The Nation-State System

The Abandoned Futures in the Era of Nations

How did the nation-state system manage to replace all other ideas of political organization? By shedding light on blocked political options, we hope to reclaim once again the possibility to imagine other forms of political belonging–within, between and across nations. Presentations and lecture performances address the transitions from empires to nations from a non-western perspective, asking what language we can use to speak about the nation-state. The narrative of self-determination propagated by the nation-state still contains echoes of the immediate past and present of (post) colonialism. In view of a present which is informed by the catastrophic experiences of the 20th century, how can possibilities for an emancipatory future arise? And finally it is about the decisive question: How can one think beyond the limits of the nation-state system?

With Arjun Appadurai, Cemil Aydin, Kudzanai Chiurai, Ann Cotten, Lawrence Liang, Marcus Rediker, David Scott, Hito Steyerl, Naomi Wallace