A Preview of the Future – Workers’ Control in the Context of a Global Systemic Crisis


  • Oliver Ressler
  • Dario Azzellini Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria



Palabras clave:

social transformation, recuperated companies, worker’s control, crisis, factory occupations, self-management, fraudulent bankruptcy, ‘open factory’, assemblies, recycling, self-administration, direct democracy


One of the ‘concrete utopias’, as Ernst Bloch called them, realistic possible concepts for a better world, that can already be found in the here and now, are ‘recuperated companies’. Focusing on the examples of the worker-controlled factories RiMaflow in the industrial periphery of Milan and Officine Zero in Rome this text allows a glimpse of how society could be organised differently. The occupied or recuperated workplace becomes a space in which new social relations are developed and practised: reliability, mutual help, solidarity among the participants and solidarity with others, participation and equality are some characteristics of the new social relations built. The workers of the recuperated factories recognise themselves in each other and consider themselves to be part of a broader movement.

Biografía del autor/a

Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler, born 1970, lives and works in Vienna and produces installations, projects in public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Ressler has had more than 60 solo exhibitions, among them in Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Seville; Foundation Fabbrica Del Cioccolato, Torre-Blenio (CH); MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; and SALT Galata, Istanbul. Currently he has a double solo exhibition at Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and The Gallery Apart in Rome. Ressler has participated in more than 300 group exhibitions, including Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; MASSMoCA, North Adams, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris and at the biennials in Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015), and Quebec (2014). He is the director of 25 films. A retrospective of his films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013. He is the co-curator of an exhibition cycle on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, and project leader of the research project Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom at Secession in Vienna in 2014. Ressler is the first price winner of the newly established Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award in 2016. www.ressler.at

Dario Azzellini, Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria

Dario Azzellini is a political scientist and lecturer at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, writer and filmmaker based in Berlin and Caracas. He holds a PhD in political science from the Goethe University in Frankfurt (Germany). His research and writing focuses on social and revolutionary militancy, migration and racism, people’s power and selfadministration, workers control and extensive case studies in Latin America.

He served as Associate Editor for The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest: 1500 to Present, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2009 and was primary editor for Latin America, the Spanish Caribbean, and the new left in Italy. He serves as Associate Editor for WorkingUSA and for Cuadernos de Marte, an academic publication about war sociology by the University of Buenos Aires.

He published several books, essays and documentaries about social movements, privatization of military services, migration and racism, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and Venezuela. Among them The business of war (Assoziation A 2002), a book about privatization of military services, translated an published in the US, GB, Germany, Argentina, Bolivia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and Venezuela. He recently published“El negocio de la guerra. Nuevos mercenarios y terrorismo de Estado“ (Monte Àvila, Venezuela, 2009), “Partizipation, Arbeiterkontrolle und die Commune“ (VSA, Germany, 2010) and the documentary „Comuna under construction“ (2010) about local self government in Venezuela. Azzellini has been invited to conferences in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.


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