Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence (PJCV) - The Problem of Violence, Volume III (Issue 1/2019, May)
Volume III (Issue 1/2019, May)
Guest edited by Herman Siemens
Editor-in-Chief: Andreas Wilmes
Trivent Publishing, H-1119 Budapest, Etele u. 59-61
Responsible publisher: Teodora C. Artimon
Slow Violence and the Limits of Eco-Resistance
Author(s): Howard Caygill
The essay departs from Rob Nixon’s concept of slow violence to consider the strategic repertoire of eco-resistance. The fundamental question that it addresses is how far the paradigm of resistance is appropriate for understanding and imaging the practice of radical environmental-ism. Along the way it confronts the thanatopolitical assumptions of theories of resistance, asking whether the forms of reactive violence proper to resistance are appropriate for environmental ac-tion, but nevertheless attempts to detect an affirmative moment in the non-state future-oriented action. The essay concludes by asking whether the theory and practice of bioregional and other expressions of grass roots environmentalism point to an enhancement of the theory of resistance or to new forms of oppositional environmental action.
Fanaticism as a Worldview
Author(s): Frank Chouraqui
This article argues in favour of a formal definition of fanaticism as a certain relation-ship to one’s beliefs that is informed by the assumption that there is a mutual incompatibility be-tween consistency and moderation. It analyses this assumption as an expression of an implicit com-mitment to naïve realism. It then proposes a critique of such realism and finally it sketches an ontological alternative, able to philosophically and politically respond to and oppose fanaticism by showing the compossibility, on that ontological view, of moderation and consistency.
Violence, Integrity, Production. On Bataille’s Restricted Economy
Author(s): Andrea Rossi
Building and expanding on George Bataille’s analysis of the restricted economy, the paper theorises violence as a plastic and productive force. Challenging accounts that, in different ways, define political violence solely as a negative and dis-integrating power (i.e. destructive of pre-existing – actual or potential – “things”), the essay concentrates on the force that is unleashed to produce “unity” and “integrity”, be it at the individual or at the collective level. This perspective, I suggest, might contribute to gauging the limits of the (potentially unbounded) violence needed by contemporary political and economic regimes to construe and secure their integrity.
The Problem of Violence in the Context of South Africa
Towards a Slow Decolonisation of Sexual Violence
Author(s): Louise du Toit
This paper explores how we could approach the decolonising of the debate on sexual violence within the South African post-colony. For this purpose, a historical event is analysed: two presbytery hearings of 1843 and 1845, both involving Xhosa convert John Beck Balfour, at the Scottish mission station of Burnshill based in Xhosaland (later called British Caffraria). The hearings involve (extra-)marital and sexual behaviour. Walter Mignolo’s notions of border think-ing and colonial difference, further complicated with the idea of colonial-sexual differentiation, are employed to show aspects of what is at stake in a decolonising reading of Xhosa convert sexual behaviour.
Of Violence and Intimacy: the Shame of Loving and Being Loved
Author(s): Lou-Marie Kruger
This paper explores violence in intimate relationships in one low-income community in the Western Cape, South Africa. In this community most intimate relationships (including parent-child, intimate partner relationships and friendships) seem to be characterized by anger, rage and also violence. In our analysis we discuss how the concepts of shame, guilt and the compulsion to repeat can serve to illuminate the seemingly inevitable link between violence and care in this specific community. It also seems that contextual factors such as class, gender and race shape not only the form violence assumes, but also to whom it is directed. While we pay attention to the material and ideological conditions that shape the lives of individual storytellers, we also focus on the ways in which violence is represented in the individual stories.
On Violence and the Image / The Violence of the Image
On the Violence of Images and Image-Censorship in the Global Media: What can we learn from Schelling?
Author(s): Katia Hay
The following paper presents a reflection on the violence of images understood as the “power” that certain images have in “provoking” what appear to be disproportionate responses on the part of the viewer. In particular, this paper addresses the systematic censorship of images (such as the photographs from David Jay’s work The SCAR Project) in open and highly mediatized societies that advocate and defend freedom of speech. But this requires a new understanding of the image and the working hypothesis of this paper is that we can find resources for this in the work of the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling.
Alexander Baumgarten and the Violence of the Image
Author(s): Herman Siemens
This paper draws on Alexander Baumgarten, the founder of modern aesthetics (1714-1762), to tackle two fundamental questions: What is an image or representation “of vio-lence”? And what makes an image violent, in the sense that it can provoke acts of political vio-lence? In the mediatized environment we inhabit, I argue, our perception has become damaged by generalized logics of image-exchange and -sharing, so that we have become immunized against perceiving concrete particularity. Baumgarten’s notion of clear and “con-fused” or “fused” (“ver-worren”) representations describes well how certain images – “violent” images – can break through these mediatized logics and capture the concrete particular in its qualitative singularity. The com-plexity and plurivocity of such images defeat our cognitive capacity to determine truth/untruth univocally, provoking a fear of ambiguity, which is one of the small beginnings of violent political acts and events.
Imago Dei: A Schellingian Reflection on Violence and Evil
Author(s): Saitya Brata Das
That the senselessness of violence – violence no longer a mere political means to a justi-fied end outside it – is omnipresent in today’s world: the realization of this truth appears to have made obsolete today the conventional understanding of violence as mere political means. That the Greeks thought “bia,” which means violence, in its close proximity with “bio,” which means “life,” speaks not surprisingly a truth whose manifestation we perceive today more clearly than ever before, albeit the mode or manner of this manifestation today was perhaps not known to the Greeks. Taking F.W.J. von Schelling’s reflection on evil and violence as the point of departure, this paper seeks to understand the relation between life and violence anew and attempts to show that at the heart of the phenomenon of evil lies the enigmatic and fascinating question of the image.
Images of Violence / Imagining Violence
Philistine Acts of Violence. The Criminal Destruction of Art and Science Monuments in Mishima’s and Conrad’s Novels
Author(s): Carlos João Correia
This paper aims to analyse how literary fiction deals with two real cases of philistine violence on cultural objects, one artistic and the other scientific. In this way, we will analyse Mishi-ma's novel, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which narrates the destruction of one of the “jewels of Kyoto,” as well as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, which novelised the attack against the meridian of Greenwich. In both cases, we are confronted with the same attitude, namely, the insane resentment against the reality principle.
In the Land of Blood and Honey: A Cinematic Representation of the Bosnian War
Author(s): Dubravka Zarkov, Rada Drezgic
This paper addresses the representation of violence in the film In the Land of Blood and Honey, which was directed by Angelina Jolie (2011). Internationally hailed, awarded but also hugely criticized, the film purports to be about rape camps where Muslim women were held and assaulted by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian war. However, the film merges the story of rape camps with a story about a (sexual) relationship between an incarcerated Muslim woman and a Serb camp commander. Our paper analyzes the cinematic tools used to tell these two stories, focusing on what is referred to as borrowing, and suggests that Jolie borrowed liberally to tell her story. The article focuses on three types of borrowing, cinematic, literary and experiential, and looks at three visual cinematic tropes obtained from Holocaust movies, Cold War movies, and ex-Yugoslav cinematic productions. It is concluded that the film recycles an already largely discarded narrative of “a history of ethnic hatred” as prime cause of war in the former Yugoslavia. The film’s director thus misses an opportunity to challenge the ethnicization of the region – something many local film directors have already successfully achieved.
Liminal Identities: Portraits of Surviving Domestic Violence
Author(s): Susana Campos, Benedetta Cappellini, Vicki Harman
The paper looks into a participatory art project developed in two women’s refuges, one in Portugal and the other in England. Addressing liminality after surviving violence, the project constructs a portrait of survivors, utilising feminist pragmatist aesthetics to transfer representational agency to participants. Against a background where women who have experienced domestic violence have often been portrayed in simplistic representations of damaged beauty, the study sought to gain a deeper understanding by holding visual art workshops with participants (Portugal, England) and analysing data from verbal testimonies (England). The paper contributes to a discussion of the practical issues negotiated when establishing a representational power balance between researchers and research participants. It does this by providing a critical discussion of three ethical problems emerging in relation to the project. The first concerns the dominant representation of survivors, the second the need for participants’ anonymity and the third the challenges of inequality in qualitative research.
Video Game Violence. A Philosophical Conversation with Mathieu Triclot
Author(s): Mathieu Triclot, Raphaël Verchère
The starting point of this conversation with philosopher Mathieu Triclot is the issue of the causal contribution of video game playing in school shootings. Triclot explains the limitations of current psychological approaches regarding video game violence. He further develops on the peculiar features of the video game medium and how they relate to the problem of violence. Triclot eventually shows that, although players may relate to virtual violence in very different ways, violence in video games is not merely a subjective phenomenon. He highlights that some “regimes of experience,” which got stable in the video game culture, cultivate a toxic relation to violence.