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Redesigning money as a tool for self-management in cultural production

Gonzatto, R.F., van Amstel, F.,and Jatobá, P.H.(2021) Redesigning money as a tool for self-management in cultural production, in Leitão, R.M., Men, I., Noel, L-A., Lima, J., Meninato, T. (eds.), Pivot 2021: Dismantling/Reassembling, 22-23 July, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract: Money is a crucial mediation for organizing in capitalist societies. Those who lack money cannot easily organize and raise collective consciousness. A naive form of consciousness may reject money to prevent greed and envy. Yet, a critical state of consciousness should see money as a tool that can be redesigned to encourage different feelings that can ballast anti-capitalist transactions. This research describes Colaborativa@PE, a collective who designed digital social currencies to nurture solidarity bonds in several cultural production collectives spread through Brazil. These collectives embarked on an inquiry that led them to experiment with solidarity economy and self-management. The need to digitalize their self-management practices brought them to Corais Platform, a free software/design suite that adopts a participatory metadesign approach. Colaborativa@PE’s members joined the platforms’ metadesign and proposed a new social currency tool, soon implemented. With this new tool, the Colaborative@PE’s associated collectives greatly expanded their self- management handiness degree, becoming more critical of its possibilities and limitations for organizing. While analyzing this case, this research concludes that the redesign process can be characterized as a form of conscientization in light of Paulo Freire’s and Álvaro Vieira Pinto’s works.

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