Rereading the Zombie in Cabanyal Z to Better Understand Urban Transformation

Authors: Stephen Vilaseca*, Northern Illinois University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: participatory video, urban cultural studies, zombie, urban renewal plans
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Within the Spanish context, participatory video as an aesthetic form transforms the way neighbors experience the city, and relate to built environment. A new reading of the zombie in the participatory web series Cabanyal Z suggests that Spanish squatters, creative activists, authors, and web series writers and producers have identified the zombie as representative of the process of the production of self in a world of predatory capitalism, and that creativity within the process of political and social becoming can be used to either support capitalism or subvert it. Informed by the treatment of monstrous creativity in recent literature on Spanish squatters known as okupas, a group of activists often demonized by the media, and the latest creative experiences of protest against urban renewal plans in Spain, and framed within the Guattarian approach to the production of self, this short-paper contextualizes capitalist reification as a largely metaphorical mode of thinking whereby subjectivity is conceived as a dialectic of monstrosity, a zombie-dialectic, in which the production of subjectivity is a constant movement between two “monsters”: the zombie-laborer and the biopolitical monster.

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