Intersecting Optics: A Dialogue on ”Race, Nation, Class“ 30 years on
D: Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani, 2018
Duration: 43 min
At the Vortragssaal. Except March 15, 2pm: Foyer
A filmed interview with Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein by Manuela Bojadžijev
Before Race, nation, classe. Les identités ambiguës was published in France in 1988, Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein met for three seminars at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris, where they and other colleagues discussed the challenges that racism posed to Marxism and leftist politics as well as to the theoretical analysis of social transformations. For the film by the researchers and filmmakers Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani, Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein return to this site. In a conversation with the scholar of cultural studies Manuela Bojadžijev they look back at the context surrounding the genesis of their book. Along with its dialogical character, its methodological particularity is the global perspective of its analysis, which positions the three historical constructions “race”, “class” and “nation” alongside one another, exposing their contradictions and interactions and pushing them to their limits. Balibar and Wallerstein discuss this approach with Bojadžijev, updating the central theses: What political challenges are being posed today? What gradations, further theoretical developments and methodological demands would Balibar and Wallerstein suggest in the mirror of the present?
Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani have been working together since 2011. They co-founded the Watch the Med online mapping platform and have been working on Forensic Oceanography, a project that critically investigates the militarized border regime and the politics of migration in the Mediterranean Sea. Their collaborative work has been used as evidence in courts of law, published across different media and academic outlets, and exhibited widely. Heller and Pezzani’s recent works include the video Liquid Traces (2014), the report and video Death by Rescue (2016), and the report Blaming the Rescuers (2017).