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Giorgio Agamben: Requiem for the Students

A translation of a short intervention by Giorgio Agamben on the blog Diario della crisi at the website of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici. As in many of his recent writings, Agamben refers specifically to developments in Italy.

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#COVID19: Translating a pandemic politically (3)

The new experience that has replaced dignified suffering is artificially prolonged, opaque, depersonalized maintenance.

Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis
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Giorgio Agamben: Social Distancing

Been turned around till I’m upside down

Been all at sea until I’ve drowned

And I’ve felt torture, I’ve felt pain

Just like that film with Michael Caine

The Godfathers

The flu is more dangerous, Robert Koch Institute [1] relativizing danger of coronavirus. (27.01.2020). Nobody plans to impose a curfew, it is fake news, the Federal Ministry of Health (14.03.2020). Germany is not planning to impose a mask compulsory at present, Federal Minister of Health Spahn (31.03.2020).

War is peace! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is strength!

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Marginal notes on the Agamben scandal

“Soon afterwards, something else emerged – yet another justification for incorporating the ‘Children’s Songs’ into the ‘Poems from Exile’. Brecht, standing before me in the grass, spoke with rare forcefulness:‘In the struggle against them, it is vital that nothing be overlooked. They don’t think small. They plan thirty thousand years ahead. Horrendous things. Horrendous crimes. They will stop at nothing. They will attack anything. Every cell convulses under their blows. So we mustn’t forget a single one. They distort the child in the womb. We can under no circumstances forget the children.’ While he was talking, I felt moved by a power that was the equal of that of fascism – one that is no less deeply rooted in the depths of history than fascism’s power. It was a very strange feeling, wholly new to me.” 

Benjamin on a conversation with Brecht, 1938
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Giorgio Agamben: Reflections on the plague

Sebastian Lotzer

let’s start here. because everything else wouldn’t make sense. let’s talk about here. our powerlessness, our lack of perspective. our hollow words, our empty gestures. let’s talk about the smile that has disappeared from our faces, let’s talk about the gray that has eaten its way deep into our souls. let’s talk about the monotony of our political discussions. let’s talk about the fact that we don’t believe our own promises anymore. let’s talk about the fact that we can only somehow hold on without any prospect of change.

winter is coming – 2018
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