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The Politics of Creativity

book launch talk with Max Haiven

- 7:40pm
Samedi Avril 26 2014

Venue: The Bus Stop Theatre
Address: 2203 Gottingen Street
Cost: Free
Accessibility: Accessible

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A book launch talk
The Bus Stop Theatre
2203 Gottingen Street - Free

We are told that opportunities for creativity are all around us, that capitalism rewards hard work and good ideas, and that cities and lives can be improved through the flourishing of the creative spirit. But how does the hype around creativity actually make us less creative when it comes to our social and economic life? How has creativity become a force of discipline and exploitation, rather than of liberation? Can we be more creative when it comes to the idea of creativity and the sorts of social and economic worlds we can build together?

A 30 minute talks will be followed by discussion and socializing. Books will be available for sale.

Max Haiven - writer, etc. is an author and activist who teaches at NSCAD University. maxhaiven.com

Presented as part of the Mayworks Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts - mayworkshalifax.ca

Max Haiven’s book Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power: Capitalism, Creativity and the Commons is published by Fernwood Publishing and Zed Books and is available online at fernwoodpublishing.ca or at Bookmark II on Spring Garden Road.



How do we move beyond austerity and the colonization of creativity? Today, when it seems like everything has been privatized, when austerity is too often seen as an economic or political problem that can be solved through better policy and when the idea of moral values has been commandeered by the Right, how can we re-imagine the forces used as weapons against community, solidarity, ecology and life itself?

In this stirring call to arms, Max Haiven argues that capitalism has colonized how we all imagine and express what is valuable. Looking at the decline of the public sphere, the corporatization of education, the privatization of creativity and the power of finance capital in opposition to the power of the imagination and the growth of contemporary social movements, Haiven provides a powerful argument for creating an anti-capitalist commons. Not only is capitalism a crisis itself, but moving beyond it is the only key to survival.

“Against the bankruptcy of liberal politics, Haiven puts forward a renewed called for the elaboration of others values, lives and ways of being together. Crises of Imagination, Crises of Power helps bring us closer to the utopia that is within our grasp.” – Stevphen Shukaitis, author of Imaginal Machines

“Fatalism and futility beware! We now have a handbook for the invention of a new commons. Haiven explains how and why we need to struggle to take back creativity, imagination and our sense of collective purpose from those forces that seek to use it to their own ends.” – Imre Szeman, University of Alberta

“Haiven’s provocative book does justice to a topic that has been too long neglected. He not only explains the constraints that are everywhere placed on our political imagination, but also makes a strong case for transcending them.” – Andrew Ross, author of Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal

“Inspired and engaged. Readers will emerge equipped with a contemporary radicalism to face the demands of a full immersion in the possibilities and complexities of our moment.” – Randy Martin, New York University


Introduction: Crises of the Imagination
• Re-imagining Value: Economic and Moral Worth in an Age of Austerity
• Publics, Commons, Occupations: Organizing Against Capitalist Enclosure
• The Crisis of the Financialized Imagination: Fictitious Capital and Everyday Life
• Within and Beyond the Edu-Factory: The Fate of the Neoliberal University
• The Enclosure of History, the Debt of the Past, the Commons of Memory
• The Privatization of Creativity: Art, Economics and Spaces of Resistance
• What Is the Radical Imagination?
• Conclusion: Fatalism and Its Discontents

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