Thanks to Doll Yoko for making us aware of Caliban and the Witch - Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici. In Caliban and the Witch, Silvia Federici looks at the transition from feudalism to capitalism from the point of view of 'women, the body and primitive accumulation'. Her key thesis is that the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th century were instrumental to establishing a new capitalist order through 'the development of a 'new sexual division of labour subjugating women's labour and women's reproductive function to the reproduction of the workforce.' Yet by telling the story also from Caliban's point of view, symbol of the 'trans-Atlantic' proleterian, Federici achieves what she claims: to transcend the dichotomy between "gender" and "class". This book is also a brilliant description of the process of primitive accumulation, in particular the enclosures of the common land starting at the end of the middle age and the various forms of resistance to that by renegade women and the 'motley crowd' of the working classes.
This is an image of a youthful Billy Reid, well known in the 1930ies as bandleader of Billy Reid and his piano accordion orchestra. Billy started out as a boiler maker apprentice in the Southampton docks.
Anyone who can bung me some tunes from Billy is very welcome.
Years of research and development will come to a hopefully successfull climax on Friday March 14th with the launch of the Hidden Histories project in Southampton. The project is the result of a collaboration between Armin Medosch and the London based technology development group Hive Networks led by artist-engineer Alexei Blinov. By narrowcasting excerpts from Southampton's Oral History Unit on 10 listening stations in the city centre, we have created a new public interface for negotiating the past (and maybe future) of the city.
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