Ariella Aïsha Azoulay: Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (2019)

22 November 2019, dusan

“A passionately urgent call for all of us to unlearn imperialism and repair the violent world we share

In this theoretical tour-de-force, renowned scholar Ariella Aïsha Azoulay calls on us to recognize the imperial foundations of knowledge and to refuse its strictures and its many violences.

Azoulay argues that the institutions that make our world, from archives and museums to ideas of sovereignty and human rights to history itself, are all dependent on imperial modes of thinking. Imperialism has segmented populations into differentially governed groups, continually emphasized the possibility of progress while it tries to destroy what came before, and voraciously seeks out the new by sealing the past away in dusty archival boxes and the glass vitrines of museums.

By practicing what she calls potential history, Azoulay argues that we can still refuse the original imperial violence that shattered communities, lives, and worlds, from native peoples in the Americas at the moment of conquest to the Congo ruled by Belgium’s brutal King Léopold II, from dispossessed Palestinians in 1948 to displaced refugees in our own day. In Potential History, Azoulay travels alongside historical companions—an old Palestinian man who refused to leave his village in 1948, an anonymous woman in war-ravaged Berlin, looted objects and documents torn from their worlds and now housed in archives and museums—to chart the ways imperialism has sought to order time, space, and politics.

Rather than looking for a new future, Azoulay calls upon us to rewind history and unlearn our imperial rights, to continue to refuse imperial violence by making present what was invented as ‘past’ and making the repair of torn worlds the substance of politics.”

Publisher Verso Books, London, 2019
ISBN 9781788735711, 1788735714
656 pages

Review: Lunettes Rouges (Le Monde blog, 2020, FR, part 2).
Roundtable: Gil Hochberg, Zoé Samudzi, Joshua Simon, Robert Yerachmiel Sniderman (Protocols, 2020).

Publisher
WorldCat

EPUB (15 MB)

Glossary of Common Knowledge (2017)

10 March 2017, dusan

The Glossary of Common Knowledge is a research project by MG+MSUM, Ljubljana, in the frame of L’Internationale, aiming to negotiate various positions, contexts and local narratives about contemporary art. The glossary entries were produced through six seminars (2014-17), each focusing on one selected referential field: historicization, subjectivization, geo-politics, other institutionality, and commons. The resulting website now functions as an open platform accepting new contributions.

Fields and terms:

Historicization: archive, constellation, emancipation, temporally embodied sound, estrangement, heterochronia, humanism, intuition, pathological fracture, phantom (pain), reconstruction, self-historicization, temporalities, tendencies in art, the contemporary.

Subjectivization: creleasure, dancing as insurrectional practice, decolonize, evidence, fragility, interest, kapwa, loser, over-identification, radical imagination, self-determination, self-representation, on subjectivization, the subject, travesti, unrest.

Geo-politics: agitational visual language, alignment, catastrophe, eurasia, event, global resistance, institutional geopolitical strategies, migrancy, non-aligned movement, pandemic, postsocialism, south, tudigong, god of the land, white space.

Constituencies: agency, autonomy, biotope, bureaucratisation, collaboration / co-labour, construction, the continuity-form and counter-continuity, de-professionalization, intervenor, labour, ñande / ore, the eternal network / la fête permanente, the rest is missing.

Commons: to baffle, basic income, the brotherhood & unity highway, constituent power of the common, corrected slogan, data asymmetry , friendship, heterotopian homonymy, institution, noosphere, palimpsest, rog, self-management, solidarity, theft.

Other institutionality: a residual, adab, alternating, conspiratory institutions?, dark room, deviant, family, global crowd, interdependence, lobbying, reflexive / reflexivity, stultifera navis, the sustainable museum, the art hypothesis, translation.

Curated by Zdenka Badovinac, Bojana Piškur and Jesús Carrillo (MNCARS) in collaboration with L’Internationale, et al
Publisher MG+MSUM, Ljubljana, 2017

HTML
Seminar recordings structured by terms discussed

Between Prague Spring and French May: Opposition and Revolt in Europe, 1960-1980 (2011)

27 January 2017, dusan

“Abandoning the usual Cold War–oriented narrative of postwar European protest and opposition movements, this volume offers an innovative, interdisciplinary, and comprehensive perspective on two decades of protest and social upheaval in postwar Europe. It examines the mutual influences and interactions among dissenters in Western Europe, the Warsaw Pact countries, and the non-aligned European countries, and shows how ideological and political developments in the East and West were interconnected through official state or party channels as well as a variety of private and clandestine contacts. Focusing on issues arising from the cross-cultural transfer of ideas, the adjustments to institutional and political frameworks, and the role of the media in staging protest, the volume examines the romanticized attitude of Western activists to violent liberation movements in the Third World and the idolization of imprisoned RAF members as martyrs among left-wing circles across Western Europe.”

Edited by Martin Klimke, Jacco Pekelder and Joachim Scharloth
Publisher Berghahn Books, New York, 2011
Protest, Culture, and Society series, 7
ISBN 9780857451064, 0857451065
vi+347 pages
via publisher

Reviews: Caroline Hoefferle (J Study of Radicalism, 2012), Benoît Challand (Memory Studies, 2013), Rosemary H.T. O’Kane (Political Studies Rev, 2013), Sarah Žabić (Peace&Change, 2013), Matthias Dapprich (J Cold War Studies, 2014), Francis D. Raška (European Legacy, 2016).

Publisher
WorldCat

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