I dug out an old text of mine for F-stop journal. It is based on a talk I gave at “Narrating the Arab Spring” in Cairo, February 2012. Surprisingly, I still very much like it. You can find and read it here: https://f-stop-leipzig.de/de/journal/pictures-that-refuse-to-go-back-inside/.
You are cordially invited to “Inviting Utopia: Radical dreams and practices in and beyond the 1989 revolution” – a reading with Max Hertzberg, author of the East Berlin Series, and myself:
18th Jan 2018, Buchhafen
Okerstr. 1, Berlin (Neukölln), 8 pm ( in English).
Max will read from his trilogy of political fiction set in a counter-factual post-1990 GDR and talk about how he saw a grassroots democracy as a real possibility. I will be reading from the prelude of my forthcoming book A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures which sketches the radical scope of the practices and projections of the 1989 revolution. (in English)
You can find more on Max’s fantastic East Berlin Series here: www.maxhertzberg.co.uk
Max’s background articles on the revolution of 1989/90 are to my mind the best comprehensive summary of the events in English and are highly recommended:
My text “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures: Standing Still” has been published in Feminist Media Studies. Volume 17, 2017 – Issue 4: Affective Encounters: Tools of Interruption for Activist Media Practices. Contact me, if you would like a copy.Read More
This text is part of a body of textual and artistic research into how political change or upheaval affects and manifests in and between bodies, and how it persists there after such events are declared as irrelevant or failed. It looks at “standing still” as a gesture that thwarts a concept of emancipation as linear progress in time, shared by the capitalist and state-socialist modernities of the twentieth century. In the state-socialist countries of the late 1980s, a sense of stasis engendered aesthetic-political practices of slowness or standstill in which the unity of artist and worker, demanded by Socialist Realism and coveted by the avant-gardes, was seemingly achieved–but at the expense of a future that could be known. Untethered from such a future, the revolutions from 1989 onwards, too, have become practices of being together in standing still. At Gezi, the Standing Man slotted his gesture with utter precision into the context of an existing present that rendered it politically meaningful. But “to stand still” is not the opposite of “to move”. Contemporary dance (and physiological observation) reveals the two as continuous–their difference a question of size or scale. In micro-movement, that is, in vibration, a space opens between body and subjectivity. From within this gap, the potential to act and be differently becomes the property of each moment of even the most un-revolutionary everyday.