Tropical cows yield only little milk. That’s the reason why, until 1990 on, surplus powdered milk produced in the GDR was swapped with Cuban sugarcane products. This program guaranteed every child under the age of ten and every Cuban more than 60 years of age one litre of milk per day. After the “reunification”, the contracts which provided the base for this German-Cuban project were annulled by the Federal German government. On a pasture between Tornitz and Werkleitz, Schafer had cows parade in a demonstration against alienated work and for the redistribution of overproduction. Initially, the cows had been painted,- but this method didn‘t weather well enough. Ina second attempt, the cows had been clothed in lilac-coloured ‘banners’ with handpainted slogans. White letters advertised the webaddress of Cuba.si!, an organisation trying to maintain old and new networks for the support of economic and social structures in Cuba, another cow paraded a quote by the French situationist Guy Debord, in which he demands the abolishment of alienated work.
The ‘lake of milk’ and the ‘butter-mountain’ are still growing. His observation of the global production of goods have prompted Christoph Schafer to conclude that objectively the conditions for a life largely freed of the necessity to work are given. Under current political conditions, though, surplus-production creates havoc. Just like any other beliefsystem, it seems, Neo-Liberalism is unable to leave behind an encumbering economic logic which has been declared absolute.
Christoph Schäfer, DE 2000, Cow-demonstration