What Comes after the «Outbreak Narrative»? New Approaches to Past and Future Epidemics

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Małgorzata Sugiera

Mindful of Covid 19 as a common experience, many authors of recently published books start with a preface to depict the still lingering shock and resulting lack of a comprehensive picture of the ongoing disaster. In her lecture, Małgorzata Sugiera, professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and head of the Department for Performativity Studies, will focus on authors who spent many years studying similar epidemiologic events and their reverberations on various fields and scales in her talk to highlight how the „normal“ which we so much want to come back to – the normal instantiated also in the cropping out (re)presentations Covid-19 – will influence our possible future. For what epidemiologists see today and try to prevent as a possible future development differs noticeably from what the twentieth-century epidemiology and Priscilla Wald have rightly named “outbreak narratives”. 

Wedensday, 18 May 2022

Time: 18:00 to 20:00

Room: KOL-E-13

organised by SNFS-project Crisis and Communitas

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It’s complicated – Queere Filme und Festivals in Osteuropa

Trotz schwieriger Bedingungen wird auch in Osteuropa queere Kultur gemacht. Es entstehen fantastische Produktionen, die im Westen gerne gezeigt werden. Umgekehrt zeigen osteuropäische LGBT+-Festivals Filme, die den Weg in die Region nie finden würden. Das queere Filmfestival Pink Apple hat Festivalmacher:innen und Filmschaffende aus Polen, Ungarn und Slowenien zu einer Podiumsdiskussion eingeladen, um über die Situation in den jeweiligen Ländern und über das Engagement, die Probleme und die Steine, die ihnen bei der Arbeit in den Weg gelegt werden, zu sprechen. Aus aktuellem Anlass wird auch die Situation queerer Menschen auf der Flucht thematisiert.

Es diskutieren:

Adéla Horáková, Anwältin und Protagonistin «The Law of Love»
Maria Takacs, Filmemacherin aus Ungarn und Gründerin des Gobbi Hilda Film Club
Blaž Slana, Filmemacher und Autor von Slowenien
Łukasz Gutt, Regisseur «All Our Fears»
Miłosz Przepiórkowski, kümmert sich mit der polnischen Organisation Lambda Warszawa um queere Flüchtlinge aus der Ukraine.
Dorota Sajewska (Moderation), Assistenzprofessorin für Interart (Osteuropa), Universität Zürich

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Wo sich kultureller Widerstand gegen den Krieg formiert

Russische Rapstars wie Face und Oxxxymiron haben ihre Stimme gegen den Krieg erhoben. Das Musikduo IC3PEAK postet Protestvideos. Doch um das zu tun, mussten sie, wie zehntausende andere junge Oppositionelle, ihr Land verlassen. Wer sich gegen Putin stellt, ist in Russland nicht mehr sicher. Nur wenige, wie der TikTok-Star Nikita Sass, bleiben und posten trotzdem mutig weiter ihre Meinung. Es findet ein regelrechter „Kreativ-Exodus“ statt, seit Jahren wandern Russlands Kulturschaffende ab. Seit dem Angriff auf die Ukraine haben sich im Land die Repression empfindlich verschärft. Wo formiert sich kultureller Widerstand, und wie sieht er aus? Was machen die Geflüchteten im Exil? Die Sendung „Tracks“ hat Stimmen und Aktionen junger Kulturschaffender in Russland, der Ukraine, den USA und Deutschland zusammengetragen und gibt ihnen eine Plattform: www.arte.tv/de/videos/106757-009-A/tracks/


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Ukraine is a country, not a sphere of influence

Among Western journalists and political analysts there is noticeable trend to analyze the war in Ukraine in terms of “spheres of influence”. Tadeusz Kozcanowicz  agrues that this imperial thinking frames the land conquest ordered by Vladimir Putin as a reaction to “Western expansion”. In a desperate bid to say something original, talking heads and Twitter intellectuals from both the left and the right talk about “NATO’s overexpansion in the East” and thereby reinforce Putin’s claims that Russia is threatened.

Tadeusz Kozcanowicz also draws attention to the fact that, according to the United Nations International Organization for Migration, three million people, half of them children, have left Ukraine since the outbreak of the war. These numbers make it the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the end of World War II. Their tragedy, and that of the thousands killed in the war, is the price Ukraine paid for not wanting to be part of a “sphere of influence.”

Read more www.crisisandcommunitas.com/?crisis=ukraine-is-a-country-not-a-sphere-of-influence

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Life, Without Buildings

An exhibition curated by Adam Szymczyk, Verein by Association, with Andreas Angelidakis, Aristide Antonas, Peter Friedl, David Harding, Edi Hila, Doruntina Kastrati, Ibrahim Mahama, Anna Molska, Ahlam Shibli, Tercerunquinto, and Allyson Vieira.

A conversation with artists moderated by Barbara Casavecchia will take place at Alumni Lounge during the opening on Tuesday, March 15, 6pm.

When: 16 March – 20 May, 2022
Opening: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 6pm
gta exhibitions, ETH Zurich, Hönggerberg

Also including works by Bas Jan Ader (1942 – disappeared 1975); Yannis Tsarouchis (1905 – 1989); John Berger’s book on migrant work “A Seventh Man” (1975) with photographs by Jean Mohr; and drawings by Miriam Cahn for a model of the Parthenon (Athens, 5th century BCE) built in Basel in 1979.
Proposals by students of the 2021 seminar “Life Without Buildings” will be presented at Alumni Lounge, adjoining the gallery.

Assisted by Elena Bally and Daniel Sommer, gta exhibitions.
With a curatorial contribution by Salvatore Lacagnina.

Photo: Bas Jan Ader, “All my clothes,” black and white photograph, 28 x 35.5 cm, 1970. Copyright The Estate of Bas Jan Ader / Mary Sue Ader Andersen, 2022 / The Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Zurich. Courtesy of Meliksetian | Briggs, Los Angeles.

More information: https://www.gta.arch.ethz.ch/ausstellungen/-life-without-buildings-

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The American Pundits Who Can’t Resist “Westsplaining” Ukraine

«War is hell for anyone in it. And it’s a predictable but regrettable call to arms for people with opinions who aren’t. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, as the fighting on the ground has escalated, so has the volley of opinions about the war. And for Eastern European scholars like us, it’s galling to watch the unending stream of Western scholars and pundits condescend to explain the situation in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, often in ways that either ignore voices from the region, treating it as an object rather than a subject of history, or claiming to perfectly understand Russian logic and motives.» – In their article «The American Pundits Who Can’t Resist “Westsplaining” Ukraine» published at New Republic Jan Smoleński and Jan Dutkiewicz criticize John Mearsheimer and other foreign policy experts for treating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine like a risk game. They draw attention to the phenomenon of ‘Westsplaining’ that ignores Eastern European history and the perspective of the Eastern Europeans, and it selectively omits facts on the ground about NATO expansion. They argue that in the westsplaining framework, the concerns of Russia are recognized but those of Eastern Europe are not.

Read more: https://newrepublic.com/article/165603/carlson-russia-ukraine-imperialism-nato

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What Does Defending Europe Mean?

On the basis of the Slovenian refugee policy Slavoj Žižek makes visible that Europe’s double standard on refugees, exposed yet again by the war in Ukraine, is morally deaf and geopolitically dumb. He shows that the obscene truth of this policy is: Europe must defend itself from non-Europe. Slavoj Žižek outlines that this approach will be catastrophic for Europe in the ongoing global struggle for geopolitical influence. He also argues that, the best way Europe can defend itself is to persuade other countries that it can offer them better choices than Russia or China can.

Read the article in English: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/europe-unequal-treatment-of-refugees-exposed-by-ukraine-by-slavoj-zizek-2022-03

in German: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/europe-unequal-treatment-of-refugees-exposed-by-ukraine-by-slavoj-zizek-2022-03/german

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The 3/2021 issue of Pamiętnik Teatralny on “Theater and Communitas” curated by Dorota Sajewska is now available online!

The Polish theater journal Pamiętnik Teatralny 3/2021 has just published a thematic block curated by Dorota Sajewska under the title “Theater and Communitas”. In close collaboration with the SNF project “Crisis and Communitas. Performative Concepts of the Communal in Polish Culture since the Beginning of the 20th Century,” this is devoted to the negotiation of communality from the perspective of the performative arts, using the example of concrete productions, specific theater groups, or in the conceptualization of current challenges. The thematic issue includes contributions by Sandra Biberstein, Louise Décaillet, Kai Padberg, Dorota Sajewska, Nina Seiler and Dorota Sosnowska.

The 3/2021 issue is now available online and you can read full texts here: https://czasopisma.ispan.pl/index.php/pt/issue/view/59

Toward Theatrical Communitas | Dorota Sajewska
A Reading of Community | Nina Seiler

Picture:Anne Imhof, “Sex. Performance view”, Eliza DouglasTate Modern, London, 2019Photo Nadine Fraczkowski

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Impressions from the performance “Wasteland/Short Fragments”

The performance which premiered last week in Zurich will be shown at the Youth Theatre Festival in Belgrade next week as part of the “Initiative – Inclusion – Interaction” program hosted by Plavo Pozoriste. The other participating theatre groups and organisations will be: Theaterlabor Bielefeld, Jubilo Foundation from Wroclaw, Association of the Deaf of Belgrade,  Intimen Teatar (Macedonia). The project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.”

“Wasteland/Short Fragments”
with: Siu Hei Chung, Muriel Fischer, Alexandra Kienitz
directed by: Yuri Birte Anderson
images © by Michael Züger


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“Wasteland/Short Fragments” – Performance on September 22, 8 pm at Rieterpark, Zurich

“Wasteland/Short Fragments”: Young performers in Zurich have developed physical and vocal journeys based on the themes of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland”. Published nearly a century ago, it reflects upon the fatigue and disorientation after a global cataclysm – a theme one can reconnect with today.

 The outdoor, site-specific performance will take place on Wednesday, September 22nd, in Rieterpark Zurich at 8pm. Meeting point: entrance of Rietermuseum at 7.50pm.

Duration: 25 min.

Performers: Siu Hei Chung, Muriel Fischer, Alexandra Kienitz

Direction: Yuri Birte Anderson.

A collaboration between International Laboratory Ensemble & Crisis and Communitas / Slavic Studies Department/UZH, as part of the “Initiative-Inclusion-Interaction – Contemporary Theatre for Active Youth” project with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.


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Krysztof Warlikowski – We Are Leaving (Wyjeżdżamy) – Webinar “Theatre and Communitas” on May 27, 4-6 pm

We are leaving, but where? When? – The characters in Hanoch Levin’s play are incapable of answering these questions. Their purpose in life is to leave their pathetic and absurd existence in a provincial town and run away to the big world that must be out there somewhere. In the meantime, they attend each other’s funerals, hoping that they will not meet the same fate. In most cases they do.

Krzysztof Warlikowski said that with this play he wanted to re-establish contact with the Polish audience, which he felt he lost when The French, his production based on Proust, was not understood.  Though Warlikowski avoids direct political statements, We are leaving was his first premiere after the conservative counterrevolution transformed intellectual and political life in Poland. This new climate made it harder to talk about issues that had always appeared in his theater, like homosexuality or memory of the Holocaust and its repression.

The play resonated with the discussions that emerged in Polish artistic and intellectual circles about the dream of fleeing to a better world that is close yet somehow too far. Warlikowski ironically asks if it might be better to try to change the world around us than to dream of one that doesn’t exist—a political question in Poland with existential implications elsewhere.

Yet does indicating the hopelessness of escaping a world we don’t accept provide the motivation to change it? Is despair a good starting point for a new community? We will discuss these and other questions with Piotr Gruszczyński, dramaturge of the play.

Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.
The webinar is organised by the SNFS research-project «Crisis and Communitas». 

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ColetivA Ocupação – Quando Quebra Queima (When it Breaks it Burns) – Webinar “Theater and Communitas” on May 6, 4-6 pm

In 2015, the government of the Brazilian state of São Paulo announced a school reform that comprised the closure of more than 100 state schools in working-class neighborhoods. The 14 to 17 year old students did not want to accept this without protest and occupied the schools for several months. ColetivA Ocupação was founded in the context of these school occupations in the cultural center Casa do Povo. In Quando Quebra Queima (When it Breaks it Burns), 16 performers who participated in the occupations approach the political events by combining dance, music, activism, and education, completely eliminating the distance between performance and spectators: they not only tell their story, but also occupy the stage, revive the protest.

What role do the performative arts play in protest movements? What changes when protest takes place not in the streets but in the theater space? And what happens to a protest when it can no longer happen in the physical space? We want to discuss these and other questions with several performers of the collective.

Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.
The webinar is organised by the SNFS research-project «Crisis and Communitas». 


2015 kündete die Regierung des brasilianischen Bundesstaates São Paulo eine Schulreform an, welche die Schliessung von mehr als 100 staatlichen Schulen in Arbeiter*innenvierteln vorsah. Die 14- bis 17-jährigen Schüler*innen wollten dies jedoch nicht widerspruchslos hinnehmen und besetzten die Schulen während mehrerer Monate. ColetivA Ocupação wurde im Kontext dieser Schulbesetzungen im Kulturzentrum Casa do Povo gegründet. In ihrem Stück Quando Quebra Queima (When it Breaks it Burns) nähern sich 16 Performer*innen, die selbst auch an den Besetzungen teilnahmen, den politischen Ereignissen an, indem sie Tanz, Musik, Aktivismus und Bildung miteinander verbinden und jegliche Distanz zwischen Performance und Zuschauer*innen aufheben: Sie erzählen nicht nur ihre Geschichte, sondern besetzen die Bühne und lassen somit den Protest nochmals aufleben.

Welche Rolle spielen die performativen Künste für Protestbewegungen? Was verändert sich, wenn der Protest nicht auf der Strasse, sondern im Theaterraum stattfindet? Und was passiert mit einem Protest, wenn er nicht mehr im physischen Raum stattfinden kann? Diese und weitere Fragen wollen wir mit Performer*innen des Kollektivs diskutieren.

Bitte melden Sie sich spätestens eine Woche vor dem Webinar unter info@crisisandcommunitas.com an.
Nach der Anmeldung erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen sowie weitere Informationen, wie Sie sich die Aufführung zur Vorbereitung online anschauen können.

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Death Positive – States of Emergency von Yael Ronen und Ensemble – Webinar «Theater und Communitas» am 29. April, 16-18 Uhr

«Death Positive – States of Emergency» von Yael Ronen und Ensemble ist eines der wenigen aktuellen Stücke, das die Corona-Pandemie nicht nur mit Masken und Desinfektionsmittel zitiert, sondern auf der Bühne des Berliner Maxim Gorki Theaters zum tatsächlichen Mittelpunkt der Aufführung macht – und gleichzeitig weit darüber hinausgeht.

Künstlerische Freiheit sowie das Potenzial des Theaters, Grenzen zu überschreiten, enden in dieser Inszenierung dort, wo die Corona-Regeln beginnen. Mit höchstem Pedantismus werden Katzenpfoten desinfiziert, Corona-Verordnungen rezitiert und persönliche Bereiche mit Absperrband abgesperrt – und doch kommen in den knapp 70 Minuten Aufführung Themen auf, die von der Gesellschaft lange unterdrückt, in der Krise aber so virulent zutage gefördert wurden: Wut, Isolation, Zweifel, Ängste und der Umgang mit dem Tod. In der Auseinandersetzung damit wird der Theaterabend – mal komisch, mal tragisch, aber meist zutiefst emotional – zu einem vielstimmigen Ganzen, das sich sowohl aus verschwörungstheoretischen Parolen wie auch aus biographischen Erlebnissen und Erfahrungen der einzelnen Ensemble-Mitglieder speist.

Welche Rolle kommt dem Theater in einer Zeit zu, in der Abstand und Aerosole die Inszenierungsumsetzung bestimmen? Inwiefern kann Theater die disparate Erfahrung zwischen Gehorsam und Kritik aufgreifen, die momentan die Gesellschaft spaltet? Wo steht Theater zwischen persönlicher Erfahrung und der Verkörperung der Perspektive Anderer? Über diese Fragen und die Verbindung von pandemischen und postdramatischen Theaterformen, deren Widerspruch und Potenzial wollen wir im Rahmen des Webinars «Theater und Communitas» diskutieren.

«Death Positive – States of Emergency» wird am 28. April 2021 vom Maxim Gorki Theater gestreamt: https://www.gorki.de/de/stream-death-positive

Nach der Anmeldung unter info@crisisandcommunitas.com erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zur Zoom-Sitzung.


“Death Positive – States of Emergency” by Yael Ronen and ensemble is one of the few current plays that not only quotes the Covid-19 pandemic with masks and disinfectant, but makes it the actual focus of the performance on the stage of Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater – and at the same time goes far beyond it.

Artistic freedom and the potential of theatre to transcend boundaries end in this production where the Corona rules begin. Cat’s paws are disinfected with the utmost pedantism, Corona regulations are recited and personal areas are cordoned off with barrier tape – and yet, in the almost 70 minutes of performance, themes come up that have long been suppressed by society, but were brought to light so virulently in the crisis: Anger, isolation, doubt, fears and dealing with death. In dealing with these issues, the theatre evening – sometimes comical, sometimes tragic, but generally deeply emotional – becomes a polyphonic whole that is fed by conspiracy theory slogans as well as biographical experiences of the individual ensemble members.

What is the role of theatre in a time when distance and aerosols determine the implementation of staging? To what extent can theatre address the disparate experience between obedience and criticism that currently divides society? Where is theatre situated between personal experience and embodying the perspective of others? We want to discuss these questions and the connection between pandemic and post-dramatic theatre forms, their contradiction and potential in the webinar “Theatre and Communitas.”

Please view “Death Positive – States of Emergency” on April 28, 2021, at Maxim Gorki Theater (stream): https://www.gorki.de/en/stream-death-positive

For participation in the webinar and access to the zoom meeting, please register with info@crisisandcommunitas.com.

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Der Mordfall Halit Yozgat. Eine Oper unter Quarantäne von Ben Frost – Webinar “Theater and Communitas” on April 15, 4-6 pm

15 Minuten dauert die Sequenz, die in der Oper «Der Mordfall Halit Yozgat» immer und immer wieder wiederholt wird. Die Frage «Was ist passiert?» markiert deren Ende. Danach stellen die sieben Schauspieler*innen und Sänger*innen des Opern- und Schauspielensembles Hannover den Tathergang in veränderter Rollenbesetzung erneut nach.

Als Ausgangslage diente Komponist und Regisseur Ben Frost die 2017 an der documenta 14 ausgestellte Simulation 77sqm_9:26min des Forschungsteams Forensic Architecture. Diese rekonstruierten nicht nur den Mord an Halit Yozgat, der am 6. April 2006 in einem Internet­Café in Kassel durch zwei gezielte Kopfschüsse ermordet wurde, sondern stellten auch mehrere Unstimmigkeiten fest in den Zeugenaussagen von Andreas Temme, ein Mitarbeiter des hessischen Verfassungsschutzes, der sich zum Tatzeitpunkt vor Ort befand, aber behauptet, weder den Mord noch den Toten bemerkt zu haben.

Der Tathergang zum Mord an dem 21-jährigen Halit Yozgat wurde bis heute nicht aufgeklärt. Ben Frost geht in seinem multiperspektives Reenactment einen Schritt weiter als Forensic Architecture: In der gut zweistündigen Oper stellt er verschiedene Perspektiven nebeneinander. In einer Art Laborsituation wird so untersucht, was zum Tatzeitpunkt passiert ist und was die einzelnen Protagonist*innen gedacht und gesagt haben könnten.

Mitten im Probenprozess musste die Arbeit an der Inszenierung wegen des Lockdowns im Frühling 2020 ausgesetzt werden. Komponist und Regisseur Ben Frost entschied sich deshalb, zusammen mit Visual Artist Richard Mosse und den Künstler und Kameramann Trevor Tweeten, einen Film über das Projekt und die wiederaufgenommene Probenarbeit unter Corona-Bedingungen zu drehen.

Über die Rolle des Reenactment im kollektiven Gedächtnis, über diverse Mediatisierungsprozesse im postpandemischen Theater sowie über die Unfertigkeit der Kunst werden wir mit Fabienne Liptay, Professorin für Filmwissenschaft an der Universität Zürich, diskutieren.

Nach der Anmeldung erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen sowie weitere Informationen, wie Sie sich die Aufführung zur Vorbereitung online anschauen können.


The sequence that is repeated over and over again in the opera “The Halit Yozgat Murder Case” lasts 15 minutes. The question “What happened?” marks its end. Afterwards, the seven actors and singers of the Hanover Opera and Drama Ensemble re-enact the sequence of events in different roles.

Composer and director Ben Frost used the simulation 77sqm_9:26min by the research team Forensic Architecture, which was exhibited 2017 at documenta 14, as a starting point. They not only reconstructed the murder of Halit Yozgat, who was killed in an Internet café in Kassel on 6 April 2006 by two targeted shots to the head, but also found several inconsistencies in the testimonies of Andreas Temme, an employee of the Hessian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, who was on the scene at the time of the crime but claims to have noticed neither the murder nor the dead man.

The circumstances of the murder of 21-year-old Halit Yozgat have not been clarified until today. In his multi-perspective re-enactment, Ben Frost goes one step further than Forensic Architecture: in the opera, which lasts two hours, he juxtaposes different perspectives. In a kind of laboratory situation, he investigates what happened at the time of the crime and what the individual protagonists might have thought and said.

In the middle of the rehearsal process, work on the production had to be suspended due to the lockdown in spring 2020. Composer and director Ben Frost, together with visual artist Richard Mosse and artist and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, decided to make a film about the project and the resumed rehearsal work under Corona conditions.

We will discuss the role of reenactment in collective memory, various mediatisation processes in post-pandemic theatre as well as the unfinishedness of art with Fabienne Liptay, professor of film studies at the University of Zurich.

Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.

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EASTAP 2021: New spectatorship in post-covid times: theatre and the digital

The aim of the 2021 EASTAP conference in its digital iteration is to register, discuss and reflect on the most recent developments in global theatre culture(s). Focusing on the (forced) mediatization of theatre, the conference will address questions of digital theatre-making and (new) spectating, with the intention to articulate and conceptualize the experiences learned as the world found new ways of making and engaging with theatre during a pandemic.

Conference website www.eastap.com
Submission link: easychair.org/conferences/?conf=eastap2021

Deadline for paper proposals
April 15, 2021

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Angela Davis on racism

In an interview for the International Film Festival on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva last week, Angela Davis reflects on her activism and the current challenges of the struggle for anti-racism and equality. Welcoming the entry of the structural character of racism into present mainstream discourse, she discusses new forms of global and collective awareness, issues of intersectionality, racial capitalism and the importance of climate justice for the feminist struggle. At the end of the interview, Angela Davis also answers questions from the Geneva Women’s Strike Committee and addresses the spread of islamophobia in Europe, the new terrain of struggle opened up by Muslim feminism and issues of gender violence.

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Wojtek Ziemilski – Come Together – Webinar “Theater and Communitas” on March 18, 4-6 pm

Above a stage played by five actors, an inscription forbids the sitting audience from entering the stage. Yet this is what the actors of Come Together relentlessly invite the spectators to do throughout the entirety of the performance. Through all kinds of speeches and actions, the actors provoke the audience in a sometimes seductive, sometimes imploring or even authoritative manner to get them on stage – all their efforts remaining unsuccessful. While the stage appears as a possible site of “togetherness”, an inaccessible “common ground”, the audience turns into the main actor in the play.

Pushing the relationship between stage and audience to the extreme, Come Together addresses the ideals and conventions of theater with playful and desperate self-derision: Is theater really capable of bringing together actors and audience for an evening in spite of their differences and inequalities? Or is the promise of an ephemeral community the last illusion of contemporary theater? Doesn’t the theater rely upon a power relationship between those who look and those who act? Is this power relationship capable of being thwarted? We will discuss these and other questions with Wojtek Ziemilski, director of the play.

Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.

The webinar is organised by the SNFS research-project «Crisis and Communitas». UZH students who are interested in receiving credit for the webinar as a module should contact nina.seiler@uzh.ch

Über einer von fünf Schauspieler*innen bespielten Bühne verbietet eine Aufschrift dem sitzenden Publikum, die Bühne zu betreten. Jedoch geht es den Schauspieler*innen von Come Together während der ganzen Aufführung darum, die Zuschauer*innen ständig gerade dazu aufzufordern. Sich allerlei Reden und Nummern hingebend, provozieren sie das Publikum manchmal verlockend, manchmal flehend oder sogar herrisch, um es auf die Bühne einzuladen – ein unermüdliches Bemühen, das doch erfolglos bleibt. Die Bühne wird somit zum Ort eines unmöglichen Zusammenseins, zu einem unzugänglichen common ground, und das Publikum zum Hauptakteur der Aufführung.

Indem Come Together die Beziehung von Bühne und Publikum auf die Spitze treibt, spricht das Stück die Theaterideale und -konventionen mit verspielter und verzweifelter Selbstironie an: Ist das Theater imstande, Schauspieler*innen und Zuschauer*innen trotz ihrer Unterschiede und Ungleichheiten während eines Abends zusammenzubringen? Oder ist das Versprechen einer Gemeinschaft die letzte Illusion des zeitgenössischen Theaters? Liegt dem Theater nicht ohnehin ein Machtverhältnis zwischen den Zuschauenden und den Handelnden zugrunde? Kann dieses Verhältnis vereitelt werden? Diese und noch andere Fragen diskutieren wir mit dem Regisseur des Stücks Wojtek Ziemilski.

Bitte melden Sie sich spätestens eine Woche vor dem Webinar unter info@crisisandcommunitas.com an.
Nach der Anmeldung erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen sowie weitere Informationen, wie Sie sich die Aufführung zur Vorbereitung online anschauen können.

UZH-Studierende, die an einer Anrechnung des Webinars als Modul interessiert sind, melden sich frühzeitig bei nina.seiler@uzh.ch.

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Warum die «Burka»-Initiative Frauen nicht hilft

Die Schweizer Stimmbevölkerung entscheidet am Sonntag, 7. März, ob ein landesweites “Verhüllungsverbot” in Kraft treten soll, dass vor allem das Tragen des Niqabs untersagt. Merièm Strupler erklärt in ihrem feministischen Argumentarium in der WOZ, weshalb die Initiative weder Frauen hilft, noch das Patriarchat bekämpft, sondern vor allem die Sichtbarkeit muslimischen Glaubens aus der Öffentlichkeit verdrängen soll.


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Nach dem Ende der Versammlung III – Das Theater von andpartnersincrime – Webinar “Theater and Communitas” on March 11, 4-6 pm

“Jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler“, „Alle sind gleich“, „We, the people“ – eine Gruppe von Künstler*innen setzen während des Lockdowns diese Mottos in die Praxis um, indem sie einen Raum schaffen, wo jede*r mit ihnen gemeinsam kochen und essen kann. „Ada_kantine“ wurde so zu einer Alternative zu den institutionalisierten Versammlungen wie lokalen Parlamenten oder Theatern – Institutionen, die, obwohl sie innerhalb einer gegebenen Gemeinschaft für die Gemeinschaft gegründet werden, oft von dieser distanziert bleiben. Die während der Pandemie betriebene künstlerische Forschung praktizierte eine anarchistische Demokratieordnung, die neue Formen des Zusammenseins hervorbrachte.

In ihrem Buch über öffentliche Versammlungen hinterfragte die Philosophin Judith Butler die Bedeutung der ersten Worte der US-amerikanischen Verfassung: „We, the people“ wurde zum Motto für eine demokratische Welt, in welcher institutionelle Demokratie die politische Hauptidee und Grund zur Selbstgefälligkeit ist. Was heisst aber „wir“ und woraus besteht diese angedeutete Pluralität? Deren Mehrdeutigkeit hinterfragen die Künstler*innen (sind sie noch Künstler*innen?) durch eine soziale Praxis, die uns zur Diskussion einlädt. Sind wir bereit, uns darauf einzulassen, oder ziehen wir es vor, dass alles wieder zur Normalität zurückkehrt, wenn diese Zeiten vorbei sind? Diese und noch andere Fragen werden wir mit Julia Novacek, Video- und Performance-Künstlerin sowie Mitglied des Künstler*innen-Zusammenschlusses andpartnersincrime, diskutieren.

Nach der Anmeldung erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen sowie weitere Informationen, wie Sie sich die Aufführung zur Vorbereitung online anschauen können.

UZH-Studierende, die an einer Anrechnung des Webinars als Modul interessiert sind, melden sich frühzeitig bei nina.seiler@uzh.ch.

“Everybody is an artist”, “Everyone is equal”, “We, the people” – a group of pandemic-locked artists put these slogans into practice by creating a space where everyone who is hungry can come and prepare food with them. “Ada_kantine” thus created an alternative to institutionalized assemblies in local parliament or theatres – institutions that are founded in a community for the community but tend to be at a remove from the community. The artistic research during the pandemic practiced an anarchist rule of democracy, bringing about new meanings of being together.

In her book about assembly, philosopher Judith Butler challenged the meaning of the first words of the American Constitution: “We, the people” became a motto for the democratic world in which institutional democracy is the main political idea and a reason for complacency. What does “we” mean and what does this plurality consist of? With full appreciation of this ambiguity, the artists (are they still artists?) of andpartnersincrime explore this question through social practice and invite us to the discussion. Are we willing to enter it or do we prefer everything to go back to normal when these times are over? We will discuss these and other questions with Julia Novacek, video and performance artist as well as member of the artistic union andpartnersincrime.

Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.

The webinar is organised by the SNFS research-project «Crisis and Communitas». UZH students who are interested in receiving credit for the webinar as a module should contact nina.seiler@uzh.ch

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Opencall für das Projekt «Initiative – Inclusion – Interaction»

Studierende, die schon immer einmal eine site-specific Performance im Freien entwickeln wollten, sind herzlich willkommen zum Theaterworkshop am Slavischen Seminar unter der Anleitung von Yuri Birte Anderson (International Laboratory Ensemble). In dem Projekt soll eine Performance zu den Themen „Initiative – Inclusion – Interaction“ entwickelt werden. Junge Performer*innen aus Zürich lernen dabei die Labortheater- und Performance-Tradition kennen und entwickeln ein Projekt, das im Rahmen des Youth Theatre Festivals in Belgrad im Herbst aufgeführt wird.

Aufgrund der Pandemie wurden die ursprünglich für 2020 geplanten Aktivitäten auf Frühjahr/Sommer bis Herbst 2021 verschoben. Nach einem Kennenlernen im Mai (08., 09. Mai // 15., 16. Mai // 22., 23. Mai) folgt ein Intensivworkshop im Juni (23.-25.Juni), eine Workshop-Phase in Belgrad vom 28.Juni-04.Juli, bei dem ein Methodenaustausch mit anderen osteuropäischen Labortheater-Gruppen erfolgt (Plavo Pozorište, Belgrad, und Jubilo Foundation, Wrocław). Proben sind für Juli 2021 und September 2021 geplant und eine Werkstattpräsentationen in Zürich am 23. und 29. September, und schliesslich die Aufführung auf dem Youth Theatre Festival in Belgrad (01.-03. Oktober 2021).

Aufgrund der anhaltenden Sicherheitsmassnahmen ist die Anzahl der Teilnehmenden stark begrenzt, und die Trainings, Proben und die Aufführung in Zürich werden im Freien stattfinden.

Das Vorhaben wird ermöglicht durch das Erasmus+ Programm der Europäischen Union, und findet in Kooperation mit dem „Crisis and Communitas“-Projekt statt, geleitet von Prof. Dorota Sajewska, Slavisches Seminar, Universität Zürich.

Interessierte werden gebeten, sich bis zum 30.April 2021 bei Yuri Birte Anderson zu melden (yuri.b.anderson@slav.uzh.ch)

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Sean Patten, member and founder of Gob Squad, in conversation with Piotr Gruszczyński, dramaturge of Nowy Teatr in Warsaw

For over 25 years, Gob Squad have been blurring the boundaries of art, theatre and real life. Sean Patten, member and founder of the collective, talks to Piotr Gruszczyński, dramaturge of Nowy Teatr in Warsaw, about how Gob Squad was founded, their collective’s work and about “Show Me a Good Time”: https://fb.watch/3QPa0EVh60/

Join our seminar “Theater and Communitas” on Thursday, February 25 at 4pm for a further discussion about Gob Squad’s last performance with Aenne Quiñones from HAU Berlin.

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Show Me A Good Time von Gob Squad – Webinar “Theater und Communitas” on February 25, 4-6 pm

In ihrer im ersten Lockdown von 2020 entstandenen Aufführung treffen sich die fünf Kollektivmitglieder von Gob Squad drei Stunden lang per Video und machen sich auf die Suche nach einer „guten Zeit“. Währenddessen wird die Aufführung für Online-Zuschauende live gestreamt. Verstreut zwischen einem leeren Theatersaal, einer Wohnung in England und einem nächtlichen Stadtbummel in Bern, ist jede*r sowohl Akteur*in sein*ihres eigenen Abends und interaktive*r Zuschauer*in der anderen. Das Publikum, das die Abenteuer an privaten Bildschirmen verfolgt, wohnt ihren zufälligen Begegnungen auf der Strasse, ihren Momenten der Einsamkeit und ihren Anstrengungen bei, gemeinsam eine „schöne Zeit“ zu verbringen.

Indem Alltag, öffentlicher Raum und Theatersaal ineinander verschmelzen, fordert Show Me a Good Time die Fähigkeit des Kollektivs heraus, zusammenzuhalten und sein Publikum trotz der Isolation zu unterhalten: Wie kann eine Performance die ständige mediale Vernetztheit aufgreifen, die unsere menschlichen Beziehungen seit Beginn der Pandemie verstärkt bedingt? Wie wirkt sich die Digitalität auf die Erfahrung der Präsenz und des Miteinanderseins im Theater aus? Inwiefern verwandelt sich die kollektive Wahrnehmung durch die Isolation der Zuschauenden in Privatsphäre? Diese und noch andere Fragen werden wir mit Aenne Quiñones, stellvertretende künstlerische Leiterin des HAU Hebbel Am Ufer in Berlin und Herausgeberin des Buches Gob Squad. What Are You Looking At? (Alexander Verlag, Berlin, 2020), besprechen.

Die Aufführung Show Me a Good Time wird am 18./19./20. Februar als Live-Stream vom Schlachthaus Theater Bern durchgeführt: schlachthaus.ch Bitte organisieren Sie sich für diese Aufführung selbstständig ein Ticket (Preis: 5.–).

Bitte melden Sie sich spätestens eine Woche vor dem Webinar unter info@crisisandcommunitas.com an.
Nach der Anmeldung erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen sowie weitere Informationen, wie Sie sich die Aufführung zur Vorbereitung online anschauen können.

UZH-Studierende, die an einer Anrechnung des Webinars als Modul interessiert sind, melden sich frühzeitig bei nina.seiler@uzh.ch.

In their performance conceived during the first lockdown of 2020, the five members of the collective Gob Squad meet by video in order to find themselves “a good time”. Scattered between an empty theater, a flat in England and a night stroll through the streets of Bern, each of them is both an agent of their own evening and an interactive spectator of the others’. Meanwhile, the performance is streamed live for an online audience. Following the Gob Squad’s adventures from their own private screens, the spectators witness their accidental encounters in the street, their moments of loneliness and their efforts to have “a good time” together.

Mingling everyday life with public space and the theater stage, Show Me a Good Time challenges the collective’s capacity to hold together and to enjoy an evening with their audience in spite of their isolation: How does can live performance handle the medial interconnectedness that has been shaping our relationships since the beginning of the pandemic? How does digitality impact our sense of presence and being together? To what extent is the collective reception of the performance transformed by the dispersion of the spectators in their own private space? We will discuss these and other questions with Aenne Quiñones, deputy artistic director of HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin and editor of the book Gob Squad. What Are You Looking At? (Alexander Verlag, Berlin, 2020).

The performance Show Me a Good Time will be live-streamed by the Schlachthaus Theater Bern on February 18/19/20: schlachthaus.ch Please organize your own ticket for this performance (price: CHF 5.-).

Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.

The webinar is organised by the SNFS research-project «Crisis and Communitas». UZH students who are interested in receiving credit for the webinar as a module should contact nina.seiler@uzh.ch

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Far away from gender equality being a reality

The introduction of women’s suffrage in 1971 represented a milestone for gender equality in Switzerland. Even 50 years later, there is still a lot to do. Alexandra Dufresne describes how gender equality stands today and why gender discrimination is a serious problem in many Swiss workplaces. In her article on Swissinfo she argues that CVs should not include references to marital and parenthood status.

Read more: www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/to-advance-gender-equality-in-switzerland–remove-family-status-from-cvs/46348678

© picture: ETH-BIB-Zurich-Altstetten, Kappeli Schoolhouse, first women’s voting day in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland

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Webinar THEATRE & COMMUNITAS. Forms of digital commonality in the performative arts

The production and testing out of practices of assembly in the theatre gained controversial significance during the pandemic. The closings of cultural institutions, paired with the impossibility of gathering physically, have not only challenged the work of theatre professionals, but also the theatre itself as a public space of assembly, as the art of so-called bodily co-presence and as “communitas” – a liminal and spontaneous form of commonality. While new forms of gathering and the public continue to appear in digital space, “post-pandemic theatre” has already arrived. At the same time, the digital supply of past performances also invites us to reflect on theatre as a collective experience and source of debate in new temporal-spatial conditions.

The webinar “Theatre and Communitas” seizes the opportunity: On the basis of the newest material of the (post-)dramatic, performative, activist and digital-hybrid stage and the opera, we will investigate concepts and practices of commonality projected around the globe, which engage creatively, constructively or critically with the digital formats of theatre and performance. Beyond collective research and reflection, the event series also allows its participants to meet as an audience and to engage in exchange and open discussion on theatre and “communitas.” Thus, the regular meetings of the webinar call for a commonality that is currently denied to theatres and their audiences.


The webinar will take place on the following dates from 4 to 6 pm CET. Please register by a week before the meeting by sending an e-mail to info@crisisandcommunitas.com. After registration, you will receive access to the zoom meetings and to the materials for discussion.

UZH students who are interested in receiving ETC-Points for the webinar as a module should contact nina.seiler@uzh.ch

25 February, 4-6 pm – German

Gob Squad – Show Me a Good Time – premiere 2020 in HAU in Berlin; guest: Aenne Quiñones, deputy artistic director HAU Hebbel am Ufer

11 March, 4-6 pm – German

andpartnersincrime – Nach dem Ende der Versammlung III – Das Theater – premiere (online) 2021 in Digital Mousonturm; guest: Julia Novacek (video and performance artist, Berlin)

18 March, 4-6 pm – English

Wojtek Ziemilski – Come Together – premiere 2017 in Studio Teatrgaleria in Warsaw; guest: Wojtek Ziemilski (independent director, Warsaw)

15 April, 4-6 pm  – German

Ben Frost – Der Mordfall Halit Yozgat – premiere (online) 2020 in Staatsschauspiel Hannover in cooperation with Holland Festival; guest: Fabienne Liptay (professor for film studies, UZH)

29. April, 4-6 pm – German

Yael Ronen und Ensemble – Death Positive – States of Emergency – Premiere 2020 im Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin

6 May, 4-6 pm – English

Coletiva Ocupação – When it Breaks it Burns (Quando Quebra Queima), premiere 2018 in Casa do Povo in São Paulo; guest: Coletiva Ocupação (São Paulo) – English

27 May, 4-6 pm – English

Krzysztof Warlikowski – We Are Leaving (Wyjeżdżamy) – premiere 2018 in Nowy Teatr in Warsaw, guest: Piotr Gruszczyński (dramaturge, Nowy Teatr Warsaw) – English

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Webinar zu THEATER & COMMUNITAS. Formen digitaler Gemeinschaftlichkeit in den performativen Künsten

Das Erzeugen und Erproben von Zusammensein im Theater haben während der Pandemie besonders an Brisanz gewonnen. Die Schließungen der Kulturinstitutionen und die Unmöglichkeit, sich physisch zu versammeln, fordern nämlich nicht nur die Arbeit der Theaterschaffenden heraus, sondern auch das Theater selbst als öffentlichen Ort der Versammlung, als Kunst der sogenannten „leiblichen Ko-Präsenz“ oder als „Communitas“ –  eine liminale und spontane Form der Gemeinschaftlichkeit. Während neue Formen der Zusammenkunft und der Öffentlichkeit im digitalen Raum zutage treten, wird ein „postpandemisches Theater“ bereits erwägt. Zugleich gibt die digitale Bereitstellung von vergangenen Aufführungen auch Anlass dazu, über Theater als gemeinsames Erlebnis und Diskussionsmaterial in neuen raumzeitlichen Bedingungen nachzudenken.

Diese Gelegenheit möchte das Webinar „Theater&Communitas“ ergreifen: Anhand jüngster Beispiele der (post-)dramatischen, performativen, aktivistischen und digital-hybriden Bühne sowie der Oper werden Konzepte und Praktiken von Gemeinschaftlichkeit erforscht, die global entworfen werden und sich mit den digitalen Formaten von Theater und Performance kreativ, konstruktiv oder kritisch auseinandersetzen. Über die kollektive Untersuchung und Reflexion hinaus ermöglicht die Veranstaltungsreihe ihren Teilnehmenden auch, sich als Publikum zu treffen bzw. sich auf Austausch und offene Diskussionen über Theater und „Communitas“ einzulassen. So hofft das Webinar selbst, anhand regelmäßiger Treffen zur Gemeinschaftlichkeit aufzufordern, welche den Theatern und ihren Publika zurzeit entzogen ist.

Das Webinar findet an den angekündigten Daten von 16 bis 18 Uhr über Zoom statt. Bitte melden Sie sich spätestens eine Woche vor dem Webinar unter info@crisisandcommunitas.com an. Nach Ihrer Anmeldung erhalten Sie die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen sowie weitere Informationen, wie Sie sich die Aufführung zur Vorbereitung online anschauen können.

Studierende der UZH, die an einer Anrechnung des Webinars als Modul interessiert sind, melden sich frühzeitig bei nina.seiler@uzh.ch


25. Februar, 16.00-18.00 Uhr – deutsch 

Gob Squad – Show Me a Good Time – Premiere 2020 im HAU in Berlin; Gast: Aenne Quiñones, Stv. Künstlerische Leitung  HAU Hebbel am Ufer

11. März, 16.00-18.00 Uhr – deutsch

andpartnersincrime – Nach dem Ende der Versammlung III – Das Theater – Premiere (online) 2021 im Digital Mousonturm; Gast: Julia Novacek (Video- und Performancekünstlerin, Berlin)

18. März, 16.00-18.00 Uhr – englisch

Wojtek Ziemilski – Come Together – Premiere 2017 im Studio Teatrgaleria in Warschau; Gast: Wojtek Ziemilski (freier Regisseur, Warschau)

15. April, 16.00-18.00 Uhr – deutsch

Ben Frost – Der Mordfall Halit Yozgat – Premiere (online) 2020 im Staatsschauspiel Hannover in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Holland Festival; Gast: Fabienne Liptay (Filmwissenschaftlerin, UZH)

29. April, 4-6 pm – deutsch

Yael Ronen und Ensemble – Death Positive – States of Emergency – Premiere 2020 im Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin

6. Mai, 16.00-18.00 Uhr – englisch

Coletiva Ocupação – When it Breaks it Burns (Quando Quebra Queima) – Premiere 2018 in Casa do Povo in São Paulo; Gast: Coletiva Ocupação (São Paulo)

27. Mai, 16.00-18.00 Uhr – englisch

Krzysztof Warlikowski – We Are Leaving (Wyjeżdżamy) – Premiere 2018 in Nowy Teatr in Warschau; Gast: Piotr Gruszczyński (Dramaturg, Nowy Teatr Warschau)


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Online Symposium “Contemporary Debates on the Ecological Crisis”

The Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst collaborates with the Department of Fine Arts and the Postgraduate Programme in Curating at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) to host the online symposium Contemporary Debates on the Ecological Crisis, which seeks to chart transdisciplinary approaches to cutting-edge debates around the gathering ecological storm. The symposium is held in conjunction with the exhibition Potential Worlds 2: Eco-Fictions at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst.

The two-part exhibition probes the relationship between humanity and nature, inquiring into the potential “new” worlds that might spring up in “human-made ruins” and into visions of novel forms and ways of life on earth. The symposium brings together scholars and artists working in ecology and drawing on neighboring fields such as ecoaesthetics, ecopolitics, coexistence in ecosystems, and the decolonization of nature. The online symposium offers the participants and the public an opportunity to discover productive approaches to ecological concerns and emerging questions and to discuss how to reposition humanity in these altered circumstances.

  • Monday January 18, 2021 11 am–6.15 pm
  • After your registration at kunstvermittlung@migrosmuseum.ch, the link will be sent to you.
  • In English
  • A cooperation of the Department of Fine Arts and the Postgraduate Programme in Curating (ZHdK) with the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
  • Curated by Gözde Filinta, researcher & curator, Istanbul & Zurich

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«The pandemic is only a test for the real crisis»

In his new book «Pandemic! Covid-19 shakes the world» Slavoj Zizek reflects on Covid-19, its deeper meanings at its paradoxes. In the interview with the Berliner Zeitung he explains why we are experiencing a historical turning point and why everyday life is currently making us philosophers, albeit stupid philosophers.


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Seriality, Sociability, Silence. Hal Foster on art and lockdown

In 2020, lockdowns around the world have provided a plain illustration of “seriality”, a notion Sartre defined as a “plurality of isolations” characterizing modern societies. For this year’s final edition of Artforum, while U.S. art galleries and museums are still emptied of their visitors, art historian Hal Foster reminisces about the sociability once afforded by art and its institutions. Though reproducing class privileges, museums are also special spaces where different worlds, times and audiences intersect and socialize. Foster reminds of the “mnemotechny” of art and the necessity to extend it to different traditions and audiences. By giving priority to other mnemotechnies (such as anticolonialist and antiracist ones), art and its museums might point to a future that is called for in the present, namely “right now”.


Bild: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (We will no longer be seen and not heard), 1985, silk screen and lithography on paper, nine parts, each 20 3/4 × 20 5/8″.

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Jean-Luc Nancy talks about his new book «Un trop humain virus» (Bayard, 2020)

The French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy will be joining BRAKC for an online event on 17 December 2020 at 2pm (GMT). The discussion will start around Nancy’s new book Un trop humain virus (Bayard, 2020), and will then widen to other themes relevant to research on the aesthetics of community.

Nancys philosophical interests are multiple and he has published widely. His work on community (see La communauté désoeuvrée, 1983), is of particular relevance to the concerns of BRAKC. Nancy’s latest book analyses coronavirus as a deconstructive agency within Western civilisation.

Nancy will be in conversation with a panel comprising Dr Irving Goh (National University of Singapore), Dr Ian James (University of Cambridge), Dr Rémi Astruc (University of Paris-Seine), Dr Nathalie Wourm (Birkbeck, University of London).

The event will be in French but a link will be provided to access simultaneous automated translation. All welcome, no need to register.

The event will be recorded and posted on the BRAKC website for those who cannot attend the live session.

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Krise – Katastrophe – Bedrohte Ordnungen

Die Corona-Krise ist neben allen gravierenden Veränderungen im Alltag von Anfang an von zahlreichen musealen Sammelaufrufen, aber auch von verschiedenen kulturwissenschaftlichen Deutungen geprägt worden. Zwar sind diese – was auffallend ist – nicht an die Deutungshoheit der Virologen herangekommen, aber bedeutungslos waren und sind sie trotzdem nicht. Was aber beinhalten die gängigen geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Perspektiven auf Krisen und Katastrophen? Was machen diese mit uns? Was ist „alt“ und was ist „neu“ an COVID-19? Im Institutskolloquium des Ludwig-Uhland-Institituts für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft der Universität Tübingen – dieses rekurriert auch den Institutsschwerpunkt „Katastrophen“ (https://uni-tuebingen.de/de/75250) – werden darauf kulturwissenschaftliche Antworten gegeben, die immer wieder auf den Tübinger SFB 923 „Bedrohte Ordnungen“ (https://uni-tuebingen.de/de/24861) zurückgreifen. Denn in diesem wird nicht nur intensiv erforscht was passiert, wenn „Gesellschaften unter Stress“ geraten, sondern in den EKW-Projekten auch ausbuchstabiert, wie eine kulturwissenschaftlicher Zugriff auf Krisen und Katastrophen – somit aber auch auf die aktuelle Pandemie – funktioniert.

Zur Vorbereitung auf das Institutskolloquium wird ein Blick in die virtuelle Ausstellung www.bedrohte-ordnungen.de empfohlen.

Die Zugangsdaten zu den Zoom-Sitzungen erhalten Sie per Mail bei Bianca Hepp bianca-raffaela.hepp@uni-tuebingen.de

05.11. –  Corona / Einführung: Bedrohte Ordnungen in bedrohten Ordnungen. Begriffe – Umgangsweisen – Konzepte / Kolloquiumsplan

12.11. – Tim Schumacher/Monique Scheer (Tübingen): Die zivilgesellschaftliche Bewegung der Geflüchtetenhilfe in Tübingen. Ein Zwischenstand

19.11. – Festakt anläßlich des 60. Geburtstags von Reinhard Johler und Buchvorstellung: „Diversities – Theories & Practices“

26.11. – Ewald Frie (Tübingen): Bedrohte Ordnung 2020? Notizen eines gegenwärtigen Historikers

03.12. – Markus Speidel (Waldenbuch/Stuttgart): Permanente Reaktionsfreude. Erfindet sich das Museum in der Corona-Krise neu?

10.12. – Jan Hinrichsen (Innsbruck): Die Genealogie einer Katastrophe. Zur symmetrischen Anthropologie der Unsicherheit

14.01. – Manuel Dieterich/Boris Nieswand (Tübingen): Warten auf das Ende…. Bedrohung und Ordnung ethnografischer Forschung in Zeiten der Suspension

28.01. – Manuela Bojadžijev (Berlin): Rassismus und Migration. Beobachtungen und Überlegungen zur Konjunktur seit 2015

04.02. – Konrad Kuhn (Innsbruck): Konjunkturen von Unsicherheiten und eine Rückholaktion. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf Risiko

11.02. – Luka Babić/Lorena Popović/Daniela Simon (Tübingen): Hybridität in den Bedrohten Ordnungen Istriens: Diagnose eines Symptoms

18.02. – Ausstellungseröffnung und Buchvorstellung des Studienprojekts „Weil es ein Theater ist…zwölf kulturwissenschaftliche Einblicke in das Alltagsspektakel ‚Theater Lindenhof‘ auf der Schwäbischen Alb“

25.02. – Torsten Zachary/Reinhard Johler: Eine Ausstellung über Bedrohte Ordnungen

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Samuel Paty, French laïcité and the crisis of the “Republic”

On October 16, 2020, Samuel Paty, a French schoolteacher, was beheaded in a northern suburb of Paris by a Muslim teenager who had been offended by the caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, which had been shown by Paty in his class. This brutal murder, which was followed, two weeks later, by a knife attack that killed at least three people at a church in Nice – the perpetrator of which reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar” at the police – has shocked French society. It indeed marks a recent resurgence of terrorist violence that reaches beyond France’s borders – further attacks were perpetrated a few days later in Vienna as well. Yet, in targeting a history and civics teacher who used caricatures to explain freedom of speech to his students, the murder of Samuel Paty also has a highly symbolic character. In fact, the event occurred shortly after the trial for the January 2015 attacks against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, as well as a kosher supermarket, began in September. For this occasion, Charlie Hebdo reprinted the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that famously motivated the gunmen to shoot into the newspaper’s editorial offices.

In his tribute to the memory of Samuel Paty, President Emmanuel Macron insisted on the importance of French secularism (laïcité) and the values of the Republic, thereby setting up this teacher as a symbol of the fight for freedom and reason. Macron’s speech quickly provoked a backlash within the Islamic world, especially from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who vehemently questioned French President’s mental health and called for a boycott of French goods and services. However, these measures need to be considered in a broader context than that of the murder of Samuel Paty. The French President had recently qualified Islam as a “religion in crisis” worldwide and expressed concern about the danger of what he called “Islamist separatism” in France. As a result, he announced plans for strengthening the 1905 law which established secularism in France, and for tougher control over foreign funding of mosques.

In this context, the murder of Samuel Paty has once more reignited public debates on freedom of speech and the right to blasphemy and, from there, the relationship between French secularism (laïcité) and the Muslim population, which consists of about six million people in France. When confronted with terrorist violence and extremism, discussions and political stances polarize quickly, giving rise to stigmatizing misperceptions of the Muslim religion and a particularly harsh rhetoric on behalf of the values of the Republic. This climate notably had interior minister Gérald Darmanin declaring ethnic food aisles in supermarkets to be promoting religious “communitarianism”. In a similar vein, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer accused certain French universities of encouraging “intellectual radicalism” and, again, so-called “communautarianism,” as well as spreading what he tellingly called an “islamo-leftist” (islamo-gauchiste) ideology. His statement was reinforced by 100 French academics who published a manifesto in Le Monde which denounces the influence of “indigenist, racialist and decolonial ideologies” within the academy, blaming them for obstructing freedom of speech, denying “the threat of Islamism” and “spreading ‘anti-white hate’”. The signatories, while validating the term “islamo-leftism”, asked for a reaction from the Ministry for Higher Education and invited French universities to engage in “the fight for secularism and the Republic”.

In opposition to the manifesto, an open letter signed by intellectuals from around the world is circulating online to promote, in turn, the freedom of universities, denouncing the demand of political interference as “academic authoritarianism”.

The instrumentalization of the term “islamo-leftism” (islamo-gauchisme), which resulted from a different context than these recent events, is likely to further divide the French political arena and voters. But above all, these public debates reflect deep tensions in French society and its self-image. While the so-called French “integration” model is called into question, the neglect of public schools by the government in the last decades was criticized too. Just like calling for strong secularism, which has a historical significance in France, can be seen as an islamophobic or neo-colonialist tendency of the State, any criticism of racism or islamophobia, be it from journalists, left-wing politicians or academics, can now easily be considered to be contrary to the values of the Republic. While some cling to the latter and call on the State to take stronger measures, others speak of a French “identity crisis” fueled by the pandemic and the shock caused by recent atrocities. Still others denounce a fascist use of the term “Republic” that goes against its principles of equality, liberty and fraternity – or call secularism a “State religion”. If Samuel Paty has become a symbol of the Republic, his beheading is perhaps a bloody testament to the need to rethink the relevance of this term in relation to the different beliefs, political convictions and communities that coexist within it.

Text: Louise Décaillet


More to read:














‘Secularism has become another religion’ – Etienne Balibar

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Die Revolutionshypothese

As part of his reflection on the pandemic and its aftermath, Paul B. Preciado imagines the conditions for a “somapolitical revolution”. By conceptualising bodies not as “revolutionary subjects” but as “political symbionts”, he calls for a change of language, storytelling and imagination that would enable to “transfigure” our understanding of the present and, from there, its political horizon. His “revolution hypothesis” is thus an attempt to theorize ecological exploitation and cybernetic capitalism as micropolitical forms of body domination in order to formulate their counter-fiction and to invent new alliances and symbiosis.  “We are the bodies through which the mutation comes and works. The question is no longer who we are, but what we want to become.”


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Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action

podcast#83 is a Canada Council/CBC Digital Originals project based on the TRC Call to Action #83 which states: «We call upon the Canada Council for the Arts to establish, as a funding priority, a strategy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process.»

Podcast#83 is such a collaboration. It is a series of episodes celebrating Indigenous arts and culture and investigating issues of colonization and white privilege. It features artists – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – sharing poems, thoughts, feelings and music and reflecting on making reconciliation a reality. The Pilot episode was launched at Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

The Canada Council/CBC Radio Canada – Digital Originals project calls out to students to support their small initiative and to participate in a long-term open source network of collaborations employing the arts to further actions of reconciliation. you will found more information at www.academia.edu

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Protest against the delegalisation of abortion in Rapperswil, Switzerland

On 25 October 2020, Poles living in Switzerland also gathered to protest against the delegalisation of abortion, the nationalist government, the radical right-wing organisations and the power of the Catholic Church in Poland. The gathering took place symbolically in front of the Poland Museum in Rapperswil, which celebrated its 150th anniversary with important officials from Poland.


Am 25. Oktober 2020 versammelten sich auch die in der Schweiz lebenden Pol*innen, um gegen die Delegalisierung der Abtreibung, die nationalistische Regierung, die rechtsradikalen Organisationen und die Macht der katholischen Kirche in Polen zu protestieren. Die Zusammenkunft fand symbolisch vor dem Polen-Museum in Rapperswil statt, das sein 150-jähriges Bestehen mit wichtigen Funktionären aus Polen feierte.

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Poland rules abortion due to foetal defects unconstitutional

Poland already had one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Now it is being tightened even more. The Polish Supreme Court has paved the way for a further tightening of the restrictive abortion law. The presiding constitutional judge, Julia Przyłębska, said in a ruling that existing legislation – one of Europe’s most restrictive – that allows for the abortion of malformed foetuses was “incompatible” with the constitution. In doing so, she granted a motion by right-wing conservative members of parliament. These saw the abortion regulation as a violation of the constitutionally anchored protection of life. The court agreed with this. Because the Polish Constitution guarantees a right to life, Julia Przyłębska, added, terminating a pregnancy based on the health of the fetus amounted to «a directly forbidden form of discrimination.» After the ruling goes into effect, abortion will only be permissible in Poland in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health and life.

Women’s rights and opposition groups reacted with dismay. «Today’s judgement puts the health and lives of women in Poland at great risk and violates Poland’s obligations under international human rights treaties to refrain from retrogressive measures that roll-back women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health care,» said Leah Hoctor, regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights. «This judgement is the result of a coordinated systematic wave of attacks on women’s human rights by Polish lawmakers, and represents their latest attempt to ban abortion in Poland,» said Esther Major, senior research adviser at Amnesty International. «Legal prohibitions on abortion do not prevent abortion or reduce the rates of abortion; they serve only to damage women’s health by pushing abortions underground or forcing women to travel to foreign countries to access abortion care they need and to which they have a right. Although all women may be affected by this cruel judgement, marginalized groups of women who cannot afford to travel will disproportionately suffer the consequences of the judges’ actions today.»

Hundreds of people took to the streets in cities across Poland on Thursday night, protesting against the tightening of the country’s abortion laws. Police met the protesters with pepper spray in some places, and at least 15 demonstrators were arrested.

The ruling came as Poland grapples with a second wave of coronavirus cases and restrictions limit the possibility for mass protests. On Friday, October 22th, the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced that restaurants and bars would close for two weeks and public gatherings would be limited to five people.


Interview with Leah Hoctor, regional Director for Europe, Center for Reproductive Rights in Euronews Today from 22.October 2020.






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“Le commun se construit, c’est politique”

Krisis as a word has two meanings. The Greek origin, krisis, which means “that which stands out”, refers to a dramatic vision of the crisis. As the philosopher and sinologist François Jullien argues, this is the conception adopted by Europeans. For the Chinese, the word is more open: it is not tragic, but strategic. It covers the joint idea of danger and opportunity; if we know how to seize this opportunity, we can find a way out. In the interview with La Vie, François Jullien puts words on the current health crisis and opens up ways to overcome it.


This article is excerpted from the special issue of La Vie “Renaissances. Comment se relever des grandes crises”, on newsstands on August 6, 2020.

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Corona-Krise? Care-Krise!

Kurz nach dem Ausbruch der Covid19-Pandemie im März 2020 stiess das Gesundheitssystem in vielen Ländern an seine Grenzen – und machte nicht nur sichtbar, wie unterfinanziert, sondern auch überlastet die Spitäler und weitere Gesundheitsbetriebe bereits vor der weltweiten Gesundheitskrise waren. Das Feministisches Streikkollektiv Zürich warnt in einem Aufruf davor, Pflege und Gesundheit auch in der Schweiz als Ware zu (be)handeln und die Fürsorge «effizienten» zu gestalten. Zudem machen sie auch darauf aufmerksam, dass Care-Arbeit noch immer von FTIQ* (Frauen*, Trans*, Inter* und gender-queeren* Menschen) geleistet wird und diese systematisch unterbezahlt sind: In der Pflege im Spital, bei der Spitex, im Alters- und Pflegeheim, in der Reinigung, in der Betreuung in der KiTa und im Kindergarten leisten sie unter zum Teil prekären Arbeitsbedingungen «systemrelevante» Arbeit.

Damit die Krise nicht länger auf Careworker*innen abgewälzt wird, fordern sie dazu auf, sich zusammenzutun und gegen Stress und schlechte Löhne zu kämpfen:




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Does Gaia strike back?

Images of how nature seemed to come alive after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic went viral during the lockdown. In an excerpt from her new book published in the Swiss magazin “Das Magazin”, cultural scientist Elisabeth Bronfen asks what is the attraction of these images. And what role do pictures and stories play in making the pandemic as such tangible and understandable? With reference to Donna Haraways, Elisabeth Bronfen argues that we need to be aware of the complex interdependencies of the system nature.


Her book “Infected: Contemporary Information on Pandemic and Culture” (“Angesteckt: Zeitgemässes über Pandemie und Kultur”) will be published by Echtzeit Verlag at the end of August 2020.

The 3D installation “Gaia” by British artist Luke Jerram can be seen at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival in London from August 28 to September 12, 2020.

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The LGBT+ Community in Poland: A Letter of Solidarity and Protest

On Friday, 7 August 2020, 48 persons were arrested in Warsaw – in some cases quite brutally – and detained on the grounds that they had participated in a violent illegal gathering. In fact, they were engaged in a peaceful protest in solidarity with an LGBT+ activist named Margot, who had been arrested for damaging a homophobic campaigner’s van. Her group had also placed rainbow flags over statues, including a statue of Christ. These actions were neither “hooliganism” nor “provocations,” as Poland’s government-run media insist, but rather desperate acts of resistance against degrading homophobic hate speech. The van is one of many similar vehicles parading outrageous claims around the cities of Poland: equating homosexuality with pedophilia, and asserting that gays are the source of diseases and a threat to children. Efforts to stop this well-funded hate campaign by legal means had led to nothing.

The broader context is the persistent use of anti-LGBT+ rhetoric by Polish politicians and media, attacks against “LGBT ideology” in the recent presidential campaign, preceded by the emergence in many municipalities and districts of “zones free of LGBT ideology,” allegedly defending the safety of families and children, and last year’s violent attacks against Equality March in Białystok. Homophobic aggression in Poland is growing because it is condoned by the ruling party, which has chosen sexual minorities as a scapegoat with no regard for the safety and well-being of citizens. Margot is, in fact, a political prisoner, held captive for her refusal to accept indignity.

To stop targeting sexual minorities, to stop supporting organizations that spread homophobia and to hold accountable those who are responsible for unlawful and violent arrests of August 7, 2020, you can sign the following letter of solidarity and protest:


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Call for Papers for the International Seminar, “People of the Cold War World: Refugees, Émigrés, and Displaced Persons”

The Ural Institute of Humanities is proud to announce a call for papers for the international seminar on the problem of refugees, émigrés and displaced persons during the Cold War. The seminar will be held on 30 November 2020.

The Cold War is not only the period of confrontation between the two superpowers, international crises and nuclear arms race. In fact, the Iron Curtain affected the conciousness of individual people, their mindset and behaviour patterns. People of the Cold War period often had to make uneasy choices and take life-changing decisions in the most extreme conditions and circumstances. Sometimes, as a result of such decisions, they were forced to leave their homes, flee their countries and stay in refugee camps. The seminar focuses on such figures of this period of geopolitical tension as refugees, ‘displaced persons’ and émigrés.

The seminar is seeking submissions related to the following topics:

  • People of the Cold War world: attitudes and values;
  • From World War II to the Cold War: the roots of the problem of refugees and ‘displaced persons’;
  • Diplomacy of the Cold War era: the problem of refugees and ‘displaced persons’ and the search for its solutions;
  • The second wave of emigration from the USSR and international migration flows of the Cold War period

Languages: English, Russian.
The seminar will be held on-line.
To participate in the seminar, please send your personal details (name, degree, position, contact information) and abstracts (not more than 1 thousand characters) to the following e-mails: alex_antoshin@mail.ru and julia.zapariy@mail.ru. Submission deadline: 1 October 2020.

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The Haitian director Raoul Peck, who has lived in France for more than 50 years, reacts to recent episodes of racist police violence in France and places them in the history of modern capitalism and colonisation. Echoing the anger expressed by the riots in the US and protests in France such as “#JusticepourAdama”, his text denounces the denial and tetanisation of French society regarding structural racism, which takes its most brutal shape in police violence and fuels the anger that erupts today in burning streets.


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Solidarity Means Dismantling the System Everywhere

The Progressive International envisions the ongoing protests in the US as another step toward a strengthened international solidarity. In the wake of recent uprisings in India, Lebanon or Chile, the “Black Lives Matter” movement appears as another opening to learn from each other’s struggles against racist state violence beyond borders and to join forces for “collective and communal liberation”. Fights against state violence, i.e. against the police, the prison system and the military, are part of the dismantling of the US hegemonic power, thereby pointing to advances toward a “decolonized and multipolar world”.


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Sur la permanence des mécanismes d’étranglement

For the philosopher and theorist of postcolonialism Achille Mbembe, the death of a black man either by police violence or by the coronavirus are both symptoms of the “pathogenic moment” that humanity is enduring nowadays. Indeed, racism also functions as an ecosystem that “encloses bodies, imaginations and lives”, depriving them of the right to breathe and spreading virally. In this sense, “the universal struggle against racism,” writes Mbembe, “is, more than ever, a constitutive dimension of any struggle for the regeneration of living beings as a whole.”


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Who were the n***** of Europe? The 50th anniversary of the “Schwarzenbach Initiative against Foreign Alienation” in Switzerland and the anti-racist protest movement in the USA

On 7 June 1970, the Swiss people rejected the Schwarzenbach initiative (“Schwarzenbach-Initiative gegen Überfremdung”), which aimed at limiting the quota of “foreigners” in Switzerland. This initiative, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary at a time when protests against racist police violence in the United States are resonating around the world, remains crucial for Swiss asylum policy and its society’s relationship with the so-called “foreigners”. This situation provides Kijan Espahangizi the opportunity to review what the concept of “racism” means in Swiss society: rather than using the categories of US-American racism based on the experience of slavery, Espahangizi emphasizes the concept of “foreigner” (“Ausländer”), encouraging a more differentiated understanding of racism in the Swiss political system.


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The American Nightmare

Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, explains in his text «The American Nightmare» how the nationwide protests and unrest in the United States are a result of black America’s living nightmare. For the professor and author of the book «How to Be an Antiracist», to be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction.


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In seiner «das Magazin»-Kolumne fragt Kurator Hans Ulrich Obrist danach, wie ein Leben nach dem «Lockdown» aussehen könnte, das einerseits mit der grösst möglichen Distanz zu anderen Menschen geführt werden, andererseits dennoch ein Leben in Gemeinschaft zu lassen sollte. Eine mögliche Antwort halte, so Hans Ulrich Obrist, möglicherweise der Theoretiker und Schriftsteller Roland Barthes bereit, der in seiner Vorlesereihe «Wie zusammen leben» 1976 am Collège de France den Begriff der Idiorrhythmie anhand des des Klosterlebens auf Berg Athos in der Ägäis entwickelte. Dort hatte sich eine Form der Einsiedelei herausgebildet, die es jedem Mönch erlaubte, sein Leben nach seinem eigenen (idios) Rhythmus zu führen, ihn aber in eine Gemeinschaft mit klaren Strukturen einband.


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Online Conference «The Psychology of Global Crises: State Surveillance, Solidarity and Everyday Life» – Call for Contributions

Online conference at May 20–30, 2020 at The American University of Paris, www.aup.edu/pgc

The current global Covid-19 crisis is unprecedented in many ways. Yet, ‘crisis’ as a phenomenon is everything but new. In the past years, we have been in the middle of the so-called ‘refugee crisis,’ the European sovereign debt crisis, the subprime mortgage crisis and the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. Some attest to a more general crisis of liberal democracy, an eventual crisis of capitalism, or a ‘population change crisis.’ Climate change is typically identified as a central factor in the emergence of future global crises. Beyond economically driven crises, we experience crises on the social and cultural levels: the Occupy movement, #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Cambridge Analytica, the global surveillance disclosures, etc. On a smaller scale, we witness crises of various academic disciplines, famous among them perhaps the replication crisis in psychology. Some go further and argue that the social sciences are in a state of perpetual crisis at least since the beginnings of the 20th century. Last not least, psychologists identify and treat crises on an individual level: loss of workplace, loneliness, depression. Every crisis phenomenon maps its territory and calls for its experts and expert discourses, measures and publicly communicated courses of action.

Sparked by current developments, the theme of this conference is ‘crisis’ in all its varieties. Who is speaking to the current crisis and with what advice? Which voices are heard? What can the social sciences contribute to understand crises, the current global situation and expectations for the future? How can we critically examine the concept of ‘crisis.’ Who defines a situation as a crisis? Who benefits from and who is negatively affected by crises? How do crises change local communities? How do they affect the individual agency and the relationship of citizens to one another?

In times of crisis, let us come together in the virtual world and discuss the phenomena at hand.

Presentations could focus on but are not limited to:

  • crisis, victims, power struggles
  • agency and activism during crises
  • health and inequality
  • how crises implement politics
  • solidarity in times of crises
  • nationalism and crises
  • the history and genealogy of the concept
  • the philosophy of crisis
  • globalization and geopolitics

Please submit an abstract to your contribution (max 200 words). The entire conference will take place online. This allows us to handle a large variety of contributions. You are welcome to experiment. Talks can be delivered asynchronously (you can create a recording in advance). This makes sense specifically if you want to include other media etc. You are asked to be present at the time your talk is streamed to allow for a (synchronous) discussion of your ideas. Synchronous talks are also possible. We actively encourage creative and experimental formats.

The deadline for submission is May 10, 2020. Submit your proposal using the form on the website https://www.aup.edu/psychology-global-crises/call-submissions

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The Universal Right to Breathe

After the release of his most recent book Brutalisme (Paris, 2020), Achille Mbembe continues his reflection on the impact of technological capitalism on organic matter and the transfiguration of human bodies through digitisation. In this context, the spread of Covid-19 appears as a continuation of the war modernity wages against life, humanity being already threatened with suffocation before the virus. More than a biological condition, Mbembe writes, breathing should therefore be seen as a common ground, that is as a universal right – of human beings and of all life.


The original version of Mbembe’s text was published in French at AOC: aoc.media/opinion/2020/04/05/le-droit-universel-a-la-respiration

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Learning from the virus

Paul B. Preciado, a pioneer in the fields of queer studies and philosophy of the body, wrote a text on the political disease management of Covid-19 after he became infected with the coronavirus in mid-March. In this text he discusses the concept of immunity in its political and medical dimension and shows how the policies of exclusion are now being applied at the level of the individual body. He also notes a continuity and radicalization of Foucault’s theses on biopolitical surveillance in the disciplinary society in dealing with past epidemics. The text is a pre-publication which is included as a postscript in Preciado’s book “An Apartment on Uranus – Chronicles of a Transition“, which will be published on 18 May 2020.



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Reflections on the Plague and Social Distancing

From self quarantine to social distancing, the corona virus has an impact on our work, social and cultural routines. How did it come to this? In his text on the corona crisis published in the NZZ, Giorgio Agamben points out that the disease already existed in our society and that the currently growing need for a religion is being satisfied by science. He also notes that we have lost the common faith. There is only faith in the naked biological life. But Agamben also asks about the political order based on the concept of social distancing and what political implications this social phenomenon of the passive mass society we are now confronted with will have.


See also:

Reflections on the Plague, March 27, 2020: www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/reflections-on-the-plague/

Distanziamento sociale, April 6, 2020: www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-distanziamento-sociale


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The French economist and philosopher Frédéric Lordon envisions the current “disaster” as a way out of a “capitalist prehistory”. Enhanced health care system, unconditional basic income, consideration for non human existences and equal access to as much sources of knowledge as possible are the conditions for a “human society” to now make history. His statement of principles lays the foundations of a “life together” (vie commune) that must be renewed from top to bottom.



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Against Agamben, is a democratic biopolitics possible?

The Greek Marxist scholar and activist Panagiotis Sotiris relies on Foucault’s late work about the “care of the self” to envision democratic or communist biopolitics through collective care, effort, coordination and solidarity. From such a perspective, responsibility would replace discipline and sociality would be transformed rather than suspended:


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Considering CoVid-19 a “communovirus”, the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy ponders the official Chinese communism as well as Marx’s notion of individual property and self-realisation. By isolating us, the “communovirus” makes us experience the “shared sense of our uniqueness”, which, according to Nancy, reveals our “most intimate community”:


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Faire commun, faire du commun. Le défi global post-covid 19

According to the political philosopher Soumaya Mestiri, the state of exception caused by the outbreak of the CoVid-19 pandemic gives way to new conditions of solidarity: it shifts the “public sphere”, both as a matter of space and of political responsibility, towards that of the “common”. Referring to Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri and Judith Butler, she calls upon “a new common ‘contract’ that is fundamentally horizontal because it takes charge of naked life, first and foremost.” In times of CoVid-19, to produce “common”, or to “common” (communer), thus becomes a duty.



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Mit Foucault die Pandemie verstehen

For the Swiss historian Philipp Sarasin, the inflated use of Foucault’s concept of “biopolitics” is not quite appropriate to describe the political measures induced by the spread of CoVid-19. On the basis of three infections (leprosy, the plague and smallpox) appearing in Foucault’s writings, he nevertheless distinguishes three hypotheses to approach forms of power and of governance operating throughout the world: 


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Cured to the Bitter End – Roberto Esposito’s response to Jean-Luc Nancy

On the website Antinomie, Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Luc Nancy and Roberto Esposito started a debate on the coronavirus epidemic. In his response to Jean-Luc Nancy, Esposito brings the problem of comparability into the discussion. There is not one biopolitics and there is not one state of emergency, but there are always many different biopolitics at work simultaneously. Espositio sees the concept of biopolitics as a way of understanding and analysing the diverse intertwining of different fields under the paradigm of life support, that is, the health not of individuals but of the population. It is precisely in the virus, in its spread as well as in its ‘combating’, that the intertwining of medical, political, technological, economic, social and psychological spheres under one paradigm, which was already prevalent before the pandemic, becomes apparent.

All texts are also translated into English and can be found together on European Journal of Psychoanalysis.


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L’épreuve politique de la pandémie

Considering the impending political impacts of the CoVid-19 pandemic, the sociologist Christian Laval and the philosopher Pierre Dardot urge to clearly differentiate between state sovereignty and public services. It is precisely through the notion of “public responsibility” that vital solidarity and global commons need to be rethought.

Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot are the authors of Commun. Essai sur la revolution du XXIème siècle (La Découverte, 2014).


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Italians are singing on their balconies to create community

From the silence of the Italian cities a choir or a concert rises. Every few hours, somewhere in the country, people step out of the isolation that the government has prescribed for them because of the spread of the coronavirus – out onto their balconies or windows and join in songs, all together, across streets and squares. Sometimes accompanied by improvised drummers, sometimes by trumpeters, tenors or guitar players. Each with his own talent.


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Sollen wir aufgrund der Hysterie auf die Frauen*demo verzichten?

Wegen des Coronavirus hat das Bundesamt für Gesundheit vorübergehend Veranstaltungen mit über 1’000 Personen untersagt. Vom Versammlungsverbot betroffen ist auch die für den 7. März angekündete Frauen*demo in Zürich. Das Frauen*bündnis Zürich will die Demonstration aber dennoch durchführen. Mit der Begründung: «Wir machen uns gerade in ‹Krisenzeiten› für Feminismus stark!» Als «zutiefst unsolidarisch» und «revolutionär dumm» bezeichnet der Tages-Anzeiger die Ansage, dennoch zur Demo aufzurufen. Auch die Neue Zürcher-Zeitung findet die Teilnahme an der Frauen*demo, aus mehreren Gründen bedenklich: «Echte Solidarität bedeutet in diesem Fall Verzichten», schreibt die Autorin des NZZ-Artikels mit dem Titel «Unbewilligte Frauendemo ist der falsche Weg». Es sei störend, dass «die wichtigen Themen von einigen selbsternannten Feministinnen für ihre Selbstinszenierung instrumentalisiert werden.»

Einige Student*innen und Doktorand*innen der Universität Zürich sprechen sich jedoch für die Aufrechterhaltung der Frauen*demo aus. Unter anderem aus folgenden Gründen:

«Das Verbot vom Bund ist sicher eine gerechtfertigte Massnahme zur Eindämmung der Verbreitung der Ansteckung. Es werden sicher weniger Leute kommen, aber jede*r sollte sich treffen dürfen. Wir leben ja nicht in einem Polizeistaat, oder?» – Milos Lazovic, Master-Student an der UZH

«Ich unterstütze die Aufrechterhaltung der Frauen*demo trotz des Versammlungsverbots. Die in offiziellen Medien veröffentlichten Reaktionen benutzen das Virus, um feministische Ansprüche erneut zu diskreditieren: Der Vorwurf der “Unsolidarität” klingt nach einer gewöhnlichen rhetorischen Strategie, um die feministische Solidarität als “gewissenlos” und inkonsequent hinzustellen. Um über Solidarität überhaupt nachzudenken, ist es nicht nötig, radikale feministische Aktionen, so “revolutionär dumm” sie einigen erscheinen mögen, an den Pranger zu stellen. Dadurch wird im Gegenteil Freiraum für allerlei sexistischen Kommentaren geboten – eine Diskursoperation, die wiederum zweifellos für Unsolidarität gegenüber feministischen Protesten in der Öffentlichkeit sorgt. Jedoch prägt Sexismus unseren Alltag nicht weniger als das Virus und dieses kann kein Grund sein, internationale sozialpolitische Anliegen auszublenden.» – Louise Décaillet, Doktorandin an der UZH

«Ich bin für die Demo.» – Tadeusz Koczanowicz, Doktorand an der UZH

«Jede Frau* (und auch jeder Mann*) sollte für sich selbst entscheiden können, ob sie (oder er*) an der Frauen*demo teilnehmen und sich für die Anliegen der Frauen* einsetzen möchte. Eine Teilnahme sollte zu keinem Zeitpunkt zu einer Gewissensfrage werden. Zudem hilft es, zusammen zu kommen, sich über Ängste und Sorgen auszutauschen, sich gegenseitig zu unterstützen und der Krise als Gemeinschaft zu begegnen. Die Frauen*demo ist ein solcher Ort des Austausches und der Gemeinschaft.» – Sandra Biberstein, Master-Studentin an der UZH

«Bei der Kritik an der Frauen*Demo vermischen sich ehrliche Sorge um die Gesundheit der Beteiligten und politisches Kalkül der Veranstaltungsgegner*innen. Eine verbotene Demo mit einem weiteren Verbot kippen zu wollen, ist dabei paradox. Jede Frau* kann selbst entscheiden, ob sie an diesem Wochenende trotz der Gefahr des Corona-Virus streiken möchte. In meinen Augen ist es die richtige Entscheidung des Kollektivs, das Streik-Angebot aufrecht zu erhalten.» – Dominik Fischer, Master-Student an der UZH


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Wie Hanau an der Gemeinsamkeit baut

Rassistisch motivierte, rechtsterroristische Anschläge wie in Hanau im Februar 2020 kommen vermehrt in die Öffentlichkeit, doch eine gründliche Aufklärung hinkt meist noch – der Fall NSU ist hier bestes Beispiel für die Verharmlosung rechter Gewalt und Ideologie. Die Hanauer antirassistische Aktivistin Newroz Duman stellt sich die Frage, wie Trauer und Wut umgewandelt werden können, um rassistischem Gedankengut entgegenwirken zu können. Der Schmerz soll dabei als Anfang dienen, um ein gegenseitiges Kennenlernen über alle gesellschaftlichen Unterschiede hinweg zu initiieren.



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Coronavirus and HIV Parallels: On Racializing and Queering Illness

Discriminatory panic and ill-informed policy do little to effectively curb the spread of disease. Hannah Yore shows in her article how a culture of fear and alienation around the coronavirus can dissuade individuals from seeking treatment and promote the spread of misinformation. The discourse is reminiscent of the ways in which queer people, and in particular gay Black men and trans women of color, have also been scapegoated as threats to public health.


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Eklat um César-Verleihung an Roman Polanski

Ungeachtet heftiger Proteste im Vorfeld ist der französisch-polnische Regisseur Roman Polanski am 28. Februar 2020 in Paris mit dem César, dem höchsten französischen Filmpreis, für die beste Regie ausgezeichnet worden. Aus Protest gegen diesen Regiepreis verliessen einige Zuschauer*innen den Saal, darunter die Schauspielerin Adèle Haenel. Eine Auszeichnung an Polanski wäre so, als würde man allen Missbrauchsopfern ins Gesicht spucken, hatte sie im Vorfeld in einem Interview mit der «New York Times» erklärt.



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Zweiter Reclaim-Democracy-Kongress vom 27. bis 29. Februar

In der Roten Fabrik in Zürich findet vom 27. bis 29. Februar der zweite Kongress “Reclaim Democracy” statt. Der vom Denknetz Schweiz organisierte Kongress bietet 50 Ateliers und fünf Plenarveranstaltungen, die auf die kollektive Rückgewinnung des politischen Diskurses fokussieren und dabei den Systemwandel und globale Gerechtigkeit im Blick haben.

Mehr Informationen unter www.reclaim-democracy.org

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Chasing a Ghost – 30.01.20 bis 03.02.20 @ Gessnerallee Zürich

Den choreografischen Archetyp des Duetts in Frage stellend, inszeniert Alexandra Bachzetsis in ihrem jüngsten Stück Chasing a Ghost diverse Doppelgänger aus Körpern, Sounds, Räumen und Bildern, in einem Spektrum aus Gewalt und Begierde. Im Zentrum dieser Dualität steht der Begriff des Unheimlichen – „the uncanny“: ein entfremdetes Phänomen in einem scheinbar wohlbekannten Kontext. The uncanny verweist aber auch den potentiellen Akt der Transgression. Unsere unterdrückten Impulse und unser Unterbewusstsein können jederzeit in die jeweilige Realitätserfahrungen einbrechen.

Chasing a Ghost umfasst eine Choreografie für fünf Tänzer*innen (einschließlich der Künstlerin selbst), eine von zwei Pianisten live gespielte Originalmusikpartitur, und ein Bühnensetting aus Bewegungen und Bewegtbildern. Trotz ihrer ständigen Beziehung zueinander, werden die Verbindungen dieser Elemente absichtlich gestört. So verwandelt Bachzetsis das Duett in beunruhigende Abbilder und die Bewegung zwischen zwei Körpern in ein ewiges folie-à-deux, das schonungslos den eigenen Blick auf andere und uns selbst herausfordert.

Alexandra Bachzetsis, Zürcher Kunstpreisträgerin 2018, ist eine Grenzgängerin zwischen darstellender und bildender Kunst, zwischen kritischer Recherche und Tanz. Der Ausgangspunkt ihrer Arbeiten sind meist Populärkultur, Massenmedien oder Internetphänomene. Dabei verhandelt sie wie die erotische, affektive und mikropolitische Macht der Geste zurückerobert werden kann. Sowohl die Tate Modern, die Documenta 14, das MoMA NY, das Art Institute Chicago und das Centre Pompidou koproduzierten ihre letzten Arbeiten.

Dorota Sajewska ist für die Dramaturgie des Stückes verantwortlich.

Tickets: www.gessnerallee.ch

Bild: Mathilde Agius

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Polish Protests since 2016: new photographic archive online

At the beginning of 2020, the Polish initiative «Archive of Public Protests» (Archiwum Protestów Publicznych) went online. The platform offers photographs of protests and gatherings in mainly Warsaw streets, beginning in 2016 with the Black Protest for women‘s rights and the Committee for the Defense of Democracy (KOD) protests.

However, as photographers Agata Kubis and Paweł Starzec remark, the legislative session of the national-conservative and fundamental party Law and Justice (PiS) brought public protests only to a more mainstream consciousness and urged self-declared non-political citizens to take action. However, protests and demonstrations have a longer history and ongoing urgency in postcommunist Poland, just to mention the yearly «Manifa» demonstration on International Women‘s Day or the LGBT Pride «Marches of Equality» (Parady równości).

After logging in, the archive also offers photographic insight into right-wing and conservative marches.


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Will Poland follow the authoritarian path?

After winning the national elections with 43.59% of the vote and an independent majority in the Sejm (the lower house of Polish parliament), Poland’s right-wing ruling party Law and Justice proclaimed the continuation of ‘good change’—the slogan summarizing all of the supposed benefits made on its initiative. These include centralizing control over the judicial system, academia, publicly financed cultural institutions, and NGOs. The ruling party seems determined to monopolize the state and to marginalize any voices in the public sphere that don’t share its nationalist, Catholic and authoritarian vision of the Polish past and future. The leaders of the party also promised new social programs in order to continue what they call the “Polish route to the welfare state”.

The united conservative-liberal opposition that ruled Poland between 2007 and 2015 received 27.40% of the vote, which is a bit less than what the parties comprising it received in the last elections. Donald Tusk, the longtime leader of the biggest party in the coalition and the longest-serving prime minister of the Third Polish Republic, resigned from running for the presidency in 2020. His decision to become the leader of the European Peoples Party put an end to the conservative – liberal opposition’s hopes that he would return to save Poland from the threat of authoritarianism and ongoing undermining of the rule of law by Law and Justice, which has led the state to the margins of the European Union. Subsequently, the conservative-liberal coalition seems a bit lost—oscillating between criticizing the ruling party from free-market positions and standing for the rule of law and stronger ties with the European Union while remaining generally unable to clearly criticize the government’s Catholic and nationalist ideas. The leader of the biggest party in the coalition (who was known for being more of an organizer than generating ideas) has resigned; whoever takes his place will have to re-invent the whole formula of opposition if the coalition wants to save its position as the main force opposing Law and Justice.

The third political force in the new parliament with 12.56 % of votes is the united left, which was not present in the Parliament for the last four years due to the split of votes in 2015 between the new left and post-communist social democrats. These two parties, together with a center-left party led by Robert Biedroń, a LGBTQ+ activist and member of the European Parliament, formed a new leftist coalition that openly stands for equal rights for all and for the welfare state as a clear alternative to the current government in the future. The left is in the best position to criticize the government because it presents a more holistic concept of the welfare state, while also being more engaged in the fight for the rule of law as well as women’s rights, reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights.

The fourth party elected to the Polish Parliament with 8.55 % of votes is the Polish People’s Party, which ran in the elections as the coalition of the old conservative farmers’ party (represented in every term of Parliament) and a populist right-wing movement formed by Paweł Kukiz, a former rock musician who fights for introducing more referendums and single-member voting districts. During his political career he has used hate speech openly in his arguments against accepting refugees; in the last parliamentary term, some far-right and fascist politicians were elected from his movement. Though in the past he referred ironically to the Polish People’s Party, stressing its roots in the communist political scene, he didn’t have a problem with joining a coalition that aimed to represent conservative values beyond the political conflict between Law and Justice and the liberal-conservative opposition. The coalition gained fewer votes than the party and movement received in the last elections and doesn’t seem to bring any new ideas or visions to Polish politics.

The last group elected to the parliament with 6.81 % of votes is called the Confederation. The party is a loose coalition of various far-right and neoliberal groups, represented by people who support such ideas as introducing monarchy, overthrowing the republic of the round table (a term for the political system formed from a consensus between the communists and the opposition in 1989 that led to democratic changes in Poland), strengthening the Catholic Church’s role in the public sphere, imposing an absolute ban on abortion and emergency contraception, using hate speech against Muslims, Jews, and the LGBTQ+ community, criticizing the European Union and any ideas of wealth redistribution, and introducing special laws against LGBTQ+ activism and NGOs that receive foreign funding (an initiative modelled on laws introduced in Russia a few years ago). With these ideas the members of the Confederation seek to take votes from Law and Justice and pressure the ruling party from the right. So far they haven’t played any role in the new parliament, and only make fools of themselves.

In practical terms, not a lot has changed, although the ruling party has lost control over the Senate (the Upper House of the Polish Parliament) to a conservative-liberal opposition coalition, the leftist coalition, the Polish People’s Party, and independent senators. The Senate elected a speaker from the conservative-liberal opposition named Tomasz Grodzki, who before entering politics was a surgeon and professor of medicine in Szczecin. Since he criticizes many authoritarian steps taken by Law and Justice and doesn’t allow the abuse of legislative procedures, which often occurred with new problematic laws in the last term, public television started a campaign trying to discredit him as a corrupt doctor. The campaign was not stopped even when some of his former patients stated in public that they were offered money to accuse him of taking bribes. Although none of the charges have been verified, public television, which has not been so propagandistic since 1989, continued the campaign of lies. It did so not only to discredit the speaker, but also to draw public attention away from the scandal surrounding the President of the Supreme Audit Office, who was nominated by the ruling party last year. After an investigation by the Central Anticorruption Bureau for false declarations of financial interests, hiding his financial standing and undocumented sources of income, the Bureau passed the case to the prosecutor.

The situation could change if President Andrzej Duda (of Law and Justice) loses the upcoming elections, but half a year remains until then. His opponent from the conservative-liberal opposition will be Malgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, who is more liberal-conservative than the other way around. In the past she was the spokesperson for Donald Tusk’s government and for a short time was also speaker of the Sejm; she is also a direct descendant of two very important politicians of the interwar period from opposing political camps (a socialist president and a right-wing minister who reformed the economy). Duda’s opponent from the left will be Biedroń, a charismatic LGBTQ+ activist who was the first openly gay mayor of a major Polish city, which he saved from a financial crisis. A Catholic journalist and host of a popular talent show will be running as an independent candidate, as will the leader of the Polish People’s Party. The Confederation candidate is still unknown due to a very complicated internal electoral system. Duda is ahead in the polls but has a much less significant lead than the previous president did at the end of the first term before losing the election. Also, most polls are conducted for the first round, but the elections will likely be determined in the second round. If Duda lost with the upper house controlled by the opposition, most of the laws leading Poland down an authoritarian path could be stopped.

Text: Tadeusz Koczanowicz

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Programm of the Symposium «Crisis and Communitas»





NOVEMBER 14 & 15, 2019

event hall, Limmatstrasse 270, 8005 Zurich

Crisis is a term increasingly heard these days – climate crisis, migration crisis, crisis of representation, identity, masculinity… Contemporary societies often react to crises by installing mechanisms of classification and order. Identitarian communities perceive themselves as an antidote to personal and social crises.

Our goal is to ask how crises bring about movement and the transgression of borders – be they social or racial, cultural or political, state or institutional borders. Thus, we invite to think about new forms of communitas, of inclusionary bonding across discursive borders. Instead of searching for common traits, it embraces diversity and difference through the interaction of bodies and their communicative performativity. Migration, shifting contexts and bodily movement are explored as a trajectory of self-empowerment and agency. Crisis frames new political utopias.

In three panels, we are exploring the aesthetics and politics of commonality, the way bodies and affects constitute the commonal power, and how knowledge migrates in the context of arts. The programme includes presentations by an international group of researcher and is accompanied by a keynote lecture by Susan Buck-Morss, lectures by curators Adam Szymczyk and Marc Streit, as well as the screening of the film Via Carpatia (2018).



November 14, 13:00 to 17:45


Introduction – Dorota Sajewska (Zurich)

1. Potent Collectivities: Aesthetics of Solidarity – Jeremy Gilbert (London)

2. Speculative Communities: Designing Contact Zones in Times of Eco-Eco-Crisis – Malgorzata Sugiera (Krakow)

3. Crisis of Communitas or the Extension of «Our» World – Nina Seiler (Zurich)

Discussion 14:45 to 15:15

Coffee break 15:15 to 15:40

4. The Avant-Garde of Destitution – Mikkel Bolt (Copenhagen)

5. How Attitudes Escape Form – Adam Szymczyk (Zurich)

Discussion 17:00 to 17:45





November 14, 18:30 to 20:00



Sharing Image, Sharing Time by Paweł Mościcki (Warsaw)

November 15, 9:00 to 10:15

Discussion 9:45 to 10:15

Coffee break 10:15 to 10:30



November 15, 10:30 to 13:00

1. Divided We Stand or Revolutionary Love in the Making – Katarzyna Bojarska (Warsaw)

2. Inventing Skins. Reinventing Community – Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira (Zurich)

3. Affective Community. Towards a Performative Theory of Historical Agency – Dorota Sajewska (Zurich)

4. Polish Transformation: Community Crisis and Question of Ephemerality in Arts – Dorota Sosnowska (Warsaw)

Discussion 12:30 to 13:00

Lunch Break 13:00 to 14:00



November 15, 14:00 to 18:15


1. Emotional Identification – Mieke Kolk (Amsterdam)

2. We refugees and we the people – Tadeusz Koczanowicz (Warsaw/Zurich)

3. La Commune (Paris, 1871) Fabienne Liptay (Zurich)

Discussion 15:30 to 16:00

Coffee break 16:00 to 16:25

4. Crisis and Communitas in Southern Italian Tarantism – Anja Dreschke (Frankfurt) & Michaela Schäuble (Bern)

5. «The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is: it’s to imagine what’s possible» – Marc Streit (Zurich)

6. Interactive archive of communitarian thinking – Sandra Biberstein (Zurich)

Discussion 17:30 to 18:15

Apéro 18:15 to 18:45



VIA CARPATIA (PL, CZE, MKD 2018) – 75’

With an introduction/discussion by Kasper Bajon (Fuerteventura)

November 15, 18:45 to 20:30

Piotr and Julia have been planning their holiday for months. Unfortunately their plans are ruined by Piotr’s mother: she wants to bring home Piotr´s father, who has been staying for months at one of the refugee camps on the Macedonian-Greek border. Despite his strong doubts Piotr agrees to take the challenge. And so instead of an all-inclusive holiday, the couple embarks on a tiring journey to the South, during which they will have to answer some fundamental questions…

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Rojava, Lost? Turkish Offensive Threatens to Destroy a Radical Democratic Experiment

Four million people, thousands of communes, a non-hierarchical social structure and a cooperative economy. That is Rojava. It is not only the autonomous region of northern Syria but also an experiment in democracy and equality.

Amid the destruction and deluge of the war in Syria, this remarkable experiment in grassroots democracy has taken root across a large swath of the country’s Northeast. Since october 9, this experiment is now under grave threat of being destroyed, as Turkey and its proxy forces lay siege to the area and Syrian regime forces have begun to return to the region.

Full Articles:

Rojava, Lost? Turkish Offensive Threatens to Destroy a Radical Democratic Experiment

Power to the people: a Syrian experiment in democracy

Europe could do more to stop the Turkish invasion of Rojava, but states fear a democratic revolution

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Refugee Tents That Collect Rainwater and Store Solar Energy

Since 2011, the Syrian Civil War created one of the most devastating humanitarian disasters in the world, with over 13.5 million Syrians internally displaced or are refugees outside Syria, according to the United Nations.

Inspired by the plight of Syrian refugees unfolding on her doorstep in the Middle East, visionary female artist Abeer Seikaly set to work to find a way of helping. The Jordanian architect, artist and designer created a supremely practical housing solution, came up with a design prototype.

Named ‘Weaving a Home’, this design uses a unique structural fabric composed of high-strength plastic tubing molded into sine-wave curves that can expand and enclose during different weather conditions, and also be broken down to allow an ease in mobility and transport.

Inspired By Syrian Refugee Crisis, Weaved Homes Collect Rain Water And Store Solar Energy

Inspiring Woman Invents Refugee Tents That Collect Rainwater and Store Solar Energy

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Climate activists hold funeral march for lost swiss glacier

More than 100 climate activists made a funeral march to the melted Pizol glacier on Sunday, September 22, in the eastern part of Switzerland. With this action they wanted to draw attention to the threat of climate change.

Pizol “has lost so much of its mass that, from a scientific point of view, it is no longer a glacier at all”, said Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, one of the NGOs behind the funeral. According to Matthias Huss, a glaciologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, the Pizol glacier has lost up to 90% of its volume since 2006. He estimates that more than 500 Swiss glaciers have completely disappeared since 1850, of which only 50 had a name.

Read more at: www.thelocal.ch/ or www.nzz.ch/panorama/klimawandel

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Wrest tradition away from conformism. Walking Dnipro with Walter Benjamin in my head

The Transregional Academy held in June 2019 in Dnipro, Ukraine focused upon the topic “After Violence: The (Im-)Possibility of Understanding and Remembering”. Apart from keynote lectures and project workshops, the participants also explored the city space of Dnipro as a place of (non-)remembrance. Darja Klingenberg’s blog entry allows to participate in their encounter with Dnipro.

Read more at www.academies.hypotheses.org/6334

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Cholera fordert im Jemen weitere Todesopfer

Die Cholera-Epidemie im Kriegsland Jemen wütet weiter. In den ersten sechs Monaten dieses Jahres starben bereits 1.210 Menschen an der Infektionskrankheit, wie das Regionalbüro für den Nahen Osten der Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO am Dienstag in Kairo mitteilte. Die Verdachtsfälle lagen bei über 823.000, davon 23 Prozent Kinder unter fünf Jahren. Laut WHO sind mittlerweile 22 der 23 jemenitischen Provinzen betroffen.

Mehr Informationen unter:


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Statista – Statecraft, Pioneer Usage and Representation

Within the vast empty spaces of the Haus der Statistik near Alexanderplatz in Berlin, STATISTA is testing whether working in the spirit of the Commons is an option even within today’s context of city development. With the aid of ten distinct playing fields, STATISTA generates artistic prototypes for a civil society built on collective principles.

The results of these artistic working processes will be made publicly visible during the STATISTA Presentation Week from September 11–16, 2019: Including neighbourhood initiatives, a cryptocurrency reflecting the wellbeing of bees, a facade design built for ecological inclusivity, and an international conference. Temporary usage, in this case, does not lead to gentrification, but to a form of urban renewal that is to the benefit of all.

For more information, visit: www.allesandersplatz.berlin

Picture: © Victoria Tomaschko

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United by AIDS – An Exhibition about Loss, Remembrance, Activism and Art in Response to HIV/AIDS at mirgos museum

The extensive group show United by AIDS—An Exhibition about Loss, Remembrance, Activism and Art in Response to HIV/AIDS at mirgos museum sheds light on the multifaceted and complex interrelation between art and HIV/AIDS from the 1980s to the present. It examines the blurring of the boundary between art production and HIV/AIDS activism and spotlights artists who have been leading voices in this creative discourse, which remains vital today. The presentation gathers positions that illustrate the diversity of the (artistic) response to the HI virus and AIDS, with an explicit focus on works that address themes such as isolation, transformation, and the inexorable passing of time and mortality in relation to the politics of the body and representation. Since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the second half of the 1990s, AIDS has widely come to be seen as a phenomenon of the past, with little significance for the life of our societies today. On the global scale, however, deaths due to complications from AIDS still number almost one million per year. Divided into four chapters, the exhibition seeks to untangle the complex and diverse narratives around HIV/AIDS and discuss their fragility in a contemporary perspective.

Featuring works by over 40 artists, the exhibition will be curated by Dr. Raphael Gygax. The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of the anthology United by AIDS – An Anthology on Art in Response to HIV/AIDS.

The exhibition takes place from August, 31 until November, 10,  2019 at Mirgos Museum

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The fight against child marriages in Malawi

Theresa Kachindamoto, the senior chief in the Dedza District of Central Malawi, wields power over close to 900,000 people… and she’s not afraid to use her authority to help the women and girls in her district. In the past years, she has annulled more than 3’450 child marriages, sent hundreds of young women back to school to continue their education, and made strides to abolish cleansing rituals that require girls as young as seven to go to sexual initiation camps.


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Webinar THEATRE & COMMUNITAS Start: 25 FebruaryRead More