Disciplining of Racialised Labour through Unpayable Debts - Barbora Cernušáková
|15 February 2024
|13:00 - 14:00
|What is it:
|Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)
|Who is it for:
|University staff, External researchers, Current University students
Looking at the entrapment of Roma workers in indebtedness in the Czech Republic, we will discuss how racialisation is hardwired into the system of predatory credit. This work is part of a long-term project, which started in 2016 and combines ethnography with an analysis of legislation and policies regulating the debt industry. Through conversations with research participants during the fieldwork, I noticed the multitude of sources of debt, which burden Roma workers in various combinations and put them on the trajectory of unpayable debt. The two main categories involved: a) arrears or fines—for public transport, unpaid healthcare insurance, utility bills or alimony; and b) predatory consumer credit. Focusing on the role of the post-socialist state and its collusion with capital, I will present the structural conditions—including under-regulation, privatisation and rise of racism—that gave rise to predatory debt industry and make debts unpayable.
Dr Barbora Cernušáková spent 11 months living and working alongside Roma in the Czech city of Ostrava in 2016. She carried out participant observation and interviews of the experiences of Roma with regard to work, housing and finance, alongside other aspects of daily life. In 2022, Barbora collaborated with artist Janet Brandon on an animation capturing her research findings, Debt Machine. She is currently writing her first monograph, Surplussed: Roma under Czech racial capitalism (provisional title), to be published by Manchester University Press.
In person and online attendance available.
See Eventbrite to register for a free place (and zoom details if needed). All welcome.
Travel and Contact Information
Arthur Lewis Building