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Tag: Discourse

Normative binary concepts such as justice ad injustice are in a state of crisis. There are currently no alternatives in sight. The political scientist Nikita Dhawan analyzes the still pending decolonization of the Global North and South and calls for a transnational concept of justice. To article...

With every transformation in the media, images negotiate between levels of the visible and the invisible anew. In 1986 the art theorist and pioneer of the image theory W.J.T. Mitchell ventured an examination of the connections between the visible and the sayable. An excerpt from his legendary essay on the reproduction of cultural knowledge in images—which in light of the contemporary image politics of techno-capitalism is more relevant than ever. To article...

Certain words have recently come to determine our everyday lives, one of these is fear. In combination with flight, migration, and a supposed flood of foreigners, it has been employed frequently of late. Reflections on a discussion at the HKW between the poet and author Sinan Antoon, the cultural scientist Joseph Vogl, and the anthropologist Allen Feldman on an emotion which is also instrumentalized by politics. To article...

The culture and media theorist Benjamin Steininger from the group Beauty of Oil explains the fusion of coal chemistry and petrochemistry since the 1920s and sketches their far ranging consequences from the Second World War to the present. To article...

Environmental concepts have their own time. The media historian Orit Halpern describes the engineering-driven transformations of architecture and design since the middle of the 20th century and how they led to ideas of a technological habitat. To article...

1948 – a visionary moment in which anti-genetics, ideology, and the exploration of life in other worlds mutually inspired one another. The historian of biology Luis Campos casts light on the “avant-garde” of breeding biology, on their ideas for the creation of new organisms and habitats. Is it just a question of time before visions of the future from back then become reality? To article...

Sometimes words do what they want, and no one knows this better than Herta Müller. For decades the Nobel Laureate for Literature has explored the recalcitrance and permeability of language. In the coming edition of the talk series Dictionary of Now, together with the writer Marcel Beyer, she discusses when language becomes an expression of resistance and when an instrument of the exercise of power. On this occasion, we reproduce here a text from an anthology of the literary magazine Akzente. To article...

What connections are there between art forms and political systems? Rabih Mroué’s works revolve around the social situation in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. For “Why Are We Here Now?” he examines, together with representatives from the post-civil war art scene, Lebanese concepts of identity and the special role of the lecture performance. To article...

What form of theater can reflect changed realities? The journalist Katja Petrowskaja and the artist and playwright Mohammad Al Attar discuss Noam Chomsky and the international left, migration and military conflicts as lived experience, and theater as a political tool. To article...

More than virtually any other place, the Syrian city of Aleppo is associated with war and destruction. The artist Mohammad Al Attar resists such media codifications. A talk on intimate narratives, cherished places, and resilient memory. To article...

According to the thesis of the curator Adania Shibli, railways and their rail networks do not just constitute infrastructures, they also narrate histories of colonialism and its consequences. The curator invited Philip Rizk to write a piece about his journey from Berlin to the border of Syria, which the writer and filmmaker began in the summer of 2017. In his text Rizk explores the figure of the anarchist Alexander Berkman (1870-1936) who during his lifetime played an important role in the resistance against US and Russian imperialism, and, traveled on the tracks of the Baghdad Railway 100 years ago. To article...

By train from Berlin to Baghdad, from Damascus to Mecca: hard to imagine today – but this was not always the case. The writer and cultural researcher Adania Shibli on the history(ies) behind her program “After the Wildly Improbable”, on forbidden books, the utopia of travel, and rail tracks as witnesses. To article...

Where does tolerance and Laissez-faire end? When do silence and omissions become violence? The writer Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor summarizes positions by writer Taiye Selasi, cultural theorist Theo Goldberg and historian Achille Mbembe and sketches a range of social phenomena against the background of an increased potential for violence. To article...