Forming the Coalitional Debtor is a project which outlines a speculative supportive infrastructure that aims to make personal debt refusal possible. Household debt has grown at enormous rates alongside the rapid financialisation of our markets, states, and lives. People in debt are made to feel isolated, ashamed, and morally beholden to their creditor, even when faced with exploitative loans carrying high interest rates. In order to realize the possibilities of debt erasure on a large scale, conversations need to be had to reduce shame and build trust, in other words, personal finance must be socialized. This speculative infrastructure is made up of three core components; access (legal, technological, monetary), education (anti-capitalist financial literacy, political and social movement history), and embodied healing (mental and physical health, spirituality). By centering care-based relational practices, debtors may be able to support one another towards financial well-being and build collective power.
The Miro board is an active component of my research archive. It is a playful space where I’ve diagrammed various aspects of my research using collage, web clippings, and referential quotes. It is no secret that our financial systems are complicated, to the point where most of us have the faintest clue what is truly going on. Here I attempt to map out parts of the household debt system in the United States, influential ideas within the fields of critical theory as they relate to debt and financialisation, and a proposal for building the coalitional debtor. The base maps are the beginning of parsing out this complexity, setting the stage for future collective mapping efforts.
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For more information on the Coalitional Debtor, please visit my written dissertation completed as part of The Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London.