Elena Loizidou

Elena Loizidou is a Reader in Law and Political Theory at the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London.

Humour, Security and the Stansted 15

‘Humour is not resigned; it is rebellious.’ Sigmund Freud ‘Humour’ On 28 March 2017, activists known as the ‘Stansted 15’ obstructed a charter airplane, preventing it from taking deportees back to their countries of birth. The Stansted 15 managed to immobilize the plane by sitting to its front and rear on the tarmac and locking themselves…

Lauren Berlant as Cynical Philosopher: An Introduction

Berlant has given us through her own interpretation of Cynical philosophy the possibility of imagining and seeing a collective subjectivity. If body, then everything can follow (Berlant, Cruel Optimism, 266) ‘Stray dogs have knowledge,’ the late Greek writer Margarita Karapanou writes, ‘because they have suffered pain… Pedigree dogs in relation to stray dogs are still…

Health, Safety and Publicness: Athens, August 9–14, 2012


Five days in Athens. Five very varied days. I used to frequent Athens as a teenager with my parents. We were always transit visitors, en route to Kano, Nigeria where my late father used to work. Those visits where quick, two days in Athens, visiting ancient monuments, museums, tavernas, cafes, friends, and relatives. You see,…

Ask not what you can do for your country but what we can do for each other


I am thinking of the 77 year old Greek pensioner who took his life earlier today in Syntagma square, Athens. I am thinking of JFK’s 20th of January 1961 inaugural address speech where he uttered these well cited words: “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” The Greeks are not Americans. J.F. Kennedy in this inaugural speech was talking about a new world, where poverty, disease and injustice could be obliterated globally and where, “a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved”. And of course such a world could not be motivated into existence through this speech, nor does it exist […]

Riots and Ineloquence


In Nicholas Ray’s 1955 Rebel without a cause we follow the protagonist Jim Stark (James Dean) into delinquency. In this film, Nicholas Ray and the scriptwriter, Stewart Stern, set out to portray the life of the contemporary American teenager. The story is organized around Jim, recently arrived with his parents in a Los Angeles suburb…

Strike for the Present, Perhaps This Is All There Is


José Saramago’s Death at Intervals (2008) tells the story of Death going on Strike. In Saramago’s imagined country ‘since the beginning of the new year, or more precisely since zero hours of the first day of January’ that there is ‘no record of anyone dying’ (2008:3). This new state of affairs leads the country not…

Disobedience Workshop


20 – 21 May 2011 Birkbeck College, University of London Malet Street, Rooms G15 & 416 For reservation please contact V.kelley@bbk.ac.uk Friday 20 May Malet street, G15 11.00 – 11.15 Welcome & Tea/Coffee (Elena Loizidou) 11.15 – 1.00 Session 1: Chair: Carolina Olarte (School of Law Birkbeck) Sara Ahmed (Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths…

Scattered Thoughts on Streets, Demands and Revolution


‘Demand the Impossible’ is documented as being one part of a slogan graffitied during the French student revolt of 1968. I got to know it via Peter Marshall’s Demanding the Impossible: A history of Anarchism (1993).  Along with this fragmentary graffiti the song from the diasporic Greek-Cypriot Manos Loizou ‘The Street’ (written in 1965 by…