A filmed interview with Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein by Manuela Bojadžijev
Before Race, nation, classe. Les identités ambiguës was published in France in 1988, Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein met for three seminars at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris, where they and other colleagues discussed the challenges that racism posed to Marxism and leftist politics as well as to the theoretical analysis of social transformations. For the film by the researchers and filmmakers Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani, Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein return to this site. In a conversation with the scholar of cultural studies Manuela Bojadžijev they look back at the context surrounding the genesis of their book. Along with its dialogical character, its methodological particularity is the global perspective of its analysis, which positions the three historical constructions “race”, “class” and “nation” alongside one another, exposing their contradictions and interactions and pushing them to their limits. Balibar and Wallerstein discuss this approach with Bojadžijev, updating the central theses: What political challenges are being posed today? What gradations, further theoretical developments and methodological demands would Balibar and Wallerstein suggest in the mirror of the present?