Interface

George Edwards (Zetkin Collective) on war, nationalism and the “anti-climate lobby” (via Arts of the Working Class): “The latest prognosis of this particular war was spelt out in a flurry of reports from the IPCC; the most recent, described as ‘an atlas of human suffering’ by the chief of the UN, demanded ‘rapid, deep and immediate’ emissions cuts in all sectors to ensure an inhabitable planet for all. In step with the science, many wish this conflict to mark the beginning of an intensified programme of decarbonization, ridding economies of not only Russian, but all fossil fuels, wherever their geological source. But whilst political leaders scramble abroad to secure new sources of fossil fuels – sweet-talking sheiks and summoning LNG terminals from the ground – a resourceful and committed cohort, let’s call them the anti-climate lobby, refuse to accept this diagnosis. The partakers in the fossil industry have seized upon this crisis, sensing it as an opportunity to enlarge and entrench economic interests rooted in fossil fuels. As the course of action prescribed by the IPCC imperils this line of business, the attempts to secure fresh investments in fossil fuel infrastructures, to lock-in production and secure profits for the coming decades may feel all the more pressing. The solutions they pose also fit within the national frame and it is with nationalist political forces that they find their most ardent allies.”

July 31st, 2022

The fundamental difference that we face in Europe at the moment between the Western approach characterized by the pursuit of peace and the Eastern one focused on liberation and independence poses a dramatic challenge – in order to survive and progress, democracy as a political regime has to be capable of defending itself also in a military way.” Armed Democracy revolves around the concepts of imperialism, liberation, fascism, autocracy, revolution, and militarization in pursuit of the world to come on Europe’s burnt out land. Conceived by the Kyiv Biennial and Biennale Warszawa from the East Europe Biennial Alliance, this special public program, curated by Vasyl Cherepanyn within the 2nd edition of Biennale Warszawa, the program is a first part of the series organized by the East Europe Biennial Alliance discussing Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and taking place in Warsaw, Prague, Kassel, and Riga over the summer and fall of 2022.

Olena Lyubchenko on Whiteness, Expropriation, War, and Social Reproduction in Ukraine (via LeftEast): “[…] when we hear on the news that ‘Ukraine is fighting a European war’ and ‘Ukraine is defending Europe’, amid images of fleeing ‘poor white’ women with children prioritized over racialized ‘Others’, ‘Ukraine’ is being made ‘white’ in the global imaginary. That is, “the injunction to ‘return to Europe’ by way of Europeanization is enabled and conditioned on the mythologies of Western civilization, and that Europeanization at once marks (promulgates) and unmarks (naturalizes) racial whiteness” [Nadezhda Husakouskaya and Randi Gressgård]. The paradox is that Europe’s existence as such has only been possible precisely because of the exploitation of global working peoples through expropriation of resources and today neoliberal economic reforms and reproduced by feminized labour.”

Vasyl Cherepanyn about the “inertness, hiding behind the European Wall” (via L’Internationale): “Many Western institutions that have been claiming ‘radical political engagement’ for years, have simply resorted to a white cube radicalism and self-satisfying humanitarianism, too afraid of acting politically beyond their comfort zone and unsettling their publics and authorities by attempting to affect the decision-making process regarding the Ukrainian cause.”

May 28th, 2022

Tatsiana Shchurko on the War in Ukraine, Entangled Imperialisms, and Transnational Feminist Solidarity, via LeftEast (May 2, 2022): “[An] uneven knowledge production and the many implications of the war against Ukraine reveal the dire need to develop a feminist anti-capitalist critique of multiple imperialisms. This language should grow from within the occupied and suppressed communities of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. An anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist feminist positionality grasps that the local is part of a global in an effort to build transnational connections of mutual aid and support against state and corporate violence. For example, statements of solidarity with Ukraine expressed by the International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia and Native American communities along with the anti-war feminist march in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) on March 8, 2022, pointing out that the war in Ukraine should be of concern for a broad transnational community, may serve as instrumental examples of alternative anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist solidarities that stretch beyond state regulations and macro-politics and foreground decolonial perspectives, necessary in addressing entanglements of multiple imperialisms. Such solidarities also bring to light hidden interconnections of the past that allowed for distant communities to survive and support each other against the violence of imperialist intervention and its attendant capitalist exploitation. Thus, the march in Bishkek reminds of the socialist roots of the International Women’s Day to call for internationalist, intersectional, class solidarity against imperialism and militarism.”

Vasyl Cherepanyn on that “It’ll take more than tanks to ease Germany’s guilt” (via Politico): “Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, Germany has been imposing neocolonial optics on its Eastern European ‘peripheries,’ and on the post-Soviet space in particular, where Ukraine was long considered a gray buffer zone about which the EU was ‘deeply concerned.’ Germany didn’t bother itself much with differentiating between former Soviet countries’ pasts. Even until recently, any Ukrainian agenda in Germany was often ‘balanced’ with a Russian perspective, so as to not exclude the latter by any means.”

An unnamed anarchist and art scholar, who joined the Territorial Defense Forces, quoted by Olexii Kuchanskyi in an essay on “Digital Leviathan and His Nuclear Tail” (via Your Art and e-flux notes): “At dawn, Dima and I talked about cinema. Dima believes that cinema is inferior to literature as a means of expression because you spend much more time with a book than a film. It’s a really interesting point, something to dig into. I studied at the department of art theory & history and I never thought of it. Dima served in the military after school and worked at the factory all his life. He listens to rap, smokes pot, and tries to have fun. He is thirty-eight, his child was born last year. He likes Wong Kar-wai and is a fan of Asian cinema in general. Dima communicates by quoting Omar Khayyam, Confucius, and other awesome guys.”

April 20th, 2022
moreless news
Rosa Mercedes / 02

Mutual Aid. This edition of Rosa Mercedes provides ongoing observations and commentaries on the visual politics and related issues of the current crisis.

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Exhibiting Embarrassment (Journal of Visual Culture & HaFI, 48)

What is highlighted in the present discussion are the possibilities offered by bringing to light not just what has been secluded but also the opportunities that emerge from revealing their structures of seclusion. It might well be worthwhile promoting a discourse such as that which has emerged around embarrassment. By DAVID DIBOSA

March 1st, 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Ceci n’est pas un coup

"Lie," "fraud," "perpetrator," "victim," "forgery," "deception," "censorship," "deprivation of liberty," "betrayal," "violence," and, yes, "conspiracy" — these are not arbitrarily chosen expressions of everyday culture, but juridifying terms used for rhetorical weaponization in all parts of the political sphere. By FELIX REIDENBACH

February 9th, 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Full Automation, Full Fantasy

Notions of ‘regulation’ or ‘control’ meet with the long-venerated dreams of automation, to naturalise as the work of algorithms, not people. By JESS HENDERSON

January 25th, 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Portal-ness. Towards a cosmology of rift

Burdened with a doubtful reputation, the practice and attitude of escapism may eventually prove to hold an adequate response to the dire realities of the present and the time to come.

June 27th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Involuntary Euthanasia

We read Arendt’s words as an undeniable exhortation to what may be may transpire when the economic and social crisis exacerbated by Covid-19 soon manifests in full. By LUIS FEDUCHI

June 23rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Corona heroes. An obituary

The more piercingly the crisis sirens howl, the greater the hunger for dedicated emergency workers, determined people of action and indomitable freedom fighters. By ULRICH BRÖCKLING

June 12th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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The disgusting image and the virus

Comparing the corona-phenomena to previous epidemic occurrences allows us to gain a grain of understanding and to make sense of the void, of absent bodies. By ANTOINE SIMEAO SCHALK

May 23rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Exiting the lockdown, with the help of chance

Those resistant to the idea of sortition as a substitute for election are often surprised when it is made clear to them that the use of random selection is a standard and reliable practice in many representative democracies. By LUIS FEDUCHI

May 16th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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COVID-19 Movement V: Grave

The confusion and turbulence of COVID: that is the place we all share now. It’s the first movement of the sonata, grave. By PATRICIA R. ZIMMERMANN

May 5th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Social distancing without a society

April 2020 saw gatherings of the American right-wing that declared they demand to “re-open the economy,” as they call it. These protests were payed for by the wealthiest donors to the US Republican party. By JOSHUA SIMON

April 29th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Figures of entanglement

We may ask, whether in the current, transitional period of social distancing, where intermingling, contact and proximity have become anathema, the notion of entanglement is already accruing a new set of connotations, regardless whether we understand it in a concrete or metaphorical sense. By ERIC C. H. DE BRUYN

April 29th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Infection of a liberal weekly

Interaction designer Christian Lässer is able to render evident (and visible) how the topic of the epidemic has gradually taken possession of Die Zeit – up to the full blown monopolization of its editorial content.

April 11th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Tele-nausea: losing the presence

There is "a good chance that the large-scale experimentation with telepresence, which has long met with much resistance, will encourage its lasting adoption" (André Gunthert).

April 3rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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The new ekphrasis of the V-shape

The V-shape recession, a sudden deep trough, followed by a quick surge, for few, and the Germans with their economic strength and infamous intransigence when it comes to economic solidarity most certainly among them, is becoming analogous to the V-ictory-sign (in the wake of the V-irus ...)

April 1st, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Virus and infection – the trouble with analogies

It seems as if Suely Rolnik has already in 2005 anticipated the effects of the virus that is currently chokeholding the world: For the already discriminated minorities, including the predominantly black service providers and domestic workers recruited from the favelas, are now considered particularly at risk. By SABETH BUCHMANN

March 31st, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Locked into the present

Albeit everyone seems to believe otherwise, every crisis has a history. Hence this crisis has a history as well. BY MARK TERKESSIDIS

March 27th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Collectivize Facebook

In our compromised and entangled ways, we try to keep going, trying to transmutate heteronomy into shades of autonomy. By SVEN LÜTTICKEN

March 26th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Therapeutic nihilism

Beneath the current debates and statements about the "costs" of lockdowns and social distancing, beneath Trumpian disengagement from medical cure (in his attempt to decouple the health catastrophe of the pandemic from the "problem" of ecomomic repression and de-growth), there lurks the most vicious vision/version of "therapeutic nihilism."

March 25th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Medical internationalism

This weekend's news about 65 Cuban doctors, nurses and technicians arriving in Milan to support the Italian health system's struggle against the coronavirus are a forceful reminder of Fidel Castro's medical internationalism.

March 23rd, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Reconfiguring liveness

Perhaps live streaming should be reduced to the bare minimum: to tutorials around health and medical issues, to tele-meetings of the infected and vulnerable with their loved ones, to non-commercial online courses in the newly decentralized educational systems.

March 21st, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Pandemic vision

What if the irreversible situation in which the "world community" is now being united, forced to reimagine itself, has entailed a sudden leap in visibility regarding the global accumulation of crises - not primarily as a result of tireless research, political organizing, artistic productions etc., but rather as a correction of the collective sensorium on a gigantic scale?

March 20th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Remote relations, cultures of distance

Among the most unsettling attributes that have quickly gained notoriety (and poignancy) due to the the current crisis' new linguistic conventions  and discursive framings can be counted "from a distance" or "remote".

March 19th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Modelling the epidemic

In the current situation (and any comparable state of emergency caused by an epidemic) much of the existing hope hinges on the statistical and epidemiological sciences that model an event like this by means of computational processing.

March 18th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Image of exhaustion

A photograph of nurse Elena Pagliarini, fallen asleep, that was taken last week at the end of one of her shift at 6 a.m. in the emergency room of the hospital of Cremona, a particularly badly affected town in Lombardy.

March 17th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Towards the end of visual capitalism

By now, as to be expected from a news situation as engrossing as this one, the compulsion to reach an (or even the image) of the pandemic (if not the world history of pandemics), is tantamount...

March 16th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Mutual aid

Pëtr Kropotkin's anarchist-anti-capitalist-commonist-animalist notion of "mutual aid" has been gaining traction for a while already...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Corona ethics

An insightful contribution by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos on the socio-ethical dimensions of the crisis...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Against quarantine

Angela Mitropoulos' article "Against Quarantine" is an important intervention in the debate around the COVID-19 crisis...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02
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Dashboarding the crisis

As the Coronavirus crisis is evolving, it becomes harder to tell what kind of image the most publicised image of/on the crisis is exactly...

March 15th, 2020 — Rosa Mercedes / 02