La Pekuniala Teorio di Silvio Gesell
Collection: Courtesy the artist and BQ, Berlin.
Matti Braun’s video La Pekuniala Teorio di Silvio Gesell is about the German-Belgian radical economist Silvio Gesell. Gesell advocated a currency theory called freigeld (‘free-’ or ‘liquid money’) in the early 20th Century, which has no concept of inflation or deflation. Even though the currency had helped lead to a reduction in unemployment in some parts of Europe, including during the Great Depression of 1932, freigeld was often banned as it made capitalist accumulation unprofitable. With narration spoken in the Ido language, Braun's video links documentary photographs from his life, including his writings, portraits and views of his various homes, together with animated diagrams. Braun encountered Gesell for the first time when visiting the main Ido archive, run at that time by an elderly couple in a village near to Kassel, Germany, who took it upon themselves to be cultural ambassadors for both Gesell and Ido. Though unconnected, both Ido and Gesell’s freigeld can be seen as possessing affinity. Both emerged in a similar moment, and possess a similar “Third Way” logic, that had attracted reformists and those wishing to participate in alternative social structures.
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