CAS SEE Seminar

CAS SEMINAR WITH ROBERT D. KAPLAN 

Robert D. Kaplan visited Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe on April 21, 2017 and gave a talk about how technology is making geography and geopolitics smaller, more anxious and claustrophobic, so that all of Eurasia is coming together as a single conflict system, even while Europe divides from within. Precisely because globalization leads to integration, it also leads to increased interactions across regions and this intensifies conflict and instability. Kaplan also reflected on the European crisis, in all its aspects, with thoughts and questions about how it looks from the viewpoint of Rijeka, Central Europe, and the former Yugoslavia. Robert D. Kaplan was joined in discussion with Giacomo Scotti, Vanni d’Alessio and Ervin Dubrović.


Robert D. Kaplan is the bestselling author of seventeen books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including Earning the Rockies, In Europe’s Shadow, Asia’s Cauldron, The Revenge of Geography, Monsoon, The Coming Anarchy, and Balkan Ghosts.
He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior advisor at Eurasia Group. For three decades he reported on foreign affairs for The Atlantic. He held the national security chair at the United States Naval Academy and was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

 

NATASHA SARDZOSKA

Mapping of spatial memory in limitrophe cities: border-landscapes and border-bodies

“My project draws on limitrophe cities and interzones within border-zones landscapes and deserted places where abandon, detachment, twisted memory and emotional representation shape the place as liminal and as ontologically uncertain. I argue border passages, which are today spaces deprived from meaning, or rather Phantomgrenzen, such as former Schengen crossings, such as empty and forgotten architectures of the post-Yugoslavian period, where space is under continuous reconfiguration and, at some point, becomes politically critical and artistically relevant. Thus, those spaces, although deprived from substantial phenomenological nexus, are impregnated with the emotional memory of a place that no longer exist; in this sense, they are not places where something ends and something else begins its existence, but rather places where something starts its presencing (to name few actions which gain their semantical denomination at the border crossing itself: smuggling, trafficking, exile, homelessness, expatriation etc.).

I elaborate political meanings of borders, which are perpetually blurred and shifted in tidal geography, the cultural mummification, the erasure of preexisting maps and the revival of “quick sand” porous boundaries. I focus on the production of flows of non-targeted displacements and dislocations, indeterminate journeys and nostalgia for a lost space instigated by the political shattering. I will, therefore, present the border-artwork of Sara Salamon, visual artist from Rijeka, who is disintegrating, misplacing, reinventing and questioning the invisible phantom-border passage between Gorizia and Nova Gorica, unveiling interrelations of cultural mutation processes from former spatial memory towards transitory emotional memory. The goal is to rethink the interconnected mappings, which have become marginalized and diasporic but at the same time a center and a nucleus of cognitive anxiety proliferating movements and unpredictable spatial trajectories. The question I am tackling is: is it so important to draw boundaries, charts and maps when the world has turned culturally liminal, flow and creolizing?”

Natasha Sardzoska was born in Skopje in 1979. Researcher, interpreter and translator (IT, FR, EN, ES, PT, MK, SR), Italian language professor, poet, writer, journalist and cultural manager, she has been living and working in Paris, Milano, Stuttgart, Brussels, Lisbon, Belgrade, Heidelberg, Bergamo and Skopje. She holds a Bachelor in Italian language and literature and comparative literature from the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. With the Erasmus Mundus fellowship from the European Commission she has obtained a Master in media and cultural studies from the New University of Lisbon, the University of Perpignan and the University of Bergamo and a PhD in cultural anthropology from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, University of Bergamo and Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.She has taught at Schiller International University in Heidelberg, the University for Tourism in Skopje, the University of Bergamo and the South-East European University “Max Van der Stoel”. She is part of the research group Phantom Borders at the Humbolt University in Berlin. She has been working as interpreter for the Senate of the Italian Republic, the Italian Ministry of Justice, the Italian National Antimafia Bureau, the International Organization for Migration, IBF Consulting, the Macedonian Ministry of Defense, the Macedonian Academy for Judges and Prosecutors and the European Commission and as expert in the French National Agency for Higher Education Evaluation AERES. She was editor of the official magazine of the Erasmus Mundus Association, where she was serving as Public Information Officer, and has interviewed well-known politicians amongst which Marielle De Sarnez.

She has attended international conferences and published in international reviews. She cooperates with the reviews Doppiozero, Nuova Prosa, Milan and Transmidia, Rio de Janeiro. She has published several poetry books, essays and literary translations (Saramago, Carducci, Pasolini, Tabucchi, Carneiro, Carvalho, Tavares, Bojunga, Couto, Bufalino, Braga, Collodi, Piperino) from Portuguese and Italian language. She collaborates with Radio Capodistria for the in-depth analysis program Il Vaso di Pandora, in Italian language. She has founded the Argentinian tango association in Macedonia promoting Argentine culture in the Balkans.

Rastko Močnik

Fascisms: Historical, Neo-, and Post-

“Public discourses now usually describe the new anti-liberal and anti-globalist politics as “populist”. The term is problematic in many ways. It is pronounced from aloof and entails the suggestion that politics is a matter of expertise, not to be soiled by the people. Consequently, the implied position of uttering contradicts the explicit utterance-contents that presents itself as classically liberal. The term provides a hasty pseudo-solution to what should be examined as a problem: the mass appeal of those politics. By suggesting that politics is a matter of rhetorical adroitness, mainstream discourses legitimate and reproduce the presently dominating political practices in the Euro-Atlantic region that may be one of the causes for the massive discontent, which, in turn, offers social support to the new anti-liberalism. – Within the processes and practices that resulted in the destruction of Yugoslav socialist federation, an important, maybe decisive component were the politics that retroactively appear as an anticipation of the present extremist tide, and whom some of us described at that time as “fascist”. Again, this description seems problematic. As an anachronistic analogy, it may miss the specificity of the present situation. To avoid this trap, we shall look for systemic features, which now generate the familiar elements that have in the past combined into historical fascisms, but which may instead form new patterns in the present.”

 

Rastko Močnik, sociologist, literary theorist, translator and political activist is a retired professor at the University of Ljubljana and a visiting professor at the Faculty of Media and Communications, University Singidunum, Belgrade. He teaches and publishes in critical social science, theory of symbolic formations, epistemology of the humanities and social sciences. Co-chair of the International Board of Directors of the Institute for Critical Social Studies, Sofia and Plovdiv. Doctor honoris causa at the  Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” (2005).

Ernesto C. Sferrazza Papa

The “Wall”: Ontology, Politics, Culture

“In my presentation I’ve shared with colleagues and participants the current stages of my research project. I divided the presentation into three parts, namely the three point of views of my approach to the issue of the wall.
The first one is an ontological point, and I consider it the very theoretical grounding of the entire research. The wall is something that exists in the world, so it concerns with the ontology, the science of the being. But at the same time the wall is an artifact, an object existing in a social world, and its existence depends from the human hand that modifies a natural object. Thus, one of the privileged points of view for better understanding the issue of the wall is the social ontology. Therefore, I’d like to provide a clear definition of “political wall” based on the concept of “artifact”, discussing arguments and positions of authors such as Maurizio Ferraris, Diego Marconi, John Searle, Barry Smith.
In the second part of the presentation, I showed how and why such a research should deal with the political issue of the wall. Indeed, the increasingly growing of material borders all over the world shows us that walls are a global phenomenon that merit a careful and deep analysis. For this reason, french scholars Florine Ballif and Stephane Rosiere coined a neologism, teichopolitics (from the ancient greek teichos, the wall of the city) in order to define the politics of building walls at the statal borders for various security purposes. In this part of the presentation I’ve focused on the fundamental working principles of contemporary teichopolitics, namely the materialization of borders as a visible persistence of statal power (as Wendy Brown argues in his famous book Walled States, Waning Sovereignty), and the problem of the “regime of mobility”, which is a new global hierarchy based of different mobility potentialities.
In the third part, I have argued that a teichopolitical regime can work only through a specific cultural discourse on the “other” as a dangerous figure. Indeed, the teichopolitical logic is complementary to what, for instance, Ronen Shamir has defined the “paradigm of suspicion” and Ulrich Beck a “risk society”. In order to deconstruct the teichopolitical logics and its cultural “condition of possibility”, we need to rethink our political categories, and especially the fundamental figure of our time: the migrant.
At the end of the presentation, I have sketched out some possible next stages and developments of the research.”