“The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.” – Karl Marx

Taking these words to heart, NYU Skirball will present a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth, two-week commemoration of the great philosopher’s 200th birthday. Admission to all performances is free: however, audiences will receive an invoice detailing the cost of every element of the production (supply). They are then free to determine the worth of the production and donate accordingly (demand) thus enabling the artists to “earn money in order to live and write.”

Karl Marx (1818–83), revolutionary economist, philosopher and author of The Communist Manifesto, was one of the most influential figures of all time. Curated by Jay Wegman and inspired by Marxist writings on the perils of capitalism, class struggle and socialism, the festival features works that represent aspects of Marx’s theories: P Project (the effects of capitalism); Brujx (the oppression of the proletariat) and Non-Western (economics). Special events include panels, talks by international philosophers and the premiere of Choral Marx, a choral adaptation of Marx’s Manifesto.


Oct 17 @ 7:30PM

Ivo Dimchev: P Project

P Project tests Marx’s theories on capitalism by offering audiences cold, hard cash in exchange for a performance. Ivo Dimchev is a Bulgarian performing artist, known internationally for his provocative and often controversial works of performance art.

Oct 18 @ 6PM

On Your Marx: Racial Capitalism

Join NYU Professors Arun Kundnani, Michael Ralph, and Nikhil Singh for a discussion of racial capitalism.

Tamiment Library (NYU Bobst, 70 Washington Square South, 10th floor).

Oct 19-20 @ 7:30PM

luciana achugar: Brujx

Brujx, a world premiere, ritualizes the labor of the dancers, exposing and transcending it to unearth the powerful and primal magic brujx within them. As in all of luciana achugar’s work, it proposes DANCE as the necessary transformational healing for our time.

Oct 19 @ 9:30PM

Let Us Eat Cake!: A Marxist Dance Party

This birthday party will feature DJ AndrewAndrew spinning the finest Marxist tracks, plus readings from the masterworks Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto.

Oct 22 @ 6:30PM

Skirball Talks: Slavoj Žižek

The NYU Department of German and Deutsches Haus at NYU present “The Fate of the Commons: A Trotskyite View” with Slavoj Žižek as part of NYU Skirball’s “On Your Marx” festival in celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday.

Oct 23 @ 5:30PM

On Your Marx: Futurity & Consumption

Join NYU Professors Lisa DailyDean Saranillio, and Jerome Whitington for a discussion of climate change and global capitalism.

Department of Social & Cultural Analysis (20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor).

Oct 24 @ 4PM

Labor & Disability: No Right to be Idle

Join us for a book talk and celebration of No Right to Be Idle (2017) with author Sarah Rose (UTexas, Arlington), winner of the 2018 Philip Taft Labor History Prize.

239 Greene St., 8th Floor Commons. RSVP: emily.rogers [at] nyu.edu

Oct 25 @ 5:30PM

On Your Marx: Labor, Aesthetics, Identity

Join luciana achugar, Julie Tolentino, and Amin Husain for a conversation on labor, aesthetics, and identity.

Department of Performance Studies (721 Broadway, 6th Floor).

Oct 26 @ 7:30PM

Courtesy the Artists: Popular Revolt

How would you act in a Social Democracy? As we free fall into fascism, let’s imagine alternative moves. In this collectively produced performance, the assembled performers take socialism as a “fake it ’til you make it” proposition.

Oct 28 @ 5PM

Ethan Philbrick: Choral Marx

Choral Marx is a singing adaptation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Manifesto for the Communist Party composed by Ethan Philbrick. Choral Marx re-sounds Marx and Engels’s 1848 critique of capitalism in 2018 and explores the resonance of the Manifesto today.

Go Beyond

Alisa Zhulina on Ivo Dimchev

The concept is simple in premise and provocative in practice.

Barbara Browning on Ethan Philbrick

It’s an ongoing study in how to labor, and learn, together.

Fred Moten on My Barbarian

My Barbarian would have been outside. Their invading socialist society is already here.

Prep School

Study guides for NYU Skirball events.