Crisis

Read more

Crisis can have various meanings both vernacular and academic, but all of them have one thing in common: naming a situation of social change which is not fully understood by its contemporaries, nevertheless it’s noticed or felt. This liminal status that is associated with the term makes it easy to be misused for certain political purposes, especially in the vernacular meanings. Those who abuse the term, impose ‘crisis’ onto the public discourse making it sound as a threat and a situation that demands an immediate response. Since the beginning of the new wave of right-wing populism many examples of such usage of this term appeared in the public discourse, like the ‘refugee crisis’, ‘the crisis of the EU’, ‘masculinity or femininity crisis’, ‘the crisis of traditional values’, ‘identity crisis’, ‘welfare state crisis’ etc. In all of those examples ‘crisis’ suggests that there is a problem with what’s mentioned as its attribute. To be precise: not just a problem, but one that needs a radical solution, because the social order we are used to is facing a threat that can be stopped only by an exclusion of a group or banning a process, that is endangering the society we know and by which we were shaped.

This most popular and ideological use of the term ‘crisis’ is not fruitful in the analyses in the social sciences and humanities, which concentrate more on understanding than excluding. therefore they use the term in a completely different meaning, but not contradictory to the one mentioned before. The social sciences and humanities view crisis as a situation in which patterns of functioning and acting inherited by individuals in the process of socialization are not applicative to the reality any more. Usually such situations are a consequence of a longer process, a crisis that evolves for many years. Probably the biggest crisis of this kind in the second part of XX century was the change of employment and production model, that led to new forms of exploitation and colonization, but also opened potentialities for new forms of possible communities, able to replace the ones connected with the old social norms and hierarchies. In a similar way the raising awareness of climate change and proof of the danger it brings influenced thinking and acting in the name of non-human actors and started to change the human - oriented perspective of politics. In other words, crisis in this notion is a dialectical process, a reaction to a social shock, that shapes new forms of living together.

The ideological meaning of crisis is a consequence of crisis understood as a social change. Usually it emerges from action of people trying to stop the mentioned self-developing forms of community and replace them with other ones, that are presented as representing an old order or bringing it back in a new form. Therefore, crisis is a condition of any change in thinking about the societal processes as well as in the real organization of society.

Threshold: Arts in Times of Crisis. An Online Exhibition of the Performa Biennale

Threshold: Arts in Times of Crisis. An Online Exhibition of the Performa Biennale

While the coronavirus still rages in the US, the Performa Biennale reacts to the current climate of crisis by devoting a free online exhibition to it. In “Threshold. Arts in Times of Crisis”, art works from the five last decades, including performance video recordings or pieces of video art, are broadcasted live 24 hours a day in a loop on the Biennale’s free access page.

Read more

Polens Opferrolle. Interview mit Dorota Sajewska zur Abtreibungsdebatte in Polen.

Polens Opferrolle. Interview mit Dorota Sajewska zur Abtreibungsdebatte in Polen.

Am 22. Oktober 2020 hat das oberste Gericht Polens das bereits restriktive Abtreibungsgesetzes verschärft. Die vorsitzende Verfassungsrichterin Julia Przylebska erklärte Schwangerschaftsabbrüche im Falle einer schweren Fehlbildung des Fötus für verfassungswidrig. Warum in der Abtreibungsdebatte der letzten Jahre das «ungeborene polnische Kind» als radikale Manifestation des Opfers einer atheistischen, also nicht-polnischen Gesellschaft gesehen wird und wie diese Opferrolle mit der Geschichte Polens zusammenhängt, erklärte die Kulturwissenschaftlerin Dorota Sajewska im Interview, das im März 2017 geführt wurde.

Read more

The Sociology of Belarusian Protest. A webinar

The Sociology of Belarusian Protest. A webinar

Belarusian voices are few and far between in international debates about the ongoing protests in Belarus. In this webinar, Belarusian sociologists will share their views and analysis of the current protest wave. Among other things, they discuss the role of striking workers; class, gender, and violence; patterns of mobilization and self-organization; the mobilizing effects of trauma; the impact of urban space; the legacy of previous protests; the role of protest in forging different types of communities; and the ways in which the post-industrial shift and other long-term transformations in Belarusian society have affected its political economy.

Read more

An Introduction to the Symposium «Crisis and Communitas»

An Introduction to the Symposium «Crisis and Communitas. Performative Concepts of Commonality in Art and Politics»

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. On 14 and 15 November 2019, the symposium «Crisis and Communitas. Performative […]

Read more

The Avant-Garde of Destitution. A lecture by Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen

The Avant-Garde of Destitution. A lecture by Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen

Within art historical scholarship it is customary to argue that the avant-garde disappeared with World War Two or at the latest in the 1960’s. As Rosalind Krauss writes in her influential essay “The Originality of the Avant-Garde”: “The historical period that the avant-garde shared with modernism is over.” Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen argues in his lecture […]

Read more

Crisis of Communitas or the Extension of «Our» World. A lecture by Nina Seiler

Crisis of Communitas or the Extension of «Our» World. A lecture by Nina Seiler

Even though communism initially builds upon a concept of communitas as an egalitarian, open community, its historical reality often turned out more on the side of immunitas: mechanisms of othering and detachment led to the exclusion and condemnation of people because of their class, beliefs, language or ethnical background. “March 1968” symbolically marks a turn […]

Read more

Speculative Communities: Designing Contact Zones in Times of Eco-Eco-Crisis. A lecture by Malgorzata Sugiera

Speculative Communities: Designing Contact Zones in Times of Eco-Eco-Crisis. A lecture by Malgorzata Sugiera

In her lecture, Małgrozata Sugiera premises on Arturo Escobar’s observation that the recent global Eco-Eco-Crisis is “the crisis of a particular world or set of world-making practices, the dominant form of Euro-modernity” (Designs for the Pluriverse, 2017). Therefore, what is urgent is “a transition from the hegemony of modernity’s one-world ontology to a pluriverse of […]

Read more

Potent Collectivities: Aesthetics of Solidarity. A lecture by Jeremy Gilbert

Potent Collectivities: Aesthetics of Solidarity. A lecture by Jeremy Gilbert

A key feature of neoliberal culture has been its systematic inhibition of the emergence, survival and empowerment of ‘potent collectivities’ on any scale: from socially functional neighbourhoods to national political movements to transnational networks of solidarity. Democracy itself might be described as the potentiation of complex collectivities; and the directly anti-democratic, anti-social nature of neoliberalism had […]

Read more

Cultural change in Poland. The end of conservative consensus or a fascist future?

Comments that appeared in the public sphere after the autumn elections in Poland didn’t take into account an important cultural dimension of the elections. The same can be said about the articles on the upcoming presidential elections in May 2020. People writing about Polish politics seem to look only at surveys or analyze performances of […]

Read more

The philosophical debate about biopolitics in times of CoVid-19

At the end of February, the philosopher Giorgio Agamben reacted to the measures taken by the Italian government to face the CoVid-19 pandemic. “[T]he invention of an epidemic”, he wrote, “could offer the ideal pretext for broadening such measures beyond any limitation”[1] and thus reinforced his well-known thesis on the normalisation of the use of […]

Read more

Transformation. Memory and Matter in Early Polish Capitalism

The process of political and economic transformation which started in Poland in the late eighties is narrated in terms of regaining freedom and establishing democracy. The end of the totalitarian regime also brought the end of censorship and political persecution, the beginning of the free market, and the free flow of commodities. However, on the […]

Read more

On the origins of post-enlightenment nation in Poland

The present political majority in Poland (which supports the right-wing government) is characterized by nationalism and anti-refugee sentiments. The genesis of a thus-shaped majority should be traced back to post-1989 deregulation of social rights and dismantling of the working and peasant class. Following the disintegration of the previous class order, the only political subject capable of exerting influence on the government turned out to be a nationalistic community. This community treats nationalism as the basis of its political contract with the authorities and regards xenophobia as an instrument of its own agency.

Read more

Im transgenerativen Prozess. Die Angst als Drehmoment

Im transgenerativen Prozess. Die Angst als Drehmoment

Panikattacken und Angstzustände – aufgrund familiärer Zusammenhänge? Generationenüberschreitende Ängste können trennendes wie verbindendes Moment zugleich sein. Die feministische psychoanalytische Bindungstheorie arbeitet hier mit dem Konzept der intersubjektiven Beziehung – einer nicht-hierarchischen Bindung zwischen Menschen, auf die Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft hochgerechnet werden kann.

Read more

Archeologia traumy aborcyjnej

Archeologia traumy aborcyjnej

Na kilka dni przed premierą Klątwy Oliviera Frljicia, która stała się spektakularną manifestacją konfliktu teatru i Kościoła we współczesnej kulturze polskiej, uczestniczyłam w zdarzeniu, które kazało mi gruntownie przemyśleć problematykę aborcji jako istotnej stawki w rozgrywce sztuki awangardowej o władzę symboliczną, a zarazem jako zagadnienia transnarodowego, którego lokalne przejawy stanowią symptomy przemian zachodzących w polityce […]

Read more

Anthropospectral Mismatches in Konwicki’s Zwierzoczłekoupiór: An Outline

Polish writer Tadeusz Konwicki’s 1969 novel Zwierzoczłekoupiór (The Anthropos-Spectre-Beast) may be regarded as a children’s tale, but it is just as much a mapping of the social and cultural order after the events of the so-called Polish March 1968. Its escapist note reflects the isolation and despair felt by individuals in the crisis of commonality[1] […]

Read more

Antonin Artaud zur Kulturkrise

Antonin Artaud zur Kulturkrise

Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts fand sich Europa in einer regelrechten Kulturkrise wieder: ein radikaler kultureller Wandel wälzte aufgrund der Industrialisierung im 19. Jahrhundert das Alltagsleben, die Arbeitswelt wie auch Wissenschaft und Kunst um. Wahrnehmungs- Denk- und Handlungsmuster wurden erschüttert. Dies führte dazu, dass sich völlig neue Verhaltensweisen  herausbildeten. Insbesondere das Theater der historischen Avantgardebewegungen […]

Read more

Polish Transformation: Community Crisis and Question of Ephemerality in Arts. A lecture by Dorota Sosnowska

Polish Transformation: Community Crisis and Question of Ephemerality in Arts. A lecture by Dorota Sosnowska

The process of political and economic transformation which started in Poland in late eighties is narrated in terms of regaining freedom and establishing democracy. The end of totalitarian regime brought the end of censorship, of political persecution, the beginning of the free market and free flow of commodities. But on the other hand Polish transformation […]

Read more

BEHAVE, O BODY: scripting my corporeality in face of Covid-19

BEHAVE, O BODY: scripting my corporeality in face of Covid-19

In recent weeks, one practice in particular became (in)famous in slowing down the Covid-19 pandemic: social distancing. But the strategy of „distancing“ first and foremost means physical separation and disciplining along scripts for the performance of bodies. Thus, the interaction with others and ourselves gains an edge on body awareness. A glimpse at a corporeality in Zurich, Switzerland.

Read more

Wirus kapitalizmu

Prawda o nieludzkim i antydemokratycznym charakterze kapitalizmu rzadko bywa tak dobrze widoczna jak podczas pandemii, której jesteśmy świadkami. Zarazem jest ona okazją do postępowej zmiany społecznej na wielką skalę. Czy to prawda, że jak mawiał Mao Zedong, skoro na świecie zapanował chaos, sytuacja jest znakomita?

Read more

Lockdown hinter einem Fenster

Lockdown hinter einem Fenster

Abstandhalten, Maskenpflicht, Ausgangssperre… Das ist kein Horrorfilm, das ist unsere Realität. Im Jahr 2020 leidet die ganze Welt unter einem gefährlichen Virus und alle Menschen sind davon betroffen – wir sind alle wegen des Virus in unserem Alltagsleben eingeschränkt. In meiner Fotoserie will ich mithilfe des Motivs von Fenstern versuchen, unsere heutige Zwangssperre wiederzugeben.

Read more

«The Winter of Absolute Zero»: Interview with Shaj Mohan

«The Winter of Absolute Zero»: Interview with Shaj Mohan

The philosopher Shaj Mohan talks in the interview with Auwn Gurmani about hypophysics, a thinking that identifies Gandhi’s description of the “good value” of a thing with “natural state”. He notes that hypophysics is a species of racism. The idyllic a priori that Gandhi refers to corresponds to the experiences of privileged groups, the life of the highest castes. This idyll is maintained by colonial conditions. As an alternative, Shaj Mohan pleads for a “world democracy”, which we achieve through the obscure experience.

Read more

“I can’t breathe”: Riots against racism as new grounds for international solidarity

“I can’t breathe”: the last sentence of the African-American George Floyd, who was stifled by the Minneapolis police, resonates powerfully in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, the global health crisis has highlighted the inequalities in health care systems, especially in the US, where the African-American population is particularly affected. Beyond police violence, it […]

Read more

«The silence on the streets should never be mistaken for a quiet submission in politics» – An interview with Shaj Mohan

In the interview with Krithika Varagur philosopher Shaj Mohan talks about the protests in India and its similarities to the situation in the United States. He points out that what we perceive as extreme events, such as pogroms and lynching, are prepared by everyday discriminations.

Read more