Within what forums can the political evolve today? In the face of post-democratic mechanisms of globalization, the crisis of the national state and increasing restrictions on human rights and civil liberties, there have been shifts in the places and practices of social negotiation. There is an ever-growing distance between the spaces of global politics and the networks of local political initiatives. Departing from the idea of the Greek polis and Hannah Arendt's concept of political acting as free, public negotiation, the historian Dipesh Chakrabarty and the architect Eyal Weizman explore the term forum.
Dipesh Chakrabarty is currently the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and Public Culture. In his works he has challenged the concept of a Eurocentric historicism from a post-colonial and subaltern studies’ perspective. In his acclaimed book Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2000; 2008) he entangles limitations of Western notions of modernity, culture, class and homogenous capitalist and democratic developments in non-Western countries. Most recently his research focuses on anthropogenic climate change and its implications for historical and political thinking, on the history of the idea of historical truth, and on democracy and political thought in South Asia.
Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Visual Cultures and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011 he also directs the research agency Forensic Architecture. Since 2007 he is a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) in Beit Sahour/Palestine. He has worked with a variety of NGOs worldwide and was on the board of directors of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. Currently he is on the boards of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), and the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London amongst others.