#occupy / homelessness / reading / solidarities


“We have heard of the ‘resignations from the American Dream[14] that emerged as a part of the Occupy phenomenon, as well as the re-emergence of occupy infrastructures in the form of #OccupySandy in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.[15] Circulating throughout these examples are relations of disaffection and detachment, as well as the making of infrastructures for relating differently. However, there remains the problem, within these processes, of the potential re-inscription of ‘normal’ standards and forms of living. The homeless question within occupy raised the problem of such a re-inscription.[16] Within this ‘question’, and in keeping with the financialised context in which Occupy emerged, the homeless were considered variously as either an asset or a risk: does the homeless body prove the genuine truth of the camps, or does it detract from the real fight. The question of ‘why are you here’, which arose through the homeless question, with the emphasis on the issue of what one was contributing to the ‘movement’ as the index against which measure was made of politics and the individual, provides this reinscription. Similar issues arose around more explicit questions of mental health.[17] Each of these issues raises the question of how to let the complete complexities of our affective life circulate throughout political composition, and the struggle to resist the reimposition of normative forms, and indeed, how to negotiate these tendencies…”

– Mark Gawne, from a draft at Wayward Wobbly.

“… I rethink homelessness as displacement, as a series of dislocations through which young homeless people continue to lose housing but also, and more profoundly, their bodily integrity, their existential orientation, and their habitual resources… It is from being displaced that trajectories of homelessness stem.”

– Catherine Robinson, Beside one’s self: Homelessness felt and lived, p.21.


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