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Reading: Being-in-Common: An Enquiry into the ‘Common/s’ as a Strategy to Rearticulate Humanness


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Being-in-Common: An Enquiry into the ‘Common/s’ as a Strategy to Rearticulate Humanness


Aurora Perego

About Aurora

Graduated with honor in Peace Studies and International Cooperation at the University of Pisa (Italy), Aurora Perego is currently enrolled in the Research Master's Programme Gender and Ethnicity at the Utrecht University (Netherlands). Due to her studies and activism, Aurora has developed specific interests on the intersection of gender, sexuality, class, and migration. Her main theoretical focus includes decolonial and postcolonial feminism, queer theory, biopolitics and necropolitics. 

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Inspired by poststructural discussions on subjectivities, borders, and practices of inclusion/exclusion, this essay draws a preliminary enquiry into the (neo)colonial and (neo)capitalist dichotomy of ‘human’/‘non-human’, in order to envision radical rearticulations of humanness. Deploying Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (Butler and Athanasiou 2013) as the main theoretical framework, I argue that the matter of the ‘human’ is inherently embedded in dominant discourses of private property, according to which subjects ‘exist’ as ‘human’ only when they can exert their possession over others. My concern, then, develops around the necessity to configure claims for (recognition of) rights for dispossessed individuals and communities in ways that work to undo the oppressive equation ‘being=having’ (Butler and Athanasiou 2013). In this sense, this article investigates the concept of the ‘common’ (Federici 2010; Hardt and Negri 2009) as a strategy to rethink the ‘human’ in relation to ‘others’, and to the earth. To do so, it focuses on the Zapatista struggles for access to land and self-government, which from 1994 have radically transformed the community life of several indigenous villages in the Mexican region of Chiapas. Through the development of the concepts of ‘being-in-common’ and ‘becoming-as-common’, I will argue that the ‘common’ has the potential to transform humanness into an inclusionary site of multiple becomings. 

How to Cite: Perego, A., 2016. Being-in-Common: An Enquiry into the ‘Common/s’ as a Strategy to Rearticulate Humanness. Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities, 1(1), pp.8–22. DOI:
Published on 01 Mar 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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