Garage and Garage Library are now open! See our new visit rules here.

Find out how to support us here.

Discussion: The New Archaic and the Crisis of the Common

NOW. Constructing Contemporaneity Festival
5 November 2016


We are witnessing a global crisis of universal rights and values: instead of the divided common, new borders are being erected. Who needs them, and why? Is this a turn to the past—or a beginning of something new? This discussion, featuring Karen Armstrong, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Alexander Bikbov, Artemy Magun, Daniel Miller, Viacheslav Morozov, Guy Standing, Madina Tlostanova and Keti Chukhrov will take place as part of The New Archaic thematic block. 

The previous understanding of the universal, e.g. common rights and values rooted in the Enlightenment paradigm tradition, withdraws into the shadows nowadays. This crisis has touched single countries, as well as interstate organizations, like the European Union for example. The politics of national, religious and ethnic identity has come to the foreground. The boost of social movements based around identity issues is often used by right-wing political powers. One of the most radical political movements built on the concept of identity is ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia). Where can these processes lead us? Are they related to neoliberalism, which erodes the social infrastructure of states, replacing common social guarantees with personalized service supply? Shall we carry out and built new universal ideals and common rights, or not? How is it possible to fight increasing social inequality and ultra-right populism? Are we dealing with the return of the archaic paradigm—or with something new and unique that has yet to be defined.


Karen Armstrong is a world renowned religious historian, author of many publications on comparative religious studies, translated into forty languages, including A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence and other books that have been published in Russian.

Alexander Bikbov is a sociologist, deputy director of the Center of Contemporary Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Moscow State University, editor of Logos magazine, author of the book The Grammar of Order: Historical Sociology of Concepts that Change Our Reality.

Franco “Bifo” Berardi is an acclaimed Italian philosopher, sociologist and cultural and media theorist. He is a Marxist in the autonomous tradition and participated in the student protests in Bologna in 1968. He studies the impact of post-industrial capitalism on intellectual workers. Berardi is the author of the book Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide translated into Russian.

Artemy Magun is a political analyst, dean of the Political Studies and Sociology faculty of the European University in St Petersburg, author of the book Unity and Solitude: The Course of Political Philosophy in the Modern Age.

Viacheslav Morozov is a political scientist, who studies political identities, professor of the Tartu University (Estonia), author of the book Russia and the Others: Identity and the Boundaries of a Political Community.

Daniel Miller is an anthropologist, whose research is based around material culture and mass consumption, author of the book Stuff, one of the Why We Post project initiators—a large-scale yet meticulous study of the relations between the society and the social networks.

Guy Standing is an economist and sociologist, whose studies concentrate on the global socio-economic processes, and precarization in particular. Standing is one of the main advocates of unconditional basic income (a sum of money paid to every citizen regardless of their social and labor status). He is the author of the book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, translated into Russian.

Madina Tlostanova is a researcher of postcolonial processes, professor of postcolonial feminism at the Gender Studies department of the Linköping University (Sweden), author of the book Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas.

Keti Chukhrov is a philosopher, cultural and art theorist, head of the Research department of Moscow’s National Center for Contemporary Arts, author of the book Be and Perform: The Project of Theater in Philosophical Critique of Art.

Gleb Napreenko is an art critic and theorist, editor-in-chief of the Disagreements journal (an appendix online resource of the website).


COLTA.RU — Russia’s main independent portal for arts, culture and society. A public-funded website, founded in 2012.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation — Renowned German foundation with offices around the world. Since 1997, the foundation has supported social and cultural projects promoting democratic values, ecology, gender and ethnic equality.


Admission free

This lecture is part of The New Archaic, one of the thematic blocks of the NOW. Constructing Contemporaneity festival and has been organized by Garage in collaboration with and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
The discussion will be moderated by Gleb Napreenko.

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Garage