7th of November, 2012, Node Gallery

”The crisis is coming home,” has become a particularly ominous refrain of late. For more than half a decade Europe has lived in crisis. Germany figures as one of the only exceptions in this general downward trend. While people in Europe agree that there is a new quality of the crisis of capitalism, we observe a perpetual contradiction. In Germany, so it is said, the crisis has not yet arrived. At the same time we hear a constant reference to it in the media. The narration goes on about the crisis; namely, the crisis of the Euro, the crisis of Europe, the state budget crisis. With these incessant references to something that has not yet arrived, we wonder: Is the discourse on crisis itself a way to govern the crisis? Is it a discourse that sets the ground for the next round of so-called reforms under the banner of neo-liberalism, “There is no alternative.”

The presentation will introduce a project with the title “What is the Sound of the Crisis?” that Berlin-based members of Ultra-red embarked on in order to understand how the crisis affects our everyday lives. Specifically, the group is interested in gauging those affects in a place where it is said there is no crisis. The project is a research-based seminar for graduate students of European Ethnology at Berlin’s Humboldt University. Part of their degree program is to develop a one-year research project in a specific field of their choice. Projects can be undertaken individually or in teams. This seminar teaches the crisis by asking, “What are the sights and sounds of the crisis?” In teaching we sought to learn.

– Manuela Bojadzijev

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