrection, but the accused have no weapons. The authors document in detail how social control forecloses the spaces through which social movements nurture the development of dissent and effect disruptive challenges.
This book was published by NYU Press in 2011.
Vio co-wrote the novel with Duro. (Duro Y Vio = Dyv) We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.
Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries – the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…
Dancers say “how did you know what I was feeling?”
Global elites, their political henchmen, and media sycophants insist that economic growth, international trade, elimination of subsidies, and privatization will alleviate poverty. Activists’ blossoming confidence that another world is possible is well-rooted.
Analysis of the effects of structural adjustment and free trade policies reveal that their promises are flagrantly unfulfilled. Indeed their impacts have been perverse. Apparently, globalization only works for the rich. Even high-profile administrators of neoliberalism have deserted. Their insider revelations are hardly news to the non-governmental organizations which have been carefully collecting data for decades. Inequality has increased in nearly every country and internationally, the conditions of life for the poor and indigenous have steadily deteriorated, and the environment on which we all depend has been irrevocably damaged.
The holy trinity of export/trade/growth is exposed as a manipulative fraud and each new invocation of the dead and absurd promises of development — that it will bring peace, heal the environment, or end poverty —is more transparent than the previous. The economic and political system promoted by globalization is not only morally bankrupt, but no longer credible in economic practice.
This book is a guide intended to familiarize interested parties with the anti-globalization movement and to provide direction for further research and exploration of the “movement of movements”. Because many exhaustive analyses of the machinations of globalization have already been written (you have probably read several of them) and because this book is focused on the resistance to globalization, this introduction will provide only a rudimentary review of the basis for opposition.
This book was published by Zed Books n 2005. Zed was subsequently purchased by Bloomsbury.
One way to understand economic globalisation is as a process by which multinational corporations have established new enforceable international legal structures that put their rights to do business above human rights and national sovereignty. Naming the Enemy is the first systematic analysis of social movements opposing globalisation and the power of corporations.
These diverse, increasingly coordinated, movements take three general forms internationally:
Movements in outright opposition to multinational corporations. They tend to use democratic institutions, existing state structures, and direct action in attempts to constrain corporate power.
Movements attempting a very different kind of globalisation. These aim to build new international democratic frameworks that will be populist, highly participatory and just.
Movements seeking to delink communities from the global economy and build small-scale economies, celebrating the pleasures of locality .
A wide range of essentially non-socialist social movements are concerned about political economy. They critique economic growth, consumption as the basis of economic prosperity, and dependency on imports and on export markets. This book examines how they understand their enemies and how they envision the future. The movements use a variety of tools to undermine corporate legitimacy, such as the analysis of their behavior as colonial. The book includes analysis of the types of democracy invoked by the movements, their use of alternative epistemology, and their invocations of sovereignty and nationalism. It also tracks current social movements questions regarding movements’ use of identity, culture, and technology.
This book was published by Zed Books n 2005. Zed was subsequently purchased by Bloomsbury.