2018-2019 The Factory: Justice Economy: The Dramaturgy of Debt and Indebtedness ~ Towards Roaming Assembly #24 curated by Rana Hamadeh.

The Dramaturgy of Debt and Indebtedness from Month to Month & Chronicles

Students: Assem Hendawi, Clara Amaral, Duruo Wang, Francesca Hawker, Gayatri Kodikal, Jiatu Gu, Karina Sarkissova, Konstantin Mitrokhov, Lukas Hoffmann, Mandus Ridefelt, Martina Mächler, Matthew Wang, Maxime Gourdon, Sepideh Behrouzian, Simon(e) van Saarloos, Vinita Gatne. 

Conceptual Framework: Rana Hamadeh

Tutors: Rana Hamadeh a.o.

Duration: DAI - WEEK 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7


Justice Economy: The Dramaturgy of Debt and Indebtedness

To theorise justice ‘today’  [and ‘here’ (?)] , one seems to have to attend to the task of theorising the performative sociality of debt: what seems more like a “mise-en-abymic” sociality-of/in-bondage, sociality-of/under-capture  [this is an image ‘under erasure’] . Not that debt and its social life are not being constantly theorised. But it is precisely, this continuous mutation of the syntax of debt – through derivative-driven operations – that seems to require some parallel ‘hyper-conception of justice’; or probably, that implies the importance of tracing the movement that is toward/within a ‘hyper-justice’. The question, “is debt the ontology of justice?”, not only requires some  [situated]  thinking around debt, justice and the ‘ethics of justice’; but also, some thinking around the praxis of translation; hyper- and inter-textuality, generosity, hosting, queer love and… pleasure, among other things.

Fred Moten and Stefano Harney speak of “justice [a]s only possible where debt never obliges, never demands, never equals credit, payment, payback”.[1] “[…] Debt runs in every direction, scatters, escapes, seeks refuge. The debtor seeks refuge among other debtors, acquires debt from them, offers debt to them. The place of refuge is the place to which you can only owe more and more because there is no creditor, no payment possible.” [2]

Moten and Harney’s propositions imply the importance of de-linking debt from credit. However, the understanding of debt that is proposed for this Factory  [at least in the very beginning]  , will still be in bondage with credit, before the participants exit this understanding at a later stage. The workshop will, accordingly, examine the following premise: Justice, under the conditions of  [(derivative)/]  capitalism, can only be understood through the modality of measure: the measure to which impositions can be both dramatised and naturalised – justice, as an extension to injustice; a ‘recovery’ from injustice through a ‘becoming unjust’. ‘Do we need to think, in light of such a premise, of something ‘other than justice’’? 

The factory will be in part conceived as an ‘editorial desk’, where the participants will collectively introduce, during each session, the ground for the future session and eventually for the Roaming Assembly. Not all the thinking will be happening in the English language. ‘Let us borrow, when desired, each others’ tongues, and learn how to move our glottis differently’.

View here the original version text including superscripts and strikethroughs.



[1] Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Debt and Study, eflux journal, Journal #14 - March 2010, accessed August 20th, 2018.

[2] Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Winehoe/ New York/ Port Watson: Minor Compositions, 2013.