Cite as: Emanuele Coccia, Drifting Continents, lecture, ICI Berlin, 1 October 2018, video recording, mp4, 33:41 <>
1 Oct 2018

Drifting Continents

By Emanuele Coccia
In 1915, Alfred Wegener proposed for the first time the idea of continental drift: the set of continents are moving rafts, boats that carry life from one side of the planet to the other, above and below the planet. This talk will focus on one consequence in particular of this idea: it renders all mankind migrant, because what migrates is the very earth on which each one puts one’s feet. It thus becomes impossible to think that migrants constitute merely a small part of the population. There is no such thing as a settlement. The planetary condition is a condition of migration, it is the earth that migrates, it does not cease to migrate. And this migration is not so much a journey from one point to another but a form of perpetual movement – a drift.

Emanuele Coccia is associate professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His books include Sensible Life: A Micro-ontology of the Image (2016), Das Gute in den Dingen. Werbung als moralischer Diskurs (2017), and Die Wurzeln der Welt. Eine Philosophie der Pflanzen (2018). He is currently working on a book on metamorphosis.


ICI Berlin
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Format: mp4
Length: 00:33:41
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