Accepted paper:

Affective labour: "somatic modes of attention", emotion, and marginality in Gypsy musical performances


Aspasia Theodosiou (Epirus Institute of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

The article touches upon the relationships among gypsy musical performances, labor and affect.

Paper long abstract:

The article will explore the relationships among gypsy musical performances, labor and affect. It draws on long-term anthropological fieldwork among a group of Gypsy musicians living next to the Greek Albanian border. Drawing on Deleuzian formulations of affect, the anthropology of Gypsies, anthropological accounts of embodiment, and the theory of "immaterial labour", the paper will investigate how affect is mobilised in distinct performance contexts to produce diverse subjectivities; how affect is integral to the formation of a community of marginal subjects, who labour in the radically shifting economic and social circumstances of neo-liberal capitalism. In highlighting an embodied economy of affect, the article will explore the way such economy is being translated into shifting boundaries and alignments between and among Gypsy and non-Gypsy groups in a context of changing economic and social relations in Greece This engagement of Gypsy musical labour and affect is of particular importance: on the one hand it sets out to explore how working as a gypsy musician conforms to the concepts of immaterial and affective labour as understood by Maurizio Lazzarato and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri respectively. In so doing it challenges various dichotomizations (e.g. music/work) and engages critically with the discussion engendered by the anthropology of Gypsies (e.g. M. Stewart) about the link between Gypsies' marginality and their ideas about work. On the other, it questions the all too often under-theorised link between music, embodiment and emotion/sentiment/affect, and considers musicians' affective labour as a potential site for understanding the connection between socio-economic transformations, affective transactions and their so called marginality.

panel P089
Roma/Gypsy resilience beyond marginality?