To sell or not to sell : resistance neo-liberal globalization and the aesthetic post-communist subject

Velicu, Irina
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
How does one articulate resistance to neoliberal globalization in a post-communist context? In my dissertation I address the ambiguous encounter between the moral and the commercial economy by looking at the ongoing Transylvanian controversy in Rosia Montana. Examining the ambiguity within the discursive practices (re)producing both Rosia Montana (as an object of commodification) and Rosienii (as subjects) in dichotomous representations, I illustrate how selling or preserving land in the new global economy is not a simple 'economic' choice. While the corporate supporters attempt to produce the image of a troubled space in need of aid--thus essentializing what a Rosian means by appealing to a proletarian consciousness of the miner occupation-NGOs are producing the 'Save Rosia Montana' campaign by appealing to a pristine/peasantry essence and to the 'liberal rights' discourse. While a prevailing narrative among the Rosienii is reiterating motifs of sacred spirituality, all these representations are rather unstable and blurred in everyday life. Interviews, personal stories and quotations of media texts will illustrate how Rosienii are seduced by the various ideological discourses attempting to arrest the experience of Rosia and how 'partitioning' their sensible experience is rather contentious. My argument is that resistance is to be viewed aesthetically as it eludes certainty; political subjectivities are mobile and events of subjectification are unstable. The paradoxes of this encounter are important in terms of continuities and similarities between capitalism and the totalitarian experiment of Eastern Europe, making the discourse of 'post-communism' more complicated than it is traditionally presented. On the one hand, one can see the Rosia Montana case as a 'successful social (environmental) movement' not only because it managed to create ways to block the corporation for almost ten years but also because it attracted the support of many people from all over Romania (and elsewhere) who have become interested in the area and (even) visited it: the call had very much to do with the perception that the corporate project is a mockery and that Romanian politicians are profiting out of it. The 2010 HayFest mirrored the desired alternatives for the region: entitled "Rosia Montana, as a Big Stage", it gathered people from all over Romania as well as other countries for workshops, political debates, traditional food-shops, eco-entertainment activities, touristic visits etc.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
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