Among the most prominent offshoots of Occupy Wall Street is Strike Debt, an organization that aims to build a nationwide movement of debtors determined to act against the creditor class of Wall Street. Artists and cultural producers of all sorts have been crucially involved in the genesis and development of Strike Debt, a major challenge for which has been how to aesthetically mediate and ideologically frame the systemic debt servitude imposed on the majority of the population in such a way as to call forth the debtor as a collective political subject. Breaking the frames of the art world and academia alike, the aesthetico-political work of Strike Debt has included the popularization of the red square as an emblem of debt resistance, the invention of the debt burn as an anticapitalist ritual, and the launching of the Rolling Jubilee, a direct action campaign initiated by artists and writers to abolish millions of dollars’ worth of consumer debt as a way of sparking a broader political mobilization against Wall Street and indeed the capitalist system itself.
Debt: Occupy, Postcontemporary Art, and the Aesthetics of Debt Resistance. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2013; 112 (4): 784–803. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2345279
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