Winter/Spring 2019 activities in review

Finance Capital and the Ghosts of Empire symposium

Following on the great success of a previous gathering at Goldsmiths in 2017 titled “Colonial debts, extractive nostalgias, imperial insolvencies – Reimagining financialization” RiVAL was pleased to help organize a sequel at the University of Sussex in March, titled “Finance Capital and the Ghosts of Empire.” This symposium brought together artists, activists and scholars for two days of illuminating presentations and conversations about colonialism, empire and racism in the birth, development and contemporary dimensions of high finance. RiVAL is currently producing a podcast based on presentations at the event.

Digital/Debt/Empire conference

Thanks to the support of a Connections grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, RiVAL co-director Max Haiven and his colleagues Enda Brophy and Benjamin Anderson of Simon Fraser University were able to convene a very special four-day gathering of activists, artists and scholars in Vancouver to discuss the intersection of four themes:

  1. the histories, legacies and actualities of empire and imperialism in racial capitalism,
  2. “debt regimes,” past and present, and
  3. emergent digital technologies and their implications for power and resistance.

The gathering included over 20 international guests, by-registration workshops, public panels and public roundtables. In the lead-up to this gathering, the organizing team published a series of blog posts from the invited guests in cooperation with Public Seminar, the online forum of the New School for Social Research.

Decolonization reading group

Starting in September, RiVAL hosted first monthly, then weekly meetings for the Thunder Bay community to come together and read (aloud) through the late Arthur Manuel’s incredibly important book The Reconciliation Manifesto, which we finished in late March. A huge thanks to RiVAL graduate assistant Lindsay Benner for taking the lead for several crucial weeks. We estimate that upwards of 75 individuals took part in the reading group over its eight months. Based on this success we intend to relaunch the reading group in the Fall with a new text.

Grassroots organizing workshop

In January, RiVAL directors Max Haiven and Cassie Thornton led a two-day intensive workshop for new and veteran activists. Themes included meeting facilitation, strategic planning, approaches to the media and models for organization. The workshop received very positive, enthusiastic and gratifying reviews from the two dozen or so individuals who attended and we plan to offer the workshop again in the near future.

Winter/Spring 2019 visitors

Podcast and audio archive