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    • Walter Benjamin's work could be described as an extremely precise and sensible/sensitive analysis of modernity. Or, more precisely, of the procedures through which modernity is affecting modes of life and of communication and, essentially, of relating to the world. In his "On Language as Such and on the Language of Man" for example, Benjamin describes a practice of an intense “listening”, a mode of extreme attentiveness and generosity towards every-thing that surrounded him, as the precondition for any form of language. And in "The Storyteller", he views storytelling as a way of voicing such experiences of listening to and of experiencing the world. Yet storytelling makes use of almost everything that the modern individual is not or has not, most notably time and the ability to listen. In this mode of communication, the story resonates on multiple levels of meaning without ever assuming the position of an objective truth. In other words, storytelling creates personal narratives where truth and fiction are as much intertwined as the subject of the narration with its object.

      Guided by a desire to take a closer look into Benjamin's work, we propose the feminist reading group.

      What does it mean to read as a feminist? The question may seem odd, or even trivial, but it engages the very ground of our work as artists and thinkers. Indeed, how is our reflection oriented, if not by the very way in which we turn to the text? And yet, when we think about methodologies and epistemologies, we rarely interrogate the practice of reading itself. This is all the more surprising that feminists tend to engage with texts by seeking to counter and denounce what phallocentrism wishes to leave unseen. These oppositional readings are crucial: without them, the insidious fallacies and the fatal acts of bad faith cannot be undone and proliferate unhampered. Yet they also run the risk of turning feminism into a mode of thinking that does nothing but to say “no,” one that destroys but rarely creates, and one that produces its own form of alienation. We want to propose another form of feminist reading: instead of the critical, distrustful distance, we suggest that closeness and intimacy may form an equally powerful approach. In this reading group, we examine what feminist thinking can become when it takes the shape of a lover’s response to a text’s seduction, and when refutation and penetration are replaced by a mode of reading that is founded in an ethics of proximity.

      The structure of the reading group is open. There are no experts. We choose, read and unfold the texts together and according to the interest and individual focus of the participants.

      Meetings from 17:00-20:00 at a.pass studio, 4th floor

      Next meetings & readings:  20.06 / 04.07 / 18.07 / 08.08

      For further information about the texts please contact: marialena.pouskouri@gmail.com





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