Refusal of work

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“Although the immoderate character of the phrase “refusal of work” may strike us today as naïve or impractical, if we consider such strategies as laboratories – both conceptual and practical – in which different subjectivities can be constituted and paths to alternative futures opened, the utopian aspect of the refusal of work, in its insistence that we struggle toward and imagine the possibilities of substantial social change, is essential.”

Weeks, Kathi.The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011, 110.
 

Lavorare con lentezza – movie by Guido Chiesa (2004)

The movie is based on events involving Radio Alice in Bologna (Italy), a 1970s pirate radio which was politically aligned with the autonomism movement. This movement developed ideas and practices around the refusal of work.


 

Enzo del Re – Lavorare con lentezza (1974)

Lavorare con lentezza
senza fare alcuno sforzo
chi è veloce si fa male
e finisce in ospedale
in ospedale non c’è posto
e si può morire presto

Lavorare con lentezza
senza fare alcuno sforzo
la salute non ha prezzo,
quindi rallentare il ritmo
pausa pausa ritmo lento,
pausa pausa ritmo lento

sempre fuori dal motore,
vivere al rallentatore

Lavorare con lentezza
senza fare alcuno sforzo
ti saluto ti saluto,
ti saluto a pugno chiuso
nel mio pugno c’è la lotta
contro la nocività

Lavorare con lentezza
senza fare alcuno sforzo

Lavorare con lentezza
Lavorare con lentezza
Lavorare con lentezza
Lavorare con lentezza
Lavorare con lentezza
 

English translation

Working with slowness
without making any effort,
quickness harms, and makes you
end up in the hospital,
in the hospital there’s no place
and you can die very soon

Working with slowness
without making any effort,
you know wealth has no price
so slow down the work rate
pause, pause, slow rhythm,
pause, pause, slow rhythm

Always out of the engine,
living at slow motion

Working with slowness
without making any effort,
I greet you, I greet you
I greet you with clenched fist
In my fist there’s the struggle
Against harmfulness

Working with slowness
Without making any effort
Working with slowness
Working with slowness
Working with slowness
Working with slowness
Working with slowness