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Gerhard Richter, Beerdigung, 1988, 200 cm × 320 cm, Oil on canvas, Catalog of works: 673, © Gerhard Richter 2017 (0085)
Fears are indicators of how one relates to the world. In contemporary societies these fears are often exploited consciously as part of political strategies to justify a state of emergency. Which cognitive patterns do politics of fear use to manipulate discourses, images, and concepts? Joseph Vogl, Allen Feldman, and Sinan Antoon discuss the global interconnections of fear, terror, and trauma.
Fears of losing control, of the incomprehensible and the irrational, are emerging parallel to the development of the modern individual. How do subjective and collective fears shift the relationship between threat, security, and freedom?
The literary and cultural scholar Joseph Vogl undertakes an analysis of the origins of modern economies of fear from the perspective of a history of ideas, examining how the formation of the modern subject is related to contemporary practices of governance. The anthropologist Allen Feldman has developed a visual ethnography of violence which shows how controlling people’s seeing can become a weapon and how the (de)visualization of violence and terror can generate a constant and latent state of fear. The author, poet, and scholar Sinan Antoon describes how Arabic language, and by extension, a monolithic culture, are demarcated as zones and sources of danger and markers of violence in the post 9/11 world.