Public Talk & Video Screening
University of Ghent (Belgium)
Quinta-feira 1 de Maio 2014 – 21:30h
Rua do Sol 172
What is the darker side of democracy? If democracy is supposed to be ‘ultimately the most human system possible’, what makes it so profoundly authoritarian and inhumane nowadays? In April 2012 Mr. Dimitris Christoulas, an elderly Greek citizen, shot himself at the central Athens square (Syntagma) nearby the National Parliament. He did so in order “to ‘send a political message’ about the inequities of Greece’s crushing debt crisis”, as media reported (Smith, 2012). His public farewell note serves as a starting point for today’s talk in Porto about so-called economic suicides in the context of Eurozone crisis, about the concept of European democracy at large, and also about its proper regimes of life and death. It is but an invitation to discuss how the unequal distribution of powers along the North-South axis relates to the sense of humanity under austerity regime and what should be done for the world to be organized differently – at the dawn of the third millennium when, in Walter Mignolo’s terms, “democracy has turned into a noble discourse to advance by force the imperial interests”.
Marko Stamenkovic (1977, Vranje) is art historian and curator born and raised in the south of Serbia. Since September 2011 he has been working as a PhD Researcher at the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences of the University of Ghent (Belgium) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Tom Claes (Center for Ethics and Value Inquiry). His doctoral thesis is titled “Suicide Cultures: Theories and Practices of Radical Withdrawal – A Transnational Cultural and Media Paradigm (2001–2011)”.