Slowness and Suffering: Critical approaches to temporalities of violence

Session Convenors

Suzannah Victoria  Beatrice Henty, University of Melbourne

Maria Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani, University of York

Session Abstract

The accelerated pace of life, along with rapid technological transformations, are often experienced as violent temporal registers. Slowness often comes as a response and is constructed as a deliberate resistance and subversion to the dominance of speed. Yet, slowness can also be experienced as a hegemonic temporal regime. In this vein, recent scholarship has sought to suggest slowness as equally violent, perhaps triggering a much more intricate mode of suffering than the one speed supposedly causes. Terms such as slow violence (R. Nixon, 2011) or slow death (L Berlant, 2011) are creating a theoretical ‘armoury’ for the description of forms of violence that cannot be sensed or seen immediately. Central – but not limiting – aspects of this discussion are:

  • The temporality of waste (e.g. toxic) and the looming consequences for those who, often unwittingly, face them.
  • The marginalised temporalities of the residual effects of colonisation.
  • The temporal gap in terms of visibility between the violence of events of human/non-human death or suffering and their socio-political ‘ruins.’

Time passes, but indeed its experience varies for different social, cultural, and political entities. How are we to apprehend and critically assess such hidden/invisible and extended forms of violence? How are artists responding to the slowness of violence or the violence of slowness? How are museums using slowness as a curatorial device for knowledge production? How do different mediums produce a differentiated experience of slowness? This session seeks to gather artistic, political and philosophical responses to the significance of slowness as a temporal register.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposal direct to the session convenors, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

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