Paulo Tavares's blog

Paulo Tavares: Common Rights

"For Serres, nature could no longer be understood as inert resource materials available for limitless appropriation. Instead, ecosystems should be conceptualized as living and vibrant agents with which humans were co-existing in constant and delicate interactions. The necessary transformations were at the same time epistemic and legal, philosophical and political. Ceasing to be passive objects, non-humans should be included inside a new form of social contract that would encompass all those things we have left outside our definitions of the social.

Judith Butler: Torture and the Ethics of Photography

"... interpretation is not to be conceived restrictively in terms of subjective act. Rather, interpretation takes place by virtue of the structuring constraints of genre and form on the communicability of effect - and so sometimes takes place against one's will or, indeed, in spite of oneself. Thus, it is not just that the photographer and/or the viewer actively and deliberately interpret, but that the photograph itself becomes a structuring scene of interpretation - and one that may unsettle both maker and viewer in its turn"

Judith Butler: Torture and the Ethics of Photography

"... interpretation is not to be conceived restrictively in terms of subjective act. Rather, interpretation takes place by virtue of the structuring constraints of genre and form on the communicability of effect - and so sometimes takes place against one's will or, indeed, in spite of oneself. Thus, it is not just that the photographer and/or the viewer actively and deliberately interpret, but that the photograph itself becomes a structuring scene of interpretation - and one that may unsettle both maker and viewer in its turn"

Michael Taussig: The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America

"in the sugar-cane plantations of the Cauca Valley and in the tin mines of highland Bolivia it is clear that the devil is intrinsic to the process of the proletarization of the peasant and to the commoditization of the peasant's world. (...) The neophyte proletarians and their surrounding peasant kinsman understand the world of market relations as intimately associated with the spirit of evil. Despite all possibilities of increasing their cash incomes, they still seem to view this mode of production as productive of barrenness and death as well.

Michael Taussig: The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America

"in the sugar-cane plantations of the Cauca Valley and in the tin mines of highland Bolivia it is clear that the devil is intrinsic to the process of the proletarization of the peasant and to the commoditization of the peasant's world. (...) The neophyte proletarians and their surrounding peasant kinsman understand the world of market relations as intimately associated with the spirit of evil. Despite all possibilities of increasing their cash incomes, they still seem to view this mode of production as productive of barrenness and death as well.

Pierre Clastres: Society Against the State

"Hence, it’s the political break that is decisive, and not the economic transformation. The true revolution in man’s history is not the Neolithic, since it may very well leave the previously existing social organization intact; it is the political revolution, that mysterious emergence – irreversible, fatal to primitive societies – of the thing we know by the name of the State. And if one wants to preserve the Marxist infrastructure and superstructure, then perhaps one must acknowledge that the infrastructure is the political, and the superstructure is the economic.

Pierre Clastres: Society Against the State

"Hence, it’s the political break that is decisive, and not the economic transformation. The true revolution in man’s history is not the Neolithic, since it may very well leave the previously existing social organization intact; it is the political revolution, that mysterious emergence – irreversible, fatal to primitive societies – of the thing we know by the name of the State. And if one wants to preserve the Marxist infrastructure and superstructure, then perhaps one must acknowledge that the infrastructure is the political, and the superstructure is the economic.

Against Architecture

Against Architecture (notes on the Amazon Frontier): By 1989, the rampant destruction of the rain forest in the Amazon basin had reached international media attention and became one of the paradigmatic questions that forced the introduction of environmental issues into the official agenda of global politics.

Peter Hallward: The Fourth Invasion: Securing Disaster in Haiti

Nine days after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, it's now clear that the initial phase of the U.S.-led relief operation has conformed to the three fundamental tendencies that have shaped the more general course of the island's recent history. It has adopted military priorities and strategies. It has sidelined Haiti's own leaders and government, and ignored the needs of the majority of its people. And it has proceeded in ways that reinforce the already harrowing gap between rich and poor.

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