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the literal or figurative removing of dirt. cleaning has a clear use-value and importance: hygiene is vital. we clean our bodies and the spaces we inhabit – or others’ bodies and the spaces others inhabit – so as not to get sick or to make interaction more inviting and pleasant for others. cleaning is then a form of care. on the other end of the spectrum, however, there is also cleaning as a form of “social hygiene”, a removal of those who are (either implicitly or explicitly) considered to be a threat to the body politic – a rhetoric of cleanliness is thus evoked to legitimize what is clearly the opposite of care. such cleaning for social hygiene often takes place on the level of representation, as well: think of those left out of the images we are so used to reading as projections of a perfect, or at least desirable, form of society and of living together. think also of the efforts invested in obfuscating and concealing the expenditure of labor, not the least the labor of cleaning itself, and other forms of care work. there is such a thing as the cleaning of images, too (think of direct or indirect censorship), and more often than not it betrays naturalized and banalized asymmetries of power and capital, moral prejudices and forms of hierarchy.