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The third episode of the new Verso Podcast has arrived! This week Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Dalia Gebrial join our host, Eleanor Penny, for an eye-opening discussion that uncovers the intricate logic and connections between the prison system, the modern digital platform, and the transformative potential of abolitionist politics.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is the Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and Professor of Geography in Earth and Environmental Sciences at The City University of New York. Her works include The Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, as well as the newly released Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation, which was published by Verso Books.
Dalia Gebrial is a writer, broadcaster and academic at the London School of Economics, where her research focuses on how the modern platform economy is reorganising the workforce of racial capitalism. She is the co-author of two books, Decolonising the University, Empires Endgame: Racism and the British State, and a host of Novara Live at Novara Media.
In this episode, Wilson Gilmore and Gebrial delve into the core themes of Abolition Geography, discussing crisis-management, class war, and the racial state. Together they traverse the complex carceral landscape of the modern world, shedding light on how prisons, policing, and platforms serve as resources of modern capitalism. These institutions, we discover, perpetuate violence and organised abandonment as a means of managing surplus population, in order to ensure the smooth functioning of profit-driven systems of extraction.
As the crises we face expose the faultlines and injustices within such systems, the conventional narratives of criminality and imprisonment are called into question. As it becomes increasingly apparent that these fictions may no longer hold the solutions we need, Dalia and Ruthie help us imagine new possibilities for liberation, demonstrating how abolitionist geographies not only enrich our political perspectives, but can also help us to re-organise the ways that we live together from the ground up.
So, make sure you tune in for this latest episode of the Verso Podcast. This is a powerful conversation between two remarkable thinkers with hands-on experience of grassroots political movements, who together are able to bring a vision of a truly liberated and just society into unusually sharp focus.
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