Entangled worlds of labour

historical anthropology of labour, labour relations in Eastern Europe

A non-work life: Five stories we should all grow accustomed to

For the last few years, I have been working on an experimental short book, which narrates the non-linear history of one life, a friend of mine, whose ways of being in the world have been fundamentally structured not only by his life-long disability but also by his incapacity to work. This intimate story of an existence articulated around the notion of non-work [nemuncă], has been negotiated as a collaborative project between me and the protagonist of the story, an endeavour that lays down the crucial ethical concerns regarding our personal involvement with our informants and opens new possibilities for finding more open-ended and experimental ways of cutting through the social fabric together. The book will explore what happens when the hegemonic determinants of our existence as social beings – health, family, work – are missing, and will use an intimate writing style to open a public conversation about mutual dependency and concepts of self-worth rooted in productive labour and economic participation.