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THE VOICE ISSUE

 

 
 Dearest Outsiders,

Talking about capitalism seems almost trendy. (weird). It’s cool to be “anti-capitalism”, but do we really see what’s going on? Do we know how it is affecting us personally? These personal problems are precisely the point because they are in fact not necessarily personal. They are what we have in common.

Our last discussion about exploitative work sparked an incredible reaction. You wrote in with spontaneous sharings of your experienced oppression, reported having read aloud the email to your flatmates, you sparked previously unsaid conversations.

This is revolutionary. What you did last week, was an accidental raising of consciousness. And this week we make it intentional.

Yours as always,

Jess
 

P.S. Exploiter or Exploitee? Revealed that the state of precarity in creative work was not limited to a junior issue. Those at all parts of the spectrum feel the affects. I would be interested to know which readers work for a single employer vs. being freelance or self-employed. If you feel like writing in, please do.
 


 


Outsider 139

C-RAISING

 

The Technique You Triggered


 
 

Consciousness-raising is a form of activism. It is drawing attention to a condition or cause by getting together to talk about it. It is here we discover that our problems are not necessarily personal but are caused by structures, and that we’re actually all experiencing the same thing.
 

I’m calling it C-Raising because the word ‘consciousness’ has been so grossly abused by the (capitalist) wellness industry that it has all sorts of perverted connotations that I don’t want your mind jumping to before we even begin.



 





C-Raising was a key tool utilised by historical social movements; from the feminist movement of the 1970’s and later within strands of gay liberation and black power.
 
 
 


In the Old Left, they used to say that the workers don't know they're oppressed, so we have to raise their consciousness.

One night at a meeting I said, 'Would everybody please give me an example from their own life on how they experience oppression as a woman? I need to hear it to raise my own consciousness.'

– Anne Forer. New York Radical Women. 1967
 
 

There is no one method for C-Raising. However, small group discussion is extremely effective at breaking down the isolation from one another that makes us misunderstand many of our problems as “personal”, or resulting from the personality conflicts of individuals, rather than systemic forms of oppression.

 
> > >


HELLO PRECARITY
 
Every phase of capitalism has a dominant affect, and that affect is always a public secret. Something we all know but nobody talks about. A mechanism of control. The dominant affect and public secret of our phase is anxiety.
 


“ALL FORMS OF INTENSITY, SELF-EXPRESSION, EMOTIONAL CONNECTION, IMMEDIACY, AND ENJOYMENT ARE NOW LACED WITH ANXIETY.

IT HAS BECOME THE LINCHPIN OF SUBORDINATION.”


- Institute for Precarious Consciousness


 
We are surveilled 24/7. From ‘above’ and from one another. Life is a constant performance of portrayed success (lookin’ at you social media, lookin' at you conversations with friends, lookin' at you parent talk) from what you’re eating to what you’re working on, and since everyone is disposable if you don’t perform accordingly you risk being “delinked”. Delinking can mean being cut off socially, but it can also mean not getting work or being unable to access bureaucratic systems.
 
No wonder we’re all anxious! It is (no) public secret that life is a fierce competition and we need to be always-on. The dominant affect of our anxiety is precarity. Precarity is the word used for that absence of security in our lives that controls us by treating us as disposable.

 



NO LONGER A PUBLIC SECRET

Strategies against precarity can only emerge if it’s no longer a public secret. That’s why C-Raising so effective. Talking about our situation and feelings out loud, with others, creates the potential for revolution to arise. We discover overlaps in our lives and find these overlaps are caused by the structures we’re living in. We learn that our anxieties are political.
 


i'm definitely working more hours than i'm billing them for.

-

when i packed up my desk to leave on time yesterday, my boss said "working half days now?"

-

do you ever feel like your hobbies suffer because of work?

-

i felt like if i negotiated too hard, they might retract the offer all together.



 

This is crucial. Getting together, in real life.

Sharing experience and finding commonality.

 


LETS GET POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS
ON WORK TIME



 


We are told our stress is an individual psychological problem and it’s up to us to fix it. Go to yoga! Start meditating! You’re stressed at your job? It’s cause you’re not experienced enough. You’re not being efficient with your time ­– read a book on time management.
 
Not true. Self development is a farce.
 

YOUR ACTIVISM = OUR ACTIVISM
 
Your activism can start right here, right now. Hijack your work lunch with the question “How do you feel at the end of a day’s work?”. Next time you’re having beers with friends ask, “Are you ever unobserved?” or, “How does telling people what you do for money make you feel?”.

If it is compelling to you; why not organise a C-Raising session with friends, friends of friends, neighbours – whoever! You don't have to know everyone. Here are some questions to get us started.

 
>>> QUESTIONS <<<

 

  • How much of your time do you spend thinking about work?
  • Does your work affect your home life?
  • Have you ever felt burnt out?
  • How does your workplace recognise, treat or handle anxiety?
  • What do you do to manage your reputation?
  • Do you know what will be paying your bills in six months' time?
  • What would happen if you went AWOL for a day?
  • What parts of yourself are unwelcome in the market?
  • Who do you compete with?
  • Who do you care for? Who cares for you?
  • Do you feel pressure around self-development?
  • How much sleep do you get?

>>> QUESTIONS <<<
 
 

"... We may have more formally called it 'Consciousness-Raising', but in essence we were telling eachother stories to reclaim our lives and our humanity...


We didn’t have to all tell the same story in order to
 

 

resonate with each other."




- Loretta. J. Ross
African-American Feminist
 

 



NOT RANTING, NOT THERAPY

Our public secret is protected by a culture of silence. Overthrow it. Take back the truth and our reality – shift it from the system back to the speaker. By exercising our voices together we change the way we are seeing things. Perspective moves from that of the system to our own. Our own vision and desires. We break down the isolated existences that maintain the power structures.
 
It’s not about bashing your boss, nor is it therapy (although the result may feel therapeutic).

 
 
 

 

 

self-disclosure as a means of self-emancipation



 

 



THINK ABOUT IT

If we all know how much each other is earning, then the employer loses total power in their current salary oppression mechanisms. I’m not saying you have to make everything private public, but by increasing our vulnerability and revealing we are experiencing pains and not happy all of the time, we break the silence that is fortifying the situation.
 
You want to talk resistance and empowerment? This is it.

 
 

"We believe that revolutionary strategy must always be based on collective discussions on the experience of life"
Plan-C


 


This has to happen together. IRL is great, virtual can do too. Collectively overcoming the alienating individualism of capitalist culture.


 
LONG LIVE OFFLINE INTERACTION

This is where I leave you. Fuelled to see the structures around us and confirmed that you are part of something bigger – you are part of this group of Outsiders, you are not alone in this fight. We are strategising together.
 
If you have thoughts, anecdotes, or anything to share, please get in touch. Tell us what you do next.
 

Always C-Raising together,

– Jess
jh@outsider.works
 
>>> QUOTE <<<

 

 

" Information is like a bank. Some of us are rich, some of us are poor with information. All of us can be rich. Our job, your job, is to rob the bank, to kill the guard, to go out there, to destroy everybody who keeps and hides the whole information."

— "Decoder 5: Information Bank," from the album Sugarmorphoses by Genesis P-Orridge and Psychic TV, 1994
 


>>> QUOTE <<<

DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
 
Outsider is a counter-culture punch from inside the creative industry.

Promoting real life interaction. Pro-offline.


It came into being after watching client after client come seeking 'relevance' with 'millennials' and crying inside. Seeing misconceptions on the efficacy of social media rise. 

Named Outsider as, like Outsider Art, we observed that no/informal training cultivates greater instinct and disregard for 'rules' and established systems.

    
Jess is a pseudonym to keep the digital footprint of our real identity to zero.

Born 1991 but knowing better than old man CEO's.

Secret Access to past issues here.



 
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