THEORY & METHODOLOGY

Radical Democracy
 

Throughout the We Hybrids workshop, the participants are introduced to key concepts of political theory in an easily approachable and engaging way. We are particularly intrigued by the devised by Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Lacan concept of ‘radical democracy’, which proposes to value conflict, as a progressive component of democracy. Mouffe after publishing with Lacan ‘ Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics’ in 1985 went on to propose model of democracy based on ‘‘agonistic pluralism’ model, which ‘means that within the ‘we’ that constitutes the political community, the opponent is not considered an enemy to be destroyed but an adversary whose existence is legitimate’. (Mouffe, Pavilionmagazine.org)

 

In We Hybrids, we approach ‘radical democracy’ on a level of working with our consciousness. Is it possible to devise a process, which would enable us to merge the notions of autonomy with the notions of collective? Perhaps by shifting from thinking about those who stand in opposition to our passions and beliefs as enemies, towards accepting them as adversaries, we are practicing a more inclusive model of being.

Hybridity

A basic definition of hybrid and its derivative hybridity, is that it is a noun used to describe “a thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture.” Hybrid can also be used as an adjective to describe something of “mixed character.” The word hybrid originated in the early seventeenth century and was first used regularly in the nineteenth century to describe the offspring of two plants or animals of different species. The term was taken up in the mid-1800s by the Victorian extreme right to describe the offspring of humans of different races - races assumed to be of different species. Hybridity was later deployed by postcolonial theorists to describe cultural forms that emerged from colonial encounters. More recently it has been adopted by social scientists particularly by those interested in migration, diaspora, transnationalism, and globalization. The principal theorists of hybridity are Homi Bhabha, Nestor Garcia Canclini, Stuart Hall, Gayarti Spivak and Paul Gilroy. The key text in the theoretical development of hybridity is The Location of Culture (1994), by Homi Bhabha.
 

Bhabha, Homi K. The Location Of Culture. 1st ed. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.

 

Meredith, Paul. "Hybridity In The Third Space: Rethinking Bi-Cultural Politics In Aotearoa/New Zealand". Te Oru Rangahau Maori Research And Development Conference. New Zealand: N.p., 1998. Web. 15 Jan. 2017.

Narrative Mediation theory
 

We adapt elements of the narrative mediation practice in the way we develop communication within the group and ask questions, which directs participants towards new ways of thinking. Narrative mediation proposes that knowledge is constructed through social processes, specifically through daily interactions with other people. Our current accepted ways of understanding the world, or what we commonly regards as ‘truth’, are products of the social interactions people engage in on a daily basis.  It proposes that people live their lives according to stories they create and conflict emerges from incompatibility of these stories, as something  rooted within people’s shared social and cultural fabric rather than in their inner drives. Through the techniques such as deconstruction, externalising conversations and restoring practices, we will create space for a discursive shift.

Michael White Archive, Dulwich Centre

Augusto Boal, ‘Theatre of The Oppressed’

Forum Theatre and Newspaper Theatre were created by Augusto Boal  as part of the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’. It is an interactive form of theatre that encourages audience interaction and is a powerful tool for exploring solutions to difficult social problems.
 

Implicated Theatre workshop at Centre for Possible Studies that we participated in 2013.

Implicated Theatre at Serpentine Gallery.

Boal, Augusto. Theatre Of The Oppressed. 1st ed. London, UK: Pluto Press, 2008. Print.  

Grand H. Kester on socially engaged art
 

Kester, Grant H. Conversation Pieces. 1st ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Print.

Field editorial, 2015

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler’s work

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler.

AIR’s engagement with local communities

About Air Studio.

Jacques Ranciere  and Giorgio Agamben understanding of the political
 

Rancière, Jacques. Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy. 1st ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Print.

Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power And Bare Life. 1st ed. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1998. Print.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on politics of language and translation

‘In my view, language may be one of many elements that allow us to make sense of things, of ourselves...Making sense of ourselves is what produces identity...For one of the ways to get around the confines of one's "identity" as one produces expository prose is to work at someone else's title, as one works with a language that belongs to many others. This, after all, is one of the seductions of translating. It is a simple miming of the responsibility to the trace of the other in the self...The writer is written by her language, of course. But the writing of the writer writes agency in a way that might be different from that of the British woman/citizen within the history of British feminism, focused on the task of freeing herself from Britain's imperial past, it’s often racist present, as well as its "made in Britain" history of male domination.’ - Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. Outside In The Teaching Machine. 1st ed. New York: Routledge, 1993. Print.

Nick Davis’ analysis of news production and global media

Davies, Nick. Flat Earth News. 1st ed. London: Chatto & Windus, 2008. Print.

A novel of Ideas’ by Stephen Lukes

Lukes, Steven. The Curious Enlightenment Of Professor Caritat. 1st ed. London: Verso, 1995. Print.

Utopia by Thomas More

More, Thomas. Utopia. 1st ed. London, UK: Penguin, 2003. Print.

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