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For A Feminist Reconstruction of the Commons



This is a new smaller version of my print for the Justseeds exhibition Uprisings: Images of Labor. Entirely hand-drawn and cut in rubylith, then silkscreen printed by hand here at Lavender Estero in Pittsburgh.

I wanted to tackle labor from the angle of one of my current favourite thinkers, Silvia Federici. In 1972 she was one of the co-founders of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the international campaign for Wages For Housework (WFH). Her excellent book Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body, and Primitive Accumulation discusses the role of unwaged, slave, and reproductive labor in the growth of primitive accumulation (ie early capitalism). I crafted the text on this print from interviews with Silvia, on her more recent book Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (PM Press).

Inspired by my good friend Brette Gabel’s radical quilts, I tried to visualize what a commons of shared, diverse labor may look like. One way of visualizing the collective is through a quilting bee (all genders welcome).


Choose from two colorways, lavender and purple on lavender paper, or teal and purple on speckletone cream paper

Posts by Mary Tremonte