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Article Title

Suspended Life

Abstract

Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, reminds us that globalization and the explosion in social inequality over the past half century have not “just happened” of their own accord, but have occurred by design. Free trade agreements, deregulation policies, corporate downsizing, the privatization of resources and the evisceration of the social safety net, “are carefully hammered out deals that determine which sectors will [be] exposed to more competition, which sectors will see increased protection (e.g. pharmaceuticals and Disney), and which sectors will largely be left alone.”1 The resulting transformations in the fabric of human society mark a quite explicit attempt to dislocate previous social arrangements in order to impose and regiment ― make permanent ― new alignments of hyper-exploitation among the international labor force.

Suspended Life uses images to reveal the structural violence that informs the juridical, political and cultural relationship between property and bodies. The massive geographic and inter-personal dislocations that have resulted from the range of practices falling under the rubric of “neoliberalism” are often marked as an absence, a ghostly estrangement that has spread like a quiet cancer across the American heartland, leaving only the outlines of the social relations they have displaced. In the upheaval that has left an exhausted, desolate landscape in its wake, we are not only able to discern the outlines of an idealized past but also the more troubling remnants of colonial-settlerism, racism and the promises of an American dream that was always more horizon than reality.

Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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