MayDay! MayDay! Precarious objects and parades
in Precarious objects
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Visual and material artefacts are central to the organisation of the EuroMayDay parades in Milan, the Mayday celebrations of precarious workers. This chapter argues that the objects designed for the parade, and the processes they engendered, generated spaces where new political subjectivities emerged, and calls these ‘spaces of political affect’. This chapter leans on Doreen Massey’s definition of space as ‘throwntogetherness’, or the coming together of different elements and trajectories, and Ash Amin’s suggestion that the throwntogetherness of humans, non-humans and material and visual cultures in a shared physical space produces social effects. Drawing on activists’ archives, this chapter shows how objects, defined by activists as media sociali (media generating sociality), created a funky visual identity of counter-precarity activism and social relations. Two parades in which designed objects prompted participants to play games are analysed as examples of the role of orientation devices in mobilising a common imaginary and sensorium and in creating a collective form of urban public culture. The chapter argues that the EuroMayDays produced self-representations of precarity and new political subjectivities.

Precarious objects

Activism and design in Italy


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