Vulnerability, cruelty and the politics of hope
In a political present marked by the ascendance of neo-authoritarianism, we seem to be witnessing a renewed political aesthetics of cruelty and hatred. Vulnerability, in this context, has oftentimes been weaponised to justify violence against some feminist organising that, in turn, has mobilised critical notions of vulnerability to stake a demand for justice.
Vulnerability does not have a distinct political orientation; rather, it is the object of political dispute. In this talk, Leticia Sabsay proposes to examine myriad claims to vulnerability, focusing on the political aesthetics they evoke. She argues that when vulnerability is put to serve a political aesthetics of cruelty, it might point to the activation of a death drive that not only gets attached to otherwise life affirming ideals such as self-determination, freedom or integrity, but also propels the questioning of basic democratic principles.
In light of these deadly times, many are filled with resignation, weariness and pessimism, while for others pessimism is a luxury they cannot afford. Either way –even if in the negative or as a constant present absence– hope haunts those fighting for their right to life, against destitution, violence, or countering what bell hooks calls “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.” The question remains, however, whether (and which) hopes might a feminist politics of vulnerability open up.
Zeit & Ort
18.01.2022 | 18:00 - 20:00
Online via Zoom