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Lumpen Development as The Generalized Condition of Capital: Film, Bodies, and Necroethics

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Organizer: Carlos Amador

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In the era of COVID-19, questions of political and social development intersect with the capacity of the nation-state to manage sanitary and medical crisis. As the pandemic continues to reveal further fissures in the capitalist supply chain, regimes of labor, and social ethics, what becomes increasingly clear is that capitalist development looks more like lumpen development—the generalized condition of development decoupled from production, business cycles, and state job schemes that is visible as the order of informal labor, criminal enterprise, and financial speculation that marks much of the Global South, but continues to expand into the wealthy northern nations. In this presentation we explore works that make obvious that the current condition of capitalist life is one where daily life is marked with engagements with lumpen necropolitics, and that this horizon opens up a space to contemplate ethics and everyday politics as “necroethics,” or the everyday confrontation with the horizon of bodily, affective, or community mortality. Works for this presentation will address how representations of criminality, poverty, informal labor, and legally unsanctioned work as a poetics of necropolitics and necroethics. Scholars working either in a critical or pessimistic tradition are strongly encouraged to submit, and special consideration will be given to works from outside Northern metropolitan aesthetic traditions. 

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