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'The Zombie Metaphor' talk at Nottingham Contemporary

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The Zombie Metaphor: From Slavery to Consumer Capital

Free. The Space

With origins in West Africa, the zonbi entered into a nexus of folk memory in Haiti as a metaphor for slavery. Other versions have proliferated through travel writing, literature and, most notoriously, through the zombie movie genre, which Hollywood began making during the US occupation of Haiti. More recently the zombie has been reconfigured, as a critical metaphor by cultural theorists and economists as a metaphor for capitalism and consumerism.

Wednesday 7th November, 6.30 - 8.30pm
The Zombie Metaphor Part II - Panel Discussion (

John Cussans will trace the history of three complexly interwoven figures that come together in early cinematic representations of Mesmerism, Haitian voodoo and colonial slavery: the somnambulist, the zombie and the slave. Cussans' talk will examine how these figures came to be so closely associated in the language of early horror cinema, their historical and cultural sources, and the implications of these stories for contemporary zombie theory and politics.

John Cussans is an artist, writer and independent researcher.

Peter Fleming - "It is a simple fact that the era of work is now dead. Yet strangely it has become the only game in town, influencing our lives more now than ever. Perhaps this is why work life today is often defined by its opposite, that of non-living, a life that is already dead. Whether in the office, the creative industries, the retail show-floor or the back-room warehouse, life seems to be far away. It is a living death. Ironically, the dead man working is nevertheless compelled to wear the exterior signs of life, to throw a pretty smile, feign enthusiasm and make a half-baked joke. When the corporation has colonized life itself, even our dreams, the question of escape becomes ever more pressing, ever more desperate. This talk will explore the ways in which we might break free from this awful (non)life of work, and perhaps even live to tell the tale."

Peter Fleming (together with Carl Cederström) is author of Dead Man Working, new from Zero Books.

Mark Fisher- "We live in world where, it seems, nothing ever ends . . . Despite the crisis of 2008, neoliberal capitalism continues, intensifying its exploitation of a population already zombified by overwork. It is not as if the crisis of 2008 had no impact however: the cost of neoliberal capital's survival was its own transformation into a zombie. But as the aficionados of zombie films well know, this should give us no succour: the zombie is often harder to kill than the living person. At the same time, capital’s terminator, an old adversary, is stirring. The spectre of communism is coming back, and this time there will be no stopping it . . ."

Mark Fisher is a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University Of London and author of Capitalist Realism, from Zero Books.

Those of you who know me well know that I love Zombies! I spotted this talk on the Contemporary website, and thought that it looked worth a visit.

Tickets are free, and can be booked online here! ticket (

I've already got mine, so I hope that a few others come along too!

More information can be found here! zombie (

Meet in 'The Space' (downstairs) at Nottingham Contemporary at 6.15. The talk starts at 6.30 and will last for a couple of hours. We could then go for a drink afterwards, maybe in the Contemporary Cafe Bar.