Shrimping under working conditions

Gallardo, Francisco and Samson, Audrey. 2017. Shrimping under working conditions. In: Helen Pritchard; Eric Snodgrass and Magda Tyżlik-Carver, eds. EXECUTING PRACTICES. (06) Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, pp. 253-266. ISBN 9781570273216 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

We propose that mutated forms of death are emerging with neoliberalism’s biopolitical financialisation of life. Thinking of such forms as commercial extinction and social death, how do we begin to frame these outside of a quantified rhetoric of surplus? These questions aim to provoke a discussion about these terms that can be interpreted as modes of exhaustion, while maintaining particular biological, social or economic conditions of life. When we are confronted with capitalism’s failure to fulfil resource exhaustion, a model of conservation by dispossession1 might emerge within what Rosi Braidotti calls “new and subtler degrees of death and extinction” (2013, 115). In this text we want to think with other conditions of death and extinction that can help to move beyond the missing item of an inventory, a carved rock along a fossil road or a set of pre-emptive actions to be executed beyond a certain threshold. Thus, we ask if there could be figures, which rather than narrating death as a biological or geological concept, open it up to other equally violent forces that are nevertheless materially situated. More importantly, will we ever be able to think of extinction beyond ideas of absence or frame death from social or economic realms as an emerging mode of living? In order to address many of these questions we dissect a critical example of extinction, that of the brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) as it flips between commercial (albeit not yet biotic) death in the ex-fishing grounds of the South East corner of the UK, and the social death embedded in the labour-power of the ex-processing factories of the Special Economic Zones of Tangier and Tetuan in Morocco.

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Book Section


Financialisation; Statistics; Death; Commercial extinction; Social death; Brown shrimp; Free trade zone

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Date Deposited:

11 Dec 2019 13:28

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:21


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