[unomada-info] The New Abduction of Europe, Madrid, 27th feb - 1st march

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Lun Feb 10 20:08:02 CET 2014




The project of a united Europe, as conceived
after the Second World War, is largely exhausted. Little credibility
remains in the fictions of that "cunning of European reason" that
believed it could overcome the causes of the continent's historical
tragedy (war, dictatorship and fascism, exploitation and inequality,
colonialism and racism) by emphasising the virtues of "social market
economy" and the old geopolitical combination of the States, rather than
through a decisive constituent proposal. The causes of this situation
are varied and enormously complex, but from the historical point of
view, it is possible to identify certain landmark events in this long
agony. On the one hand, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the
Cold War, which reduced the need for a united Europe that was equally
anti-Soviet and antifascist, and on the other, the shift towards
neoliberal ideas in the EU process during the 90s and the failure of the
European Constitution process, which contributed to a generalised
feeling of indifference among the citizenry and disenchantment with the
European project. This explains the establishment, under the pretext of
the global debt crisis, of what Étienne Balibar has called the
"commissarial dictatorship" of the Troika.

There is a new "abduction of
Europe", but not through the cleverness of Zeus who, charmed by the
Phoenician woman named Europa, abducts her so he can show her the
pleasure and glory of the Greek kingdom. This time, it is financial
logic that has abducted her, and in return has set an unpayable price:
democracy, social rights, the emancipation of the victims of
colonialism, equality and brotherhood on the continent. But as the dream
of European reason fades, the time of monsters is begins. Whether
beloved or condemned, the European Union is an allusion, albeit in an
imperfect and contradictory one, to the emancipatory traditions of this
continent since the Enlightenment: a Europe united by the ideas of
social and political emancipation, a Europe that goes beyond the
national borders of the post-colonial States and their traditions of war
and periodic destruction.

The attempted return to the "sovereignty" of
nation-states in the current financial and institutional catastrophe
creates a kind of mirage that makes it easy to forget that in Europe,
sovereignty, nationalism and war have always been inseparable.

event The New Abduction of Europe. Debt, War, Democratic Revolutions
hopes to lay the foundations for a radically new European cultural and
political agency, driven by the urgency of the situation. It seems
futile to call for a Eurocentric humanist consciousness if such
consciousness is incapable of reflecting the non-Europe within Europe,
the results and challenges of its colonial, imperialistic and fascist
past, of the modifications taking place in the world system and of the
end of liberal public spheres and the emergence of the network of
networks. It is vital that we call for new actors.

It has likely been
both the world of cultural and artistic production and the new movements
of cognitive and creative work, squeezed between increasing instability
and individualisation, and also the social movement of migrations (which
has confronted us with the post-colonial skeleton in Europe's closet),
which have practiced and theorized Europe as the smallest possible
expression of consistency in the political realm over the last two
decades. Perhaps we should examine the Arab springs, or movements such
as Spain's 'May 15th' protests, Syntagma Square in Greece, or the events
at Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park, to revive hopes for a European spring
that can bring an end to the current nightmare. It is impossible to
think about a European future without first examining, interpreting and
disseminating these experiences, which are not a thing of the past but
are fully alive and absolutely of the present.
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