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“The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of the Possible.” A lecture by Franco “Bifo” Berardi as part of Resources

NOW. Constructing Contemporaneity Festival
5 November 2016


The atmosphere of hopelessness and disbelief in change is one of the signature marks of our zeitgeist. In his lecture as part of the Resources thematic block, philosopher Franco “Bifo” Berardi will trace the genealogy of such attitudes. What may be a possible breakthrough in this predicament? What could become the source of hope today, locally and globally?

Franco “Bifo” Berardi about his lecture: “I'll talk about depression in the novels of Jonathan Franzen and of Michel Houellebecq, about the suicidal terrorism that is spreading in the world. Impotence is the prevailing sentiment of politics and of daily life, the ineffectiveness of social action and the impossibility of government of the psychosphere. I'll try to understand the meaning and implication of the contemporary suicidal wave in the frame of financial capitalism, and I'll try to define the present phase of the world in terms of global civil war.
Then, I'll try to understand if there is a future of possibility beyond the present age of impotence. Beyond impotence a possibility is implied in the social existence of millions of cognitive workers. The movement Occupy has marked the first attempt of reactivation of the social body of the cognitarians of the world.”


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.


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 Resources, 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.

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