Exploring Worker Poets

Reading groups can be an effective way to delegitimize the hegemonic discourse of predefined social roles and labor divisions (both inscribed into the acceptance of the normality of the working days’ time-schedule). As long term expatriate workers we found many rich avenues in study of Art history, Managerial issues, exploring themes of literature, history and faith.

(In this three part series we will discuss the technologies of government in manufacturing anti-citizens, the narrative of alternative life-stories as a way of generating identity and the role of cultural production as an act which delegitimizes the hegemonic discourse of predefined social roles and labor divisions)

For previous entries see blogs

Easter discussions again


Migrant Nights



It all started with a routine medical consultation which blossomed into a meeting a Funduq Kabir –Grand Hotel in which one of the teachers started talking about Subalterns.
Over the years, we have searched for subalterns, medical refugees, persons displaced due to war and conflict in Subsaharan Africa and Libya.

“Keep the group informal so that later on, there are no fights over who will be the president or secretary,” the initiator told, having seen many such groups. Over the years, we have had some rich exchanges, have carried the concept across continents and engaged with persons of different vocations and disciplines who added rich perspectives and nuances to this effort.

Those interested can see blogs under tag of https://prashantbhatt.com/tag/tripoli-reading-group/

Reading Groups
Over several discussions in Regatta, this veteran doctor, Dr.Dragomir
a surgeon from Serbia explained to me some nuances regarding NATO Missions
and how the civil war affected a full generation and beyond.


In his archival research on Saint-Simonian workers of nineteenth century France, Jacques Rancière focused his historical interest on a group of exceptional worker-poets who devoted their nights to intellectual production (verse, prose, song). His core argument is that turning upside down the days’ time-zones and proceeding to cultural production was a revolutionary act in itself (more radical than claims for better working conditions), because it delegitimized the hegemonic discourse of predefined social roles and labor divisions (both inscribed into the acceptance of the normality of the working days’ time-schedule)

Jacques Rancière, The Nights of Labor: The Workers’ Dream in Nineteenth-Century France
(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991).


Exploring Legacies
Tobruk war cemetery. This Hindu Soldier of the Indian Army is honored here.
Santa-Indian Army Medical Corps, November 27,1942, Age 23

Over the years, the war and subsequent Freedom, the talk about forming a New State and the layers which one goes through in this, has led to many interesting discussions.

Safir is the Indian food restaurant where we meet. As expatriate workers, we find many interesting undercurrents and a sense of Déjà vu.

Berlin Wall moments- Was the self-immolation of Bouazizi the Berlin Wall moment for the Arab world? How many Billionaires in the post-Soviet era are going to act as models for some of the rebels? What is difference between rebellion and revolution?

How do you end a revolution ? Or is it an on-going process?


When asked about his grandfather, I felt very close to the soul of this dedicated doctor.

“My grandfather was a simple man, born around the beginning of the 20th century. He worked as a guard in the Mehtiga area. Our family had little money. My father worked as a helper in the homes of Italians.When Libya became free he got a chance to educate himself. He learnt English and even represented the community in a council for local affairs. Some of his work was covered in local newspapers. He could speak and read English better than me, the doctor in his mid –fifties told with a tinge of pride and nostalgia as he remembered his father. Our families lands were taken away to build the military base of Americans in Mehtiga.”

For a more complete nuanced version of these interviews and narratives see the Chapter-Friends of Bouazizi in the book –Shafshoofa Maleshi


* * *


Partnership with patients-
This blind girl taught us a few things about going into nuances..
Over the years we have collected some interesting narratives
on how patients navigate the layers of health care delivery

As I looked at a book on Picasso and prepared notes to discuss Guernica and its relevance in present day Arab world, the mind’s eye went to the discussion which led to our Reading group.

The seeds of a discussion over tea, initiating the Reading group has had many interesting manifestations which help break the hegemonic discourse of predefined social roles and labor divisions


In coming entries we will discuss / review the processes of
the Exit Interview

While organizations following mature managerial practices use the tool of Exit Interview, we as long term workers in a private organization have used this as a comparative study.

I keep doing the same thing again and again and expect different results

Who moved my cheese

See relevant blogs

The Exit Interview


Exploring Pygmalion effect.



About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal : gracereadings.com
This entry was posted in Everyday History and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Exploring Worker Poets

  1. Dinesh De says:

    Dear Prashant, I hope you and family are doing well.I would like to know about obtaining visa to visit Malta.Is it difficult to get it.
    Please lso inform me if foreignsrs ca n buy property there.
    I hope you like your job and the place you are working after a great turmoil.
    Love to family members. Dcde

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