Ariella Aïsha Azoulay: Potential History - an Anti-imperial Methodology & Practice

Online lecture and discussion

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Due to the actual situation and out of solidarity with Ukraine, and considering anti-war demonstrations taking place in Bratislava and many other cities today, we decided to postpone today’s lecture of Ariella Aiïsha Azoulay: Potential History - an Anti-imperial Methodology & Practice to Monday, 28.02.2022 at 18:00.

(Thursday, 24 February 2022, 6 pm.)

The event will be available exclusively as zoom webinar:
Lecture will be held in English.

Moderated by Dušan Barok and Ivana Rumanová

When I was close to finishing Potential History - Unlearning Imperialism, I felt the joy of completing ten years of exhaustive research, but was also troubled by what I came to see during the writing process - I was still not able to find the language to speak about the cultures of which I was deprived as a descendant of Jews, or what I suggest to call Muslim Jews, whose worldliness is no longer neither in Andalusia nor in Algeria. In my presentation I’ll discuss the urgency of a potential history of centuries of Jewish Muslim conviviality.

Potential History - Unlearning Imperialism
In this book, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay states that „the institutions that make our world, from archives and museums to ideas of sovereignty and human rights to history itself, are all dependent on imperial modes of thinking ... By practicing what she calls potential history, Azoulay argues that we can still refuse the original imperial violence that shattered communities, lives, and worlds, from native peoples in the Americas at the moment of conquest to the Congo ruled by Belgium’s brutal King Léopold II, from dispossessed Palestinians in 1948 to displaced refugees in our own day. In Potential History, Azoulay travels alongside historical companions—an old Palestinian man who refused to leave his village in 1948, an anonymous woman in war-ravaged Berlin, looted objects and documents torn from their worlds and now housed in archives and museums—to chart the ways imperialism has sought to order time, space, and politics.
Rather than looking for a new future, Azoulay calls upon us to rewind history and unlearn our imperial rights, to continue to refuse imperial violence by making present what was invented as ‘past’ and making the repair of torn worlds the substance of politics.”
Publisher Verso Books, London, 2019

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay teaches political theory and media at Brown University, she is a film essayist and curator of archives and exhibitions. Author of Potential History – Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019), Errata (shown at Tapies Foundation & HKW) and the film Un-Documented - Unlearning Imperial Plunder (2019).

Event is part of the Art Connected 2021 – 2022 series initiated by

ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit. Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.