Alain Badiou, a French philosopher, is interviewed on BBC’s Hardtalk. He discusses capitalism during the current economic crisis. He touches on ideas of emancipation and the construction of an alternative society.
The European Graduate School’s media and communications program has an impressive and growing Youtube channel with over 600 video lectures on philosophy, film, politics, and art.
Lecturers include Jacques Derrida, Donna Haraway, Jean Beaudrillard, Slavoj Zizek, Peter Greenaway, Judith Butler, Manuel DeLanda, Alain Badiou, Atom Egoyan, Giorgi Agamben, Avital Ronell, Chantal Akerman, Michael Hardt, and many more.
This site has enough to keep you occupied for months. Check out the EGS Video channel.
Here’s a sample from the site:
Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, and Larry Rickels
Ahmad Moussalli, a professor at the American University of Beirut has written a short essay to help the reader understand the differences between “opposing trends in modern Islamic thought that are normally and mistakenly lumped together as Islamism, fundamentalism, salafism, neo-salafism, Wahhabism, jihadism, political Islam, Islamic radicalism and others.”
Also, Juan Cole, a historian on the Middle East, was recently interviewed on a similar subject, following the publication of his book, “Engaging the Muslim World.”
The interview was conducted on Riz Khan’s program:
The war in Afghanistan has become the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, sometimes termed the Afpak war by the US administration. This expansion into Pakistan reveals much about the nature of the war in the region, is a response to the origin story of the Taliban, and reflects the practice of the rights of the dominant international subjects to intervene throughout the world in the name of global order.
The current US administration, under president Barack Obama, has refocused its attention on Central and South Asia after its predecessor had shifted the greater part of its international policy resources to the war in Iraq. President Obama has increasingly articulated a US and NATO policy that has been a growing reality since the tail end of the US presidential election campaign: de-emphasis on Iraq and emphasis and resurgence of international political-military activity in and around Afghanistan.
In this regard, the US will in the short term be sending some 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and it will be sending a great number more civilian experts to train and handle Afghan bureaucrats and politicians.
Taliban Sans Frontiere
The Taliban’s presence is today strongest in southern Afghanistan and north western Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North-West Frontier Province (read my article on the Taliban presence in FATA for more information). These areas constitute the majority of the Pashtun people’s territories. The Taliban has its roots in Pashtun culture. Almost all Taliban leaders are of Pashtun origin, and they are currently the primary power bloc within these highly tribal influenced people. In fact the Taliban’s rules and codes, as they enforce them in territories they effectively govern, are a synthesis of a particular Sunni school of religious conduct (originally from India’s Deobandi school) and the Pashtun tribal rules known as Pashtunwali.
This video covers the millions of Afghan refugees in Iran, with a focus on the children, then views British troops fighting in Afghanistan, followed by the Afghan citizens’ response to their president’s call for an early election.
The first part is from a short documentary by Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, entitled the Afghan Alphabet, then clips from a CBC report called Battlefield Afghanistan, and concluding with an Al Jazeera English news report on political development within Afghanistan.
This report by Al Jazeera briefly reviews a rise in child labour in Afghanistan, many scavenging in garbage dumps or on the streets of the capital.
Below are videos on DeLanda’s thoughts on Deleuze’s theory of nonhuman expressivity. DeLanda speaks on the migration from ‘finger prints’ in nature, to signatures such as animal markings of territory, to style. He goes on to mention that our environment, including architecture, affords us opportunities and risks that animals and humans perceive then act upon. Could not the content, style, and medium of communication also afford potentialities?
DeLanda insists on the importance of a continuum that exists between life expressivity in nature to expressions of community and solidarity, to an expressivity of legitimacy. Essentially, specific expressions of life exist within expressions of political legitimacy, that messages on militarism, health, and more are included in these forms of communication.
I’m again watching videos of the popular philosopher Manuel DeLanda speak on Deleuze‘s break with the tradition of philosophy based on the logic of general and particular categories of thought. I’m especially curious about this in light of trying to better communicate meaning, to surpass semantic meaning and touch on the significance of things, as DeLanda puts it. He articulates a trap that I often see myself falling into, bogged down by the phenomena of language while missing the significance of reality subject to an event or issue.
I first expressed a desire to fundamentally reformulate how I ask questions, the content of investigation, and the medium by which it’s communicated in an earlier post: Synecdoche and Political Analysis in the News.
I think the videos below are great tools in this quest. Plus, I have trouble understanding Deleuze without someone to translate him for me.
The videos are posted on the European Graduate School’s YouTube channel.
This short video by Douleurs Sans Frontières elegantly captures the nature of the war experience in occupied Palestine.
The surge in French production of Western European animation has been impressive in the past few years. The animation is certainly taking a lot from the rich history of illustration present in Western European graphic novels and is a distinct style from the other dominant schools coming out of the US and Japan.
French animation seems to have a heavier, earthy colour palette and the motion of bodies has an edge to it when compared to US animation. I understand that some of the sharpness or jaggedness is a result of the limitations of computer animation but there seems to be an underlying difference in the philosophy of motion and light. I think that animation from the US is influenced by the exaggerated movements present in comic theatre while the French take from dramatic theatre.
Below are links to audio and video from a lecture and discussion given by Slavoj Zizek during his visit to Sewanee. The lecture is titled Why Only Atheists Can Truly Believe.