Affective Community. Towards a Performative Theory of Historical Agency. A lecture by Dorota Sajewska

The impact of symbols in communal practices, developed by Claude Levi-Strauss in the concept of “symbolic efficacy”, influenced several disciplines, inter alia the anthropology of performance (Victor Turner) and performance studies (Richard Schechner). Emphasizing that rituals not only communicate religious ideas but are “taken by those performing them to be ‘doing something’” (Roy A. Rappaport), […]

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Inventing Skins. Reinventing Community. A lecture by Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira

Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira presents in his lecture two topics: Firstly, what does it mean to “invent a skin” in Literature and Art in Brazil? Secondly, how does the use of the word “skin” allow us to better understand artistic practices in reinventing communities. In the first part, he presents the concept of “Inventing Skins” […]

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Divided We Stand or Revolutionary Love in the Making. A lecture by Katarzyna Bojarska

If as Ernst van Alphen claims, «affect is the opposite of personal: it is social.» What it means is not so much that affects are not owned by individuals but rather, that their very origin is social, they are produced by and in interactions with numerous agent such as other people (their bodies most specifically) […]

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Sharing Image, Sharing Time. A lecture by Paweł Mościcki

Against the backdrop of the ongoing debate, spread across various traditions and disciplines, around the concept of the Commons, Paweł Mościcki proposes his reading of the two possible areas where this concept could be fruitfully used. In order to do it, he has to refer to the old, and somewhat forgotten philosophical discussions around common […]

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Communauté des Chercheurs sur la Communauté

The international network CCC (Community of Researchers on Community) brings together researchers and scholars who share their interest in the notion of “community”. Initiated in 2016 and administrated by Rémi Astruc, Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Cergy-Pontoise University (Paris), their website and blog comprises various articles in different languages on theory,  aesthetics, […]

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An Introduction to the Symposium «Crisis and Communitas»

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 […]

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Durchlässige Körper und verletzliches Zuschauersein. Einblicke in die künstlerische Praxis der Choreografin Simone Truong

Die performative Praxis der Performerin und Choreografin Simone Truong lässt sich ohne Weiteres als dauernde Erforschung einer zwischenkörperlichen Sozialität ansehen. In ihrer aktuellsten Arbeit «In the Middle of Nowhere – your Absence Fills the Space» begreift sie die Migration als Zustand der Verletzlichkeit, dessen existentieller Charakter körperlich erfahren wird, der aber auch eine ständige Suche nach Gemeinschaft offenlegt. Bei anderen Performances werden spezifische sinnliche Bedingungen erstellt, wo der Akt des Zuschauens mit einer körperlichen Teilnahme einhergeht. Die Einblicke in drei Arbeiten von Simone Truong beschreiben, wie eine emergente Verbundenheit zwischen Körpern erzeugt wird – eine Verbundenheit, die zugleich die fundamentale Verletzbarkeit dieser Körper offenbart.

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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 […]

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Image as gesture: notes on Aernout Mik’s Communitas and the modern political film

Walking through Aernout Mik’s exhibition Communitas, dwelling in the encounter with the people and situations in front of and on the screens, one is struck by the cinematic and political qualities of the gestures in these powerful video installations. In this article some film-philosophical reflections on the silent performative force of the image as gesture and as politics will be explored.

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Radical Collectivity

Known for the invention of Starbucks, its deep nostalgia for grunge, and a Silicon Valley appeal, Seattle also has a rich Black heritage. As the city becomes increasingly expensive – and historical Black neighborhoods become white – Black artist collectives are using their platforms to address gentrification, historical erasure and ways of existing outside of those structures. Mia Harrison interviewed Ganesha from Cura Club and Saira Barbaric from Playthey and Scumtrust, three collectives that focus on the ways Blackness can be explored outside of the perpetuation of trauma narratives – through actions that heal.

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The Community of the Forsaken: A Response to Agamben and Nancy

India has for long been full of exceptional peoples, making meaningless the notion of “state of exception” or of “extending” it. Brahmins are exceptional for they alone can command the rituals that run the social order and they cannot be touched by the lower caste peoples (let alone desired) for fear of ritualistic pollution. In […]

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The Necromancers

‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony (…).’[1] This passage from the book of Isaiah (8:19–20) is one of the thirteen Old Testament indications of the […]

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Trailing utopia: How can an exhibition on feminist art initiate communitas?

In this article, I want to explore the ways contemporary art can produce community. By community I mean not a belonging to a specific group, but the concept of communitas as an open, unstructured, and egalitarian interpersonal bonding. The philosophical current circling around this understanding of communitas is closely tied to the Rancièrian concept of […]

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Die Krise-Communitas-Schleife im Kunstkontext. Prämisse

Der schottisch-amerikanische Anthropologe Victor Turner war massgeblich an der konzeptuellen Herausarbeitung des Zusammenhangs von Communitas und Krise beteiligt. Die Communitas als offene, egalitäre und solidarische Gemeinschaftlichkeit sucht ethnische, nationale und sozialhierarchische Grenzen wie Geschlecht oder Klasse zu überwinden und ein Gegengewicht zur «kalten», normierenden Struktur der Gesellschaft zu bilden. Gemäss Turner basiert Communitas nicht auf […]

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Transindividuality in Contemporary Dance and Performance. A lecture by Ana Vujanović.

In her lecture from November 9, 2016, Ana Vujanović discusses the idea of transindividuality (Gilbert Simondon, Paolo Virno, Jason Read) as a way of thinking the relationship between the community and the individual. She focus on several dance and performance works that she uses to identify the choreographic strategies of the composition of this space in between and to consider for broader socio-political and everyday perspectives.

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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.

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Das poetographische Projekt «Winterthur» – ein kommunitärer Epos

Das poetographische Projekt «Winterthur» zielt darauf ab, eine poetische Karte Winterthurs anzulegen, um den Namen einer Stadt mit seinen Stimmen zu füllen. Gelingen soll das durch Eydus – kurze Gedichte à 5-7-5 Silben über zentrale sowie periphere Orte, die von Winterthurer*innen eingeschickt und vom Kulturmagazin Coucou monatlich abgedruckt werden. Das Projekt startete im Dezember 2018. […]

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A Metonymic Community. Towards Poetics Of Contingency

In his 2001 book with the programmatic title Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World, Zygmunt Bauman sketches in an almost stereotypical way a concept of community, one that not only seems to be far away, sunken into history, but that, for all that we know, might never actually have existed: a community that is […]

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«Rome n’existe pas». Itinéraire d’une communauté nomade et temporaire

Lors de sa résidence à l’Institut suisse de Rome entre 2018 et 2019, la curatrice et autrice Laurence Wagner a suivi le collectif d’artistes-marcheurs DOM- lors d’une de leurs explorations urbaines dans la périphérie de Rome. Elle livre ici le récit d’une exploration célébrant le «possible» dans l’espace public et de la création d’une communauté nomade et temporaire.

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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] […]

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The Herstory of the Black Protest. Solidary fight for democracy

The Czarny Protest (‘Black Protest’, a protest of women dressed in black) is one of the most important phenomena of the twenty-first century Poland. It is a series of events, a protracted revolution, an outcome of activities carried out by various groups and initiatives. It is linked with the past as well as the future. […]

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Der Beat des Widerstandes. Das gemeinsame Musikmachen in sudanesischen Flüchtligslagern

Der Film Beats Of The Antonov (2014) dokumentiert, wie die Menschen in den Flüchtlingscamps in der Region des Blauen Nils oder in den Nuba-Bergen mit den andauernden Bombardements durch Antonov-Flugzeuge der sudanesischen Regierung umgehen. Dabei zeigt er auch auf, welche Bedeutung musikalische Traditionen in dieser Zeit der Krise gewinnen können. Der Essay geht der Frage nach, ob Musik als Ort einer Communitas in einer vom Krieg geprägten Gesellschaft gedacht werden kann und welche Möglichkeiten sie für den Widerstand bietet.

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What Carries Us On

Implicit within the debate on Coronavirus curated by Antinomie and archived by Sergio Benvenuto is the question—for what must we carry on?  That is, do we—humanity, which has been reckoned by many thinkers as the error in nature—carry on for the sake of carrying on?  Or, should we, following Thomas Taylor, M. K. Gandhi, Pierre Clastres, and several others, proceed with a project of returning towards a moment in history that, for Agamben, is “the normal conditions of life”. The text is part of a conversation between Jean-Luc Nancy and Shaj Mohan.

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Our Mysterious Being

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”. Starting from the question of whether there is a norm for man, Shaj Mohan introduces in his answer to Jean-Luc Nancy the concept of the obscure experience. For the Indian philosopher, this experiences shared by the commonplace allow us to reflect on future forms of our being together.

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We refugees and we the people. A lecture by Tadeusz Koczanowicz

“The refugee should be considered for what he is, that is, nothing less than a border concept that radically calls into question principles of the nation-state and, at the same time, helps clear the field for a no-longer-delayable renewal of categories” – states Agamben in his essay «We refugees», claiming that a refugee is no […]

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«The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is: it’s to imagine what’s possible» – A lecture by Marc Streit

«With my initiatives I intend to gather people and foster real encounters – collective experiences. I consider art as a metaphorical exile, a place of resistance and action, that can and should create new perspectives and new meanings. I understand myself as a connecter, collaborator, organizer, contextualizer, producer, and host in the field of contemporary […]

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La Commune (Paris, 1871). A lecture by Fabienne Liptay

In his book “Peuples exposés, peuples figurants” (2012), Georges Didi-Huberman asks the question of how to make of the image a „common place“. In regard to cinema, this entails overruling the „commonplace of images of the people“ that is usually occupied by the extras as backdrop of the hero’s story and replacing it by a […]

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Der gemeinschaftliche Theatertraum in Covid-19-Zeiten

Die Pandemie des Covid-19 trifft im Theaterbetrieb einen besonders sensiblen Nerv. Von der physischen Bühne zum bodenlosen Cyberspace, vom Publikum zur unsichtbaren Internet-Crowd ist der „gemeinschaftliche Traum“ neu zu erfinden, und dies unter technisch-ästhetischen Bedingungen, die das Theater eher wie ein alter Alptraum anmuten lässt. Doch über die jetzige Krisensituation hinaus mag dies dazu ermuntern, das „Gemeinsame“ des Theaters bzw. der Kunst in einer digitalisierten Kultur zu reflektieren.

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Gemeinschaft auf Hügeln: Kunst und Natur

Die jugoslawische Künstlergruppe OHO (1965-71) entschied auf dem Gipfel ihrer Bekanntheit, sich aufzulösen und in der Gemeinde Šempas in Slowenien eine Kommune zu gründen. Bojan Brecelj dokumentierte 1977 das Leben der Gemeinschaft fotografisch. Beim visuellen Einblick in das gestaltete Leben in der Natur drängen sich Assoziationen zu einer anderen Gemeinschaft auf: die Kolonie auf dem Monte Verità zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts. Eine Bezugnahme in Bildern.

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“The Scattered Community of the Eclipsed”. Paradigms of Belonging in the Wake of the 2020 Pandemic

To face. To question one’s own presence towards what is present. Not giving up the potentiality for suspension that the event offers, but rather inhabit it fully. To form a community of the event, the scattered community of the eclipsed. The Film “The darkness of the eclipse” is a first fragment of a series presented by the Community of unfaithful echoes.

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