Post-pandemic, Post-crisis, … Under What Terms?
28th Apr - 25th Aug 2021
POST-PANDEMIC, POST-CRISIS… UNDER WHAT TERMS?
In March 2020, as governments were implementing lockdowns across Europe, the philosopher Bruno Latour remarked to the French newspaper AOC that ‘it is possible, in a few weeks, to put an economic system on hold everywhere in the world’ and thus that another world is actually possible – one that and cares for people and the environment. Early in 2021, Oxfam’s report ‘The Inequality Virus’ argues that ‘there can be no return to where we were before; instead, citizens and governments must act on the urgency to create a more equal and sustainable world’.
This reading group series tunes in to the realities of living under COVID-19, pointing to the pre-existing inequalities that have grown during the pandemic, and speculating on both the potential for change in the present and conditions for a reimagined future. The programme, conceived by SIRIUS and co-led by Miguel Amado and Georgia Perkins, engages texts by a variety of philosophers – Judith Butler, Bruno Latour, Achille Mbembe, Paul B. Preciado and Denise Ferreira da Silva – reflecting on transformations provoked by COVID-19 with respect to class, gender and race.
Monthly online sessions. Register via Eventbrite (link in bio). Zoom invitation in ticket order email confirmation).
Discussion around two texts by Paul B. Preciado
Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 17.00 – 18.30
The Losers Conspiracy: On Life after COVID-19
(https://www.artforum.com/slant/the-losers-conspiracy-82586, 26 March 2020)
The Impossible Dedication
Paul B. Preciado, in these two related pieces (from a group of essays published by Artforum in 2020), examines the shift in bodily and worldly states through confinements of the sickbed and the populace, focusing on lockdown-related loneliness, digital consumption, and lack of physical contact and intimacy.
Workshop around a text by Bruno Latour
Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 17.00 – 18.30
What Protective Measures Can You Think of So We Don’t Go Back to the Pre-crisis Production Model? (http://www.bruno-latour.fr/node/853.html, 29 March 2020)
In this highly cited essay, Bruno Latour explores practical and theoretical interruptions of systems of production. Latour offers lessons in building ‘political ecologies’ through accounts of personal lived experience and encourages a reconfiguration of social relations informed by COVID-19.
Discussion around a text by Achille Mbembe
Wednesday, 23 June 2021, 17.00 – 18.30
The Universal Right to Breathe
Achille Mbembe considers the right to breathe together through the body, in the community – or the in-common, as he puts it – focusing on the war on life and on the forging of new ground to make Earth habitable.
Workshop around an interview with Judith Butler
Wednesday, 21 July 2021, 17.00 – 18.30
Mourning Is a Political Act amid the Pandemic and Its Disparities (https://truthout.org/articles/judith-butler-mourning-is-a-political-act-amid-the-pandemic-and-its-disparities, 30 April 2020)
In this interview, Judith Butler considers mourning, vulnerability and grief as political conditions that co-emerged with COVID-19. Butler exposes social divides, from underfunded health care systems across the Global North to economic instabilities among marginalised groups.
Discussion around a text by Denise Ferreira da Silva
Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 17.00 – 18.30
The Future of Two Presents
(https://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/the-future-of-two-presents/, 24 November 2020)
Denise Ferreira da Silva explores the dystopian present and future workings of humanity and raciality in the Netflix series Black Mirror and COVID-19 through an examination of in/dignity, visualisability and racial subjugation.