8 Jul 2016

Weak Resistance 2

Precarity, Diasporas, Movements
Social mobilizations today often use the strategies of the weak rather than the strong. The slogan ‘we are the 99%’ signals a belonging to the actually or potentially dispossessed, a group recognizing its situation as one of vulnerability and precarity. Refusal and subversion replace aggressive critique; political claims offer various versions of what could be called ‘weak resistance’. The weak messianism announced by Walter Benjamin in his ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’ emerges in the movements of the supposedly speechless, subaltern, and the rebellious ‘other’ of the Western hegemonic subject both at the core and on the periphery of globalized capitalism.

The event understands ‘weak resistance’ as a decisive feature of contemporary political agency. The precarious of today articulate their claims and subvert the existing power structures using unspectacular forms of resistance, often involving everyday practices and claims. Isabell Lorey will examine the political practice of today’s resistance of the precarious under the state of insecurity and will speak about her theory of presentist democracy. Other contributions discuss the non-heroic resistance of queer Israeli activists refusing to answer Zionism in the currency of heroism and active resistance, as well as that of the ‘Solidarnosc’ movement in 1980 and in the recent feminist mobilizations against anti-abortion laws in Poland.

The theme of weakness has been explored in connection with political resistance (James C. Scott), utopia (Michael Gardiner), artistic production (Gerald Raunig), and the analysis of the social (Michael Levine, Howard Caygill). It reevaluates what previously has been thought of as failure, passivity, and conformity. Departing from three different contexts – of precarisation, ‘Solidarnosc’, and of queer strategies – the event will consider weak resistance and its possible implications for political activism.

Moderated by Rosa Barotsi


ICI Berlin
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Isabell Lorey
Hila Amit Abas
Ewa Majewska
Rosa Barotsi

Organized by

Ewa Majewska

In English

First published on: https://www.ici-berlin.org/events/weak-resistance-2/
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: Weak Resistance 2: Precarity, Diasporas, Movements, discussion, ICI Berlin, 8 July 2016 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e160708>