Aesthetics

Interruption: Five Artefacts of International Law (Part II)

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ANZAC in Egypt: Myths, Memories and Movement in the Monumental Imagining of the First World War Charlotte Peevers* The original Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (‘ANZAC’) Memorial at Port Said, Egypt (destroyed during the Suez Crisis of 1956 and replicated in Albany, WA in 1964 and at ANZAC Parade in Canberra in 1968) embodies the…

The First World War Interrupted: Artefacts as International Law’s Archive (Part I)

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Separated from us by the barrier of a century. Inaugurator of a fully mechanised modernity. Eye-​opener for the birth of a new, horrified, global society. Premonition of a future to come. This is the Great War. As one supremely tragic bookend to the ‘long’ nineteenth century, the ‘Great War’ is offered to international lawyers as a turning point — as a hinge between the…

Homo Sacer: The Last Act (L’Uso dei Corpi)

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Giorgio Agamben has abandoned Homo sacer. By his own admission in the foreword to his book, and having so acknowledged in the first lecture of his 2014 seminar at the European Graduate School, his latest L’uso dei Corpi — forthcoming in English translation as The Usage of Bodies — will be the last chapter of his 20-​year-​long research. Abandoned, he said…

Touch: Notes on the Thought of Luce Irigaray

Image by Mojo Wang

Touch is at the heart of Luce Irigaray’s dialectic of relations with the other. It is a gesture that responds to the call of the (m)other.1 The dialectic of touch is based upon the gesture of respect and reverence towards the source or the gesture of violence if it seeks to appropriate the subjectivity of the…

Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel.

Mandela

Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.…

On Agamben’s Politics and Theology

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Colby Dickinson and Adam Kotsko recently did an interview on Agamben for the Brazilian publication Unisinos, which was translated into Portuguese and recently published. They decided to publish the original English transcript for the benefit of non-​Portuguese speakers on An und für sich. 1. What is the peculiarity of the link between philosophy and theology in…

Thick Skin, a lawful film written and directed by Peter Rush

Thick Skin

This film explores an aesthetics of law and its inhabitants through the public art sites of The Another View Walking Trail that was installed in the 1990s in the City of Melbourne. In a slow-​moving filmic recitation, each of the sites focus our attention on the place-​making and counter-​memory of law and governance. What then would it take for the eye of law, beyond pretence and all forgetting, to recognise pain? What would it mean to investigate the manners in and by which proximate and suffering others have dwelt and do dwell in law? Available to watch for the first time in uploaded digital form here on Critical Legal Thinking…

The Dark Shores of Europe

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This was August 2008 at Koraka’s Cape beach in Lesvos. A local farmer told me that he saw a prosthetic leg on the beach. He said that the leg belonged to a boy, around 13 years old, who arrived on a rubber boat with his family. The coastguard were just behind the boat as it was approaching the beach.…

All Rise: What Does Justice Sound Like?

Court Document Deep Water Horizon

Three years ago last Saturday, an oil rig around 50 kilometres off the coast of Louisiana exploded. The explosion killed eleven workers instantaneously, and marked the beginning of an 87-​day period of uncontrollable crude oil spillage into the Gulf of Mexico, the sea-​floor well spewing out around 4.9 million barrels of oil before it was finally capped on…

Compliance: The Uncomfortable Reality of Docile Bodies

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736–1806), Coup d’oeil du Théâtre de Besançon, 1804

The movie ‘Compliance’ is disturbing on many different levels, and left me with a feeling of extreme discomfort, and even disorientation, long after the credits rolled, no less because it is based on true events, referred to by the American media as the “strip search prank call scam’. As the story unfolds in the movie in the same sequence as it did in reality, Sandra, the manager of an Ohio “Chickwich” fast-​food outlet, receives a call from a man falsely claiming to be a police detective. Referring to himself as “Officer Daniels” or “Sir”, he accuses a young female cashier, Becky, of stealing money from a customer. He then enlists Sandra’s assistance in physically detaining Becky in the store room of the outlet and strip-​searching her. Sandra and two other employees are caught up in events that become increasingly unsettling, escalate throughout, and ultimately culminate in the degrading sexual abuse and humiliation of Becky by Sandra’s boyfriend, Van.

Art as Disobedience: Liberate Tate’s Gift to the Nation

The Gift performance by Liberate Tate Tate Modern 7 July 2012 Credit: Ian Buswell

This weekend was an eventful one for the Tate Modern. Late Saturday morning, pursuant to section 7 of the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, art collective Liberate Tate presented the gallery with an unexpected ‘gift to the nation’. That gift was a 1.5 tonne, 16.5 metre wind turbine blade, recovered from a field in Wales, transported, cleaned and lovingly prepared…

Image as Interest: Occupy & the Pepper Spray Cop

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In his Times column this morning, David Carr wonders about the future of the Occupy Wall Street movement and, specifically, its fate as an ongoing topic of mass-​media conversation. “Occupy Wall Street left many all revved up with no place to go,” he writes. Which is a problem, traditional-​press-​coverage wise, because: “In addition to the 5 W’s — who,…

In Commemoration October 12, 1492: Manifesto of Decolonial Aesthetics

by Teresa Diaz Nerio

A transmodern world has emerged, reconfiguring the past 500 years of coloniality and its aftermath, modernity, postmodernity and altermodernity. A remarkable feature of this transformation is the creativity in/​from the Non-​Western world and its political consequences — independent thoughts and decolonial freedoms in all spheres of life. Decoloniality of knowledge and being, two concepts that have been introduced…

Poems, Kettles and Monopolies

Concentric Circles

A short poem inspired by the student protests, mainly on the ‘kettling of kettling’ idea used by friends and supporters of injured protestor Alfie Meadows. They created something of a ‘Russian doll’ effect by surrounding the police at their headquarters at Scotland Yard. Also some underlying thoughts on the state’s monopoly of violence. Dolly Caught in a series of monologues, an untimely proclamation…

A Poem | The Flag Up High, Horst Wessel feat. Miley Cyrus

So I put my hands up The flag high! The ranks tightly closed! SA march with bold, firm steps. They’re playing my song, Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries March in spirit in our ranks. And the butterflies fly away Clear the streets for the brown battalions, Clear the streets for the stormtroopers! Noddin’…