On Thursday, April 30th, 2020 the usual 10 AM “Isolation Zoom Meeting” was held within this year’s Spring Fellowship, however, the regular ten have been strengthened by an eleventh CAS teammate, Dr. Vedran Džihić, one of the Centre’s directors, who was joining us from Vienna.
With the regard to the circumstances, Dr. Džihić reminded some and amused others, of the very beginnings at the CAS SEE, and the challenges of establishing a scientific Centre in the aftermath of the last economic crisis, the one from 2008. He weaved his thoughts with the concept of democracy, having declared to have been fascinated by the works of John Keane, whom he wholeheartedly recommended (“The Life and Death of Democracy”, “The New Despotism”).
Vedran underlined that we are living in an extraordinary period, “full” of extraordinary people, and the deviations from democracy that we are experiencing require our active democratic engagement. It is ours to “infect the public with free thought” and strengthen collective efforts to build on the consciousness and/of connectedness.
The ten of us have surely been infected with Vedran’s enthusiasm, and are now aspiring to organize a Zoom meeting with John Keane, the “democracy muse” himself, and see what can we find and/or build together upon the enthusiasm, interest, respect, and inspiration already gained. Such a warm insight and clear direction in terms of vision, kept us online for a minute longer, after the official meeting, because they gave us ideas to think about within our own project(s)…
And although this meeting, like all others, has also ended with “hope to speak in ‘real-life’ soon”, it was somehow lighter, more focused on the moment at hand, and the possibilities it embeds and less concerned with the undeniable interferences and the difficulties of working remote.