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Weak Resistance

Everyday Struggles and the Politics of Failure

May 27,10:30, 2015

Part I and II


Part III and IV


As a practice, failure recognizes that alternatives
are embedded already in the dominant and that power
is never total or consistent; indeed failure can exploit
the unpredictability of ideology and its indeterminate qualities.
J. J. Halberstam

Revolutionaries are everywhere,
but nowhere is there any real revolution.
Abdelkebir el-Khatibi


The word resistance usually evokes images of struggle, of opposition, but also of power, of domination, and oppression. In its concrete manifestations, however, resistance is more of a process of trial and error; it is often a story of failures intersecting, weaknesses combining and of building precarious solidarities in times of crisis. In this sense, revolution is never a simple story of “success”.

This one-day conference aimed at exploring resistances as a multiplicity, as practices and modes of thinking that challenge normative values of success and failure. Resistances act on the mechanisms of power in particular places, in concerted actions, as well as in daily routines of living, being, working, imagining, and organizing. They can manifest as coalitions of the weak and dispossessed but also as coagulations in that in-between, uncomfortable space of the semi-peripheral. The panels investigated resistances in the decolonial queer context, the cultural field at large, protest politics, and sex work, and involved researchers alongside activists and other agents.

Organized by Rosa Barotsi, Walid El-Houri, and Ewa Majewska

Programme (PDF)

Time: 27 May 2015, 10:30
Venue: ICI Berlin
In English

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