Why i cut the fire hose

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Come, thencomrades; it would be as well to decide at once to change our ways. We must shake off the heavy darkness in which we were plunged, and leave it behind. The new day which is already at hand must find us firm, prudent and resolute.

Frantz Fanon (1)

The suburbs are burning. Someone is throwing stones at police, fire-fighters and ambulance drivers. Someone else cuts of a fire hose. Long before the fire goes out, the morning papers’ blackest headlines more or less write themselves.

Stones are thrown in Malmo, cars are torched in Gothenburg or schools are set ablaze in Stockholm. Similar to the events in the suburbs of Paris, London or Berlin. Or the same events with reverse geography in the United States, where the poor live downtown and the rich in the suburbs. These attacks on civil society are becoming more common. At least that’s easy to believe when you read the morning papers.

Usually it is just snippets or short articles with war-like headlines. But sometimes media pauses to try and understand, in review columns, on editorial pages and in debates. More or less informed pundits, with varying degrees of connection to the neighbourhoods, are trying to describe and find explanations. Some talk of increased inequality and structural problems, others of welfare dependency and increased fundamentalism. Furthermore, some argue that integration has failed. But no one has, as far as I know, managed to provide a credible and understandable explanation of the attacks on these representatives of society. Why attack paramedics? How can someone burn down their own school?

One of the most prolific pundits is author and journalist Lars Åberg, who addressed similar events in the suburbs several times in different morning papers, mainly in Sydsvenskan. Åberg concludes one of his texts, this time in the Dagens Nyheter, with an unanswered question:

“The need of a liberation movement is great. But what kind of society do they want, these people who call firefighters and paramedics to their neighbourhood in order to throw stones at them?” (2)

I decided to be so kind as to answer the question for him.

MY OWN COSMOPOLIS
But let’s start from the beginning. When I was growing up, the world was divided into the West, East and Third World. Half of Europe was behind a wall, no one went to Prague to celebrate their graduation, and the presence of submarines in the Baltic suggested an imminent invasion from the Soviet Union. The Canary Islands were an exotic travel destination and a classmate who travelled to Australia was the local equivalent of Christer Fuglesang.

There were two television channels and no cell phones. The internet wasn’t even conceived yet. My only reasonable source of information were the British music magazines I bought at the Central Station in Stockholm.

The world is still divided, but in a more diffuse manner. Instead of three parts, there are now many more. The boundaries are not only between countries but also within. Most major cities have small enclaves of both the first and third world inside the cities.

There are no exotic destinations left. Show me a remote, inaccessible place on the other side of the world and I’ll show you a few backpackers and maybe even an all-inclusive resort for that particular type of connoisseurs who do not see themselves as tourists. Not even space travel is particularly exclusive anymore, when an ordinary Swedish guy can become an astronaut and be seen floating weightless via webcam.

Today I spend as much time on filtering information as I previously devoted to finding the information I wanted. I have three phone numbers and twelve e-mail addresses. I don’t even dare to think about the number of newspapers I glance through every day. I have blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and a program that repeatedly tells my social networks where I am – as if it would make any difference.

I can be (and am) reached around the clock, and from around the world. I have daily discussions about everything from everyday concerns to life’s big questions with people I do not know beyond their avatars, and who live in places like Berlin, San Francisco, Osaka and Rio de Janeiro. Or, at least I think they live there.

It is a free and open world, despite 11th September. Free, at least for me and other privileged, well-educated and relatively wealthy people. But unfortunately this is not the case for everyone.

THE FLIPSIDE OF COSMOPOLITANISM
The cosmopolitan discourse is about human rights, about moral and ethics. About what is rational, about culture and values and that fact that the world is getting smaller. Distances are shrinking and values ​​are becoming uniform. Borders and barriers are demolished. ”All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned (3),” as two of the world’s first cosmopolitans Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote.

Cosmopolitanism is becoming the Western world’s way to relate to what Frantz Fanon once dubbed the ”Third World (4)”, that is, the poorest third of the world’s countries. This relationship puts our responsibility for the suffering and injustice into focus. It determines our view of other cultures, other religions, different values ​​and ways of living. It determines our obligations. Our cosmopolitanism is becoming the moral dimension of globalization.

But cosmopolitanism also has a flipside, a parallel process that is essentially the opposite of what I just described. New frontiers and barriers arise. Distances increase and understanding decreases. Provincialism instead of globalization. While some people travel unhindered, others become increasingly tied to their geographical location. While a designer, musician or entrepreneur in the computer games industry may feel more fellowship with a colleague in Tokyo or Rio de Janerio than with their neighbours, there is a third world, or rather several third worlds, in our midst.

Mobility is a clear indicator of socioeconomic class. Can you move freely or are you tied to one place? Can you communicate with the world or only with your physical neighbours? Or not even with them? Zygmunt Bauman argues that the privileged live ”in time”, untouched by the physical limitations of their location, while the others live ”at the site”, where time is meaningless and nothing ever happens (5).

When the current Minister for Social Affairs Ulf Kristersson was in charge of social affairs for Stockholm City Council, the city excluded the right to monthly travel passes from social welfare. Some suburbs are a 40 minute journey from the city centre. Without access to public transport people become immobilised. Without work, there is nothing to do. You are literally stuck in a place where nothing ever happens. Trapped rather than globalized. No one can get out, but everyone can get in. If they want to, that is.

So why not a trip to suburban Tensta Art gallery, with a stop-over for the open-air vegetable market in neighbouring Rinkeby, for the sake of some social tourism? Unlike the residents, I can leave when I have had enough.

The elite is also going local. That is, however, optional. The most extreme form of when the localisation of the elite is when they themselves create so called gated communities. Small walled communities where only the residents have access. But they can, unlike for example, Stockholm welfare recipients, leave whenever they want to, to go around the world and meet people with similar values ​​and similar preferences in almost every country. With the possible exception of North Korea.

They can certainly meet people with different preferences and values ​​as well. But they decide if they want to leave their security camera-surveyed world. They can decide who is allowed to visit. A gated community is the inversion of the poor suburb. Anyone can leave, but no one can enter. Or, as Bauman puts it:

The elite have chosen isolation and pay for it lavishly and willingly. The rest of the population finds itself cut off and forced to pay the heavy cultural, psychological and political price for their new isolation.”(6)

Bauman (7) describes how globalization tears down walls, barriers and national boundaries for goods and capital, businessmen and academics. Simultaneously, new barriers in the form of tougher immigration laws and zero tolerance are raised in other places and for completely different people. A refugee can pay several times more for a trip in a stinking, unsafe and overfilled smuggling vessel than a businessman pays for his first-class flight to the same destination.

But note that it is not often people, but labour which enjoys freedom of movement. Nowadays, we can freely apply for jobs in all European Union member states. But if you are born outside, there are no guarantees that you will be granted access. And if anyone thinks that you are not working, you may be sent away, even if you are an EU citizen. Or deported from France for no other reason than that you are Romani.

While goods circulate freely, the control of individuals increases. A trend that has become progressively clearer since 11th September. In the 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell, new walls have been erected and old boundaries have become even more difficult to cross. Such as those between Israel and the West Bank, around the European Union and between the U.S. and Mexico.

Today, the divide between people is less about culture, religion or language and more about relative economic prosperity. The economic division cuts both between and within countries.

THE WRETCHED OF THE CITY
The poor world is now represented in all major European cities, often in the most worn down and miserable neighbourhoods and suburbs. Often, but not always, with a population from other parts of the world, often from former colonies. All countries have, of course, a poor indigenous population as well. The real estate market and political decisions gather the underpaid, unskilled, ill and drug addicts into the least attractive parts of town.

Bauman (8) suggests that the urban terrain is the scene of a war about space. A war that sometimes culminates in riots and vandalism. Powerless, displaced residents in areas excluded from both welfare and globalization are creating their own protection in the form of aggressive actions and attacks on civil society. This is often described as a problem of disorderly conduct. But it is, at the same time, the same sort of territorial claim as when a gated community is built in another part of town. It’s about taking control of the territory, determining who has access and who does not. To decide what is allowed and what is not.

Dick Hebdige describes it as:

Following the eternal custom of the bricoleurs they use for the purpose any material they can lay their hands on – rituals, dressing strangely, striking bizarre attitudes, breaking rules, breaking bottles, windows, heads, issuing rhetoically challenges to the law. (9)

Some go so far as to compare attacks against civil society with civil war. In the book ”Expectations of Civil War” Hans Magnus Enzensberger interviews a social worker in the suburbs of Paris:

They have already destroyed everything, the mailboxes, the doors, the staircases. They have demolished and looted the polyclinic where their smaller brothers and sisters are treated for free. They do not recognize any rules. They smash medical and dental clinics to bits and pieces and destroy their schools. If they are provided with a soccer field, they saw off the goal posts. (10)

Enzenberger warns that situations such as these are signs of an impending civil war, in which the population of the suburbs will rise and revolt. A civil war, which sneaks up on us, without defined combatants. A civil war in which it is difficult to distinguish friend from foe or even to talk in terms of “friends” and “foes”. A civil war which begins with minor vandalism, littering, a broken elevator and graffiti. It continues with burning cars, wrecked schools and merciless attacks against ”anything that works”. The next step in the escalation is yet to be seen.

JIHAD IN ROSENGÅRD?
Bernard Lewis (11) shares these fears of an impending conflict. According to Lewis, it is not class divisions and inequality that perpetuate conflict. It is Islam. Lewis believes Islam and the West are at war and the growing Muslim minorities in Europe are hazardous. For example, in the suburbs of Paris, where there have been years of notorious unrest, are populated by large Muslim minorities, largely made ​​up of immigrants from former colonies.

Globalization has thus moved colonialism from the colonized parts of the world into the European capitals. Also countries like Sweden have received their share of colonialism, even though they did not initially establish colonies.

According to Mustafa Dikec (12), the suburbs of Paris started to be described as problematic and troubled during the 70s. But it was only during the 80s that the problems were discussed in terms of ethnicity and integration. Before that, the discussion was mostly about class divisions. During the 90s, Islam becomes an increasingly common theme as the problems are discussed in the media and by politicians. Dikec (13) notes that it is not unusual that riots in the Parisian suburbs nowadays are described as ”Muslim”.

Also Lars Åberg mentions religion in his article saying that ”a long term islamisation” reinforced the isolation of the suburban population (14)

But, really, how relevant are religion and ethnicity in this case? Would anyone have labelled the student uprising in Paris in 1968 as ”Catholic”? Would anyone build an argument around the fact that so many of those who took part in the disturbances during the EU summit in Gothenburg in 2001 grew up in a Protestant society? Is violence and misery in a depopulated Swedish industrial town specifically ”Swedish”? Is this even of interest? Are people’s faith or origin really an explanation?

Dikec (15) believes that the discussion of ethnicity and religion hides the real problems. The suburbs with the greatest unrest do not only, if even, distinguish themselves ethnically and religiously. They do, however distinguish themselves clearly in terms of discrimination, inequality and repression. They are distinguished by their low average levels of education and income and their high levels of morbidity and criminality.

I would say that the same applies to the Swedish suburbs. For example the Malmö suburb Rosengård, where stones have been thrown at police and fire-fighters, Bergsjön, where cars have been torched and Rinkeby, where parts of a school recently burned down, do not only stand out ethnically or religiously. These are also areas with large social problems, high unemployment, poor schools and housing, low levels of education and low average incomes.

Does anyone think it is a coincidence that this global phenomenon of seemingly senseless attacks on civil society always occurs where the differences between people is most obvious?

BEHIND THE VEIL, A COMMODITY
But it would be incorrect to say that there are no religious conflicts in our, at least supposedly, cosmopolitan world. Seyla Benhabib (16) describes a famous incident from 1989, when a headmaster in Creil, north of Paris, forbid three students to wear a veil in the classroom. The headmaster also tried to persuade the students’ parents to influence their children to stop wearing a veil. As the girls refused to obey the principal, the matter was brought to the attention of the media. The affair led to extensive protests and sparked the unrest in some of the cases Dikecc (17) writes about in his book.

Since then, the veil has been a hot topic in French domestic politics. Recently a law banning the wearing of a full veil in public places came into effect.

Similar bans exist or are being discussed in several other EU countries. During the election campaign, Jan Björklund, leader of the Swedish Folkpartiet, declared that he wanted to introduce a ban on full veils in Swedish schools. Although neither the teachers’ unions nor Björklund himself knew is any teacher had ever worn a full veil in class.

The full veil is provocative, although only a small minority of Muslim women wear it. In Sweden, there are about a hundred bearers, many of them ethnic Swedish Muslim converts.

So yes, Islam clashes with our Western world, in this case in the matter of the veil. But what is this clash really? In the book, ”One-Dimensional Woman” Nina Power (18) says that the conflicts surrounding the issue are logical. The full veil is in conflict with one of our culture’s perhaps most basic foundations, namely capitalism.

Capitalism forces us all to sell our labour, whether we like it or not. It forces us all to be commodities. This gives rise to a logic forcing many people, especially women working in the service sector, to always keep their bodies on display. In Germany, for example, it is both permissible and customary to advertise for “good looking” staff.

Those who conceal their appearance, and in doing so their commodity, violate this logic. In a world where we all are for sale, we must not skimp on the packaging. We are walking CVs, and our appearance, whether we like it or not, is an important part. In the precarious labour market, we need to be constantly advertising ourselves, showing that we are willing, flexible, have large networks and look damn good. Power (19) calls this a ”feminization” of labour. Features previously considered feminine, such as flexibility and beauty, are now in demand in a growing part of the labour market and requested of an increasing number of workers, both women and men.

A worker packaged for the capitalist labour market cannot have a full veil. A labourer packaged for the capitalist market must clearly show what he or she has to sell. Much like the more or less naked people in the commercials flooding our urban environments.

THE REAL PROBLEM IS NO PROBLEM
Wearing a veil in public could be a problem. Doing this as a teacher may soon be prohibited. However, it is apparently no problem to place the worst schools in the poorest parts of the city, as long as the teachers there do not teach wearing burkas.

Bringing the poor, the sick, the unemployed and the unskilled to the same place is no problem either. There is nothing wrong with the system. Inequalities are not in contradiction with capitalism. On the contrary; they are a sign that it is working properly.

Bauman (20) quotes the British journalist Jeremy Seabrook

Poverty can not be ‘cured’. For it is not a symptom of the disease of capitalism. Quite the reverse. It is evidence of its robust good health. Its spur to even Greater accumulation and effort …

But to avoid having to talk about injustice, we talk about integration, about people’s religious beliefs, of their origin. It is all an effort to obscure the fact that our profits in the global wheel of fortune are paid for by someone else, somewhere else. Sometimes on the cocaine fields of Colombia, in a sweatshop in Indonesia, in a flooded town in Pakistan or by a poisoned river in India. Or, sometimes, by a third-generation unemployed person living a few stops further along the bus-route.

FROM ADVENTURES TO ACCIDENTS
What does it take for us to pay attention to the inequality in the suburbs? We are often only reached by what Lilie Chouliaraki calls ”adventure news” (21) – i.e. notes on individual events, usually crimes of all kinds, without pity and with faceless perpetrators and victims. If it happens to be sufficiently spectacular, that is. Daily misery is rarely given any attention. Good news is barely visible in the media at all, from the suburbs or from elsewhere.

In the autumn of 2007, I worked as a youth leader in Husby, one of Stockholm’s most socioeconomically and ethnically segregated suburbs. During this period there was a brutal beating in downtown Stockholm. A young man was beaten and kicked to death by several perpetrators. All involved belonged to the upper middle class. The event was big news. Campaigns against violence were started in the media and on Facebook, making made one of the promoters, the current Member of Parliament Anton Abele, a celebrity.

The youth at the recreation centre were obviously shaken by the event. But they were also upset. Why is youth violence only news when it happens in the inner city, when middle class children are involved? They told me about a similar assault in Husby some years before, with perpetrators and a victim of a similar age. But with only suburban kids involved and with a brutality and ruthlessness that far surpassed the deadly assault in the inner city. There was not a word in the national press, just a short notice in the local newspaper when body parts were found along the railway line.

I had no good answer to why the events were treated so differently by the media, even though they were so similar. Other than a vague sense that not everyone is of equal interest to the media. All victims are not equally important. A sense that we do not need to depart for a war or a natural disaster in the Third World to discover this phenomenon. It is enough to take the subway a few stops further down the line.

Chouliararaki had perhaps been able to give a better answer. Western victims are required in order for ”adventure news”, such as body parts along a railroad track, to turn into ”emergency news (22)” – i.e. complex stories with personal narratives and visible victims. If we exchange the term “Western” for our civil society or the middle class, we have possible answers to questions of Husby’s youth.

A victim from the established society is required for turning “emergency news” into “adventure news”. It requires the civil society to be attacked. It takes a stone at a policeman, a severed fire hose or victims or perpetrators from the middle class in order for Lars Åberg and the other pundits to even have the chance to formulate an opinion on this issue.

A RIGHT IS NOT NECESSARILY AN OPPORTUNITY
So how do we come to terms with injustice? Both Jürgen Habermas (23) and Benhabib (24) call for a cosmopolitan law. We should progress from national laws to the rights of citizens of the world. They imagine a cosmopolitan legal order where everyone is guaranteed certain things.

It’s a big step to ensure the same rights for all, that the same principles that apply in our countries, such as freedom of speech, should also apply globally. But is it enough? What does such freedom of speech mean to an illiterate nomad in eastern Kurdistan?

In Sweden, all have the same rights, at least in theory. We are equal before the law, have the right to vote, freedom of trade, freedom of religion and so on. We also have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The world’s oldest, even. Anyone can start a newspaper and express their views of the world.

But what is the freedom to do something worth if it is not actually a possibility? To exaggerate the problem; everyone has the right to travel in time but this benefits no one. But at least there are no legal obstacles. But the law is not the least bit interesting until there is an actual opportunity to do time travel.

I have exactly the same rights as someone in Rosengård. This does not necessarily mean that we have the same opportunities. Anyone can start a business, but it helps if you have good contacts and have mastered the formal Swedish bureaucratic language. We get to practice whatever religion we want, but some religious symbols could be banned. Anyone can write in a newspaper or magazine, but it often requires a good education and contacts in the industry.

Ulrich Beck expresses the problem as follows:

Human rights repeal seemingly eternal limits, causing them to fall, forcing new boundaries, (…) which do not follow the logic of the courts, but rather those of power (25)

Anyone has the right to start a newspaper in Sweden. But not anyone can do it. Anyone is allowed to spread their views, for example about misery, poverty, segregation in Rosengård, but not everyone has the same opportunity to make themselves heard.

SOME JUST LIKE SIMILARITY
In ”The Divided West” Jürgen Habermas (26) reflects on the responsibility to participate. That participation is not only a right but actually a civic duty. Everyone who is able needs to be involved in the public discourse.

But how can young and frustrated people from the suburbs participate in public discourse? As citizens in general? How many actually have access to public discussion? Sure, you can vote every four years and write letters to the editor in the local newspaper. But not just anyone gets to write opinion pieces in our major newspapers. Most people will never ever be in Lars Åberg’s privileged position where he can reach hundreds of thousands of readers with his views on a cut fire hose in Rosengård.

Not just anyone will be published anyhow. Not even the cherished social media are particularly open to those who do not know the codes of behaviour or have the right network. They are not very social either for that matter.

I have worked a lot with young people and culture, both in the inner city and in the most disadvantaged suburbs. There is a huge difference. Everyone loves culture, but the inner city children see themselves as both consumers and producers, while suburban children are exclusively consuming. Of course there are exceptions, but the general pattern is very clear.

How do you participate in a discussion if you see yourself and your friends as consumers exclusively? If you can not even imagine yourself as someone who creates content, meaning and form? Then there will be no commentaries in the major Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. No participation in the popular TV-show Kvällsöppet. Not even a letter to the editor in the local newspaper. The few representatives of the suburb, which figure in media are, in my experience, often children to academics or those who work with culture.

For many of us, it’s easier than ever before to make ourselves heard. Anyone can start a blog or a Twitter account and join the debate. If you have the self-image that you have something to say, that you think it is important that you get to be heard. It is also possible to take a position in numerous political issues through ”slacktivism”. Pressing the ”like” buttons in Facebook or flaunt the symbol from the anti-racist campaign ”We like differences”, by newspaper Aftonbladet. A newspaper, which, incidentally, does not seem to be very interested in “differences”, considering the homogeneity of the editorial staff.

FROM MARKET TO MALL, FROM TALKING TO SHOPPING
Are there even any physical places left where we talk to each other? Bauman (27) describes how the open public spaces disappear and are replaced with malls. Even the self-service laundries, which once served as meeting places, disappeared. The town squares were previously forums for events and discussions. Those were places where the norms and opinions were created, tested, confirmed or dismissed. When public spaces were privatized suddenly other rules applied.

Let me add that shopping malls are so constructed as to keep people moving, looking around, keep them diverted and entertained no end – but in no case for too long -– by any of the endless attractions; not to encourage them to stop, look at each other, talk to each other, think of, ponder and debate something other than the objects in display – not to pass their time in a fashion devoid of commercial value…(28)

Transforming public spaces to malls is also a way to handle social problems – a method that has been systemised in Stockholm. A typical example is a square in Kungsholmen, the west part of central Stockholm, formerly called ”Lilla Plattan” that was turned into ”Vestermalmsgallerian.” What was originally a windy square housing everything from social deprivation to social encounters became an upscale shopping-centre with a slogan that reads ”Welcome to the colourful West”

To build malls is also a way to privatize public property and to obstruct public discourse. In most malls, it is, for example, forbidden to hand out political leaflets or collect signatures. Young people are not allowed to just ”hang out” there. But it is permitted to, in a rather aggressive way, solicit by-passers in attempts to sign them up as customers for mobile operators. Free movement of goods and services, borders and limits for humans.

No room is left for ”local opinion leaders”; no room is left for ”local opinion” as such. (29)

Stockholm city sold a dozen suburban centre to the notorious British property company Boultbee. Areas that were previously open and public were decked over and glazed. Then new rules apply. Only those considered customers are welcome. Benches disappeared and the only seats remaining are those inside cafes and restaurants. When Bolutbee bought the land from the city, they promised to build up the most run-down places. Something they completely ignored, which is even admitted by the very politicians who were promoting the sale.

In Skärholmen outside Stockholm there are, in addition to Sweden’s most visited site, the shopping centre Kungens Kurva, eight McDonald’s and a giant mall. But hardly any public spaces are left at all. No venues where residents can decide the function. Only the shopping malls with their relentless commercial logic.

The localized suburban population has thus barely physical spaces to communicate with each other. Let alone anyone else. And no one else seems to care either. Not until it becomes news. “Emergency news”.

THE CONDEMNED MIND
To cut off a fire hose is thus a radical way to interpret Habermas. Regardless of intent. The cutter of the hose is participating in the debate. He who cuts the hose produces content in the media. He produces content the same extent as the writer of a letter to the editor, an editorial or an opinion piece – but with a much bigger impact.

Bauman (30) cites the Greek communist Cornelius Castoriadis who argues that the problem of our time is that people have stopped questioning themselves. To not to ask certain questions is more dangerous than not to answer questions that are already on the agenda. Asking the wrong questions distracts from what is really important.

For it to make sense to have a solution there must first be a problem to solve. Since class inequalities are obviously not an interesting enough problem to our cosmopolitan contemporaries, we find something else. One question, the right question, must be asked before we can get an answer. If we don’t ask we will also get no answer.

Many have tried to understand the, at least at first glance, senseless violence in the poor suburbs. Those on the right have been appalled, and calling for tougher measures and debates on integration. The left has been searching in vain for manifestos and political programs. They have unsuccessfully tried to interpret the riots, car fires, school fires and attacks on society’s official representatives as protest against exclusion, poverty and segregation.

But there is no such thing. No one really demands anything. The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek (31) asks himself what kind of world we live in, with a society that claims to be based on freedom of choice, where the only alternative to democratic consensus is blind rage.

When Zizek studies the same riots as Dikec, he finds something completely different than a political agenda:

The riots where simply a direct effort to gain visibility…They where neither offering a solution nor constituting a movement for providing a solution. Their aim was to create a problem, to signal that they were a problem that could no longer be ignored. (32)

It is such a tragedy that an evening with a cut off fire hose is more interesting to the media than years of poverty, social exclusion and misery. It is such a tragedy that Rosengård often only becomes a political issue when some right-wing politicians require tougher measures against the consequences of their own policies. It is such a tragedy that there ”problems” must first be created to even have the discussion.

So I create a problem.

It may be morally wrong, but it is ethically correct.

I have no ideas about what would constitute a better society.

There are no manifestos. No party programs.

I do not advocate a better society.

I do not advocate any kind of society in general.

I only take my space in possession.

Creating my own gated community with a wall of burning cars.

My own square, my own forum on the ruins of my secondary school.

I exercise my civil right to express myself and my obligation to participate in the public discourse.

I produce the “emergency news” and the chronicles of Lars Åberg.

I’m restyling factuality

But I really have no other ambition than to ask a question you must answer:

Why didn’t you care until now?

That’s why I cut the fire hose.

1 Fanon, F (2007) Jordens fördömda Stockholm: Leopard s251
2 Åberg, L (2009) Dagens Nyheter 2009/05/04
3 Marx, K & Engels, F (1985) Kommunistiska manifestet Stockhom: Vertigo
4 Fanon, F (2007) Jordens fördömda Stockholm: Leopard
5 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s 88-89
6 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s 21
7 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press
8 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s22
9 Hebdige, D (1988) Hiding in the light London: Routledge s12
10 Enzensberger, H M (1993) Expectations of Civil War Frankfurt: Suhrkamp s 32
11 Lewis, B (2004) The Crisis of Islam New York: Random House
12 Dikec, M (2007) Badlands of the Republic Malden: Blackwell Publishing
13 Dikec, M (2007) Badlands of the Republic Malden: Blackwell Publishing
14 Åberg, L (2009) Dagens Nyheter 2009/05/04
15 Dikec, M (2007) Badlands of the Republic Malden: Blackwell Publishing
16 Benhabib, S (2006) Another Cosmopolitanism Oxford: University Press s51-61
17 Dikec, M (2007) Badlands of the Republic Malden: Blackwell Publishing
18 Power, N (2009) One-Dimensional Woman Winchester: 0 Books s 11-15
19 Power, N (2009) One-Dimensional Woman Winchester: 0 Books s 17-23
20 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s79
21 Chouliaraki, L (2006) The spectatorship of suffering London: Sage s97-117
22 Chouliaraki, L (2006) The spectatorship of suffering London: Sage s114-115
23 Habermas, J (2006) The Divided West Cambridge: Politly s115-193
24 Benhabib, S (2006) Another Cosmopolitanism Oxford: University Press
25 Beck, U (2005) Den kosmopolitiska blicken Göteborg: Diadalos s 82
26 Habermas, J (2006) The Divided West Cambridge: Politly
27 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s24-26
28 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s25
29 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s 26
30 Bauman, Z (1998) Globalization New York: Columbia University Press s5
31 Zizek, S (2008) Violence London: Profile Books s64
32 Zizek, S (2008) Violence London: Profile Books s 65-66

 

Översättning: Åsa Hidmark

5 reaktioner på ”Why i cut the fire hose

  1. Very interesting, but what if any solution is there when the situation becomes ideologically tainted or driven? And, how do you make the disaffected interested in becoming members of a society they ideologically reject? Do rioters bear no responsibility in all of this?

  2. If a car is burnt out where I live a truck comes straight away,hoses it down and hauls it away.All that’s left is a small dark patch.The local media ignore the event.Same with graffiti. Unless its done in designated zones(taking away slightly from the outlaw vibe) its just quickly painted over.I think you give too much credit to the rioters by trying so hard to understand when many of them are nihilists who will grow up eventually. I remember a French entrepreneur from a poor 2nd generation African background telling a group of ”disadvantaged” youth how lucky they were to have free school,free health,family support etc and that if they did not achieve it would be their fault alone..
    Transport must be heavily subsidised of course to avoid alienation,stagnation,siege mentalities etc

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