Friday 31.5. / 8.30 pm / Kulturno informativni centar (KIC) / LECTURE

Boris Buden: At the Dead End of a Disarmed Critique: How We Got Rid of the Idea of Revolution?

The escalating wars at the borderlands of the so-called West and growing tensions between the major world powers make today the outbreak of the World War III and its blundering into the nuclear apocalypse seem more realistic than ever; the tipping point beyond which the disastrous effects of the global warming might bring about the end of the humanity is around the corner; the ever-widening gap between the world’s richest and poorest has brought the global social peace to the edge of breakdown. In short, we are running out of time on all sides—and yet no one can think of an abrupt radical change or mutation in history. The idea of revolution has been completely erased from our historical imagination, which got stuck in the phantasies of longue durée cultural transformations. How? When? Why? The talk will address the forms of this erasure, its cognitive and political genealogy as well as its far-reaching theoretical and practical consequences. It will claim that there is a causal relationship between the absence of revolutionary imagination and the rise of right-wing and neo-fascist political movements. Special attention will be paid to the neglected legacy of Praxis philosophy, more concretely to the concept of “thinking of revolution” (Gajo Petrović).

moderated by: Marko Kostanić

Boris Buden is a writer, cultural theorist and translator based in Berlin. Born in former Yugoslavia he studied philosophy in Zagreb and received his PhD in cultural theory from Humboldt University in Berlin. Since the beginning of the 1980s Buden publishes essays and books on critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, politics and contemporary art in Croatian, German and English. He teaches at universities in Europe and lectures worldwide. Recently published: Transition to Nowhere: Art in History After 1989, Berlin 2020.