Berlin Southern Theory Lecture 2022 on December 15 with author and activist Françoise Vergès on what it means to "decolonize Europe" / Joint event between Freie Universität Berlin and Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
What do we mean when we use the term "decolonization"- What would it mean to decolonize Europe? Why is this struggle important? And what would a decolonial Europe look like? These are some of the questions that Françoise Vergès will address in the Berlin Southern Theory Lecture 2022. Given the prevalence and endurance of colonial ideologies, Vergès has taken inspiration from thinkers such as the French Afro-Caribbean writer Aimé Césaire (1913-2008), who once said that "’Europe’ is morally, spiritually indefensible." She also references Frantz Fanon (1925-1961), one of the most influential anticolonial thinkers, who saw decolonization as a profound change to the order of the world and a "program of complete disorder." Vergès has been addressing the implications of these statements in her most recent work. Her talk in Berlin, "A Program of Total Disorder: Decolonizing Europe," will be held in English. This will be the fourth annual Berlin Southern Theory Lecture. The series, which focuses on highlighting academic perspectives from the Global South, is organized by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in cooperation with the Ethnological Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Forschungscampus Dahlem, and co2libri. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.
Françoise Vergès is a writer, an antiracist decolonial feminist activist, and independent curator. She received her doctorate in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and went on to teach at Sussex University and Goldsmiths College in London. Her work focuses on the decolonization of art, and she frequently collaborates with artists and filmmakers. Her most recent publications include A Feminist Theory of Violence (2022), A Decolonial Feminism (2021), and De la violence coloniale dans l’espace public (2021).
Vergès’ talk on December 15 will be introduced and moderated by Alexis von Poser (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Abdoulaye Sounaye (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient), and Sandra Calkins (Freie Universität Berlin). Fernanda Beigel (CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza-Argentina) and Henrike Kohpeiß (Freie Universität Berlin) will participate in the panel discussion.
Since 2019, the Berlin Southern Theory Lecture series has foregrounded contributions to epistemological theory from the Global South, forming part of a global exchange of knowledge and redressing lingering postcolonial asymmetries in order to decenter and diversify theoretical debates in the social sciences and the humanities. Felwine Sarr from Senegal held the first lecture in this series in December 2019. He was followed by the Indian historian Prathama Banerjee in 2020 and the Brazilian philosopher and activist Djamila Ribeiro in 2021. The event is organized by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in cooperation with the Ethnological Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Forschungscampus Dahlem, and co2libri, with support from the Berlin Center for Global Engagement (BCGE) as part of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA).