On 11 October, an intergalactic memorial carnival will be held in many parts of the world to commemorate the popular American social anthropologist David Graeber who passed away on 2 September this year. The events will be held to honour his contribution to modern political and economic processes. Andris Šuvajevs, a lecturer at Riga Stradiņš University (RSU), will be presenting an online memorial lecture on Graeber on 11 October.
Šuvajevs will provide an insight into Graeber's most important theses and works. At the end of the lecture, everyone will have the opportunity to comment, ask questions, as well as speak about their communication with and interpretations of Graeber's ideas. The organisers of the international memorial event point out that there is only one rule: come in a mask. This does not mean a medical mask, like those used to protect yourself from the pandemic, but rather a carnival mask. In the introduction to the lecture, Šuvajevs will explain the significance of masks and carnivals to Graeber's ideas and notes that no one will be turned away if they are not wearing a mask.
'Graeber's ideas were a source of intellectual inspiration for many contemporary politically revolutionary movements, from the Kurds in Rojava to the yellow vests movement in France. He played an active role in Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and problematised understandings of money, debt, beaurocracy, violence, statehood and capitalism in his academic work,' explains Šuvajevs. 'Graeber was an outstanding writer who became known to the general public with his book Debt: The First 5000 Years, as well as an essay on "bullshit jobs", which later turned into a book. One week before his death, Graeber completed his last book in collaboration with archaeologist David Wengrow. In the book the authors challenge the traditional understanding of human development. All of Graeber's work is permeated by the conviction that our political capabilities go beyond those of a democratic capitalist system, which, despite a number of achievements, has created widespread social inequalities and brought humanity closer to ecological disaster.'