portrait Majewska

Ewa Majewska

Affiliated 16-17, Fellow 14-16

Social Philosophy / Decolonial Feminist Studies

ICI Berlin
Christinenstraße 18-19, Haus 8
D-10119 Berlin


Ewa Majewska is a feminist philosopher of culture. She studied Philosophy, French Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Warsaw, Poland. Since 2003 she has lectured at the Gender Studies at the University of Warsaw, after receiving her PhD she was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (BBRG), working on theories of subjectivity and translation; in fall 2010 – she was a fellow at the University of Orebro, Sweden, working on the feminist theories of love; in the years 2011 - 2013 she was the Adiunkt Professor in the Institute of Culture at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. In 2013/14 she was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the  Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, Austria. Nomadism is her life practice, together with political activism. She is an author of two books: Feminizm jako filozofia społeczna and Sztuka jako pozór? Cenzura i inne formy upolitycznienia kultury and co-editor of two volumes on neoliberalism and politics: Zniewolony umysł II. Neoliberalizm i jego krytycy and Futuryzm miast przemysłowych. She published in: Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Nowa Krytyka, Przegląd Filozoficzno-Literacki, Przegląd Kulturoznawczy, Kultura Popularna, Le Monde Diplomatique (PL) and several collected volumes, including A. Jonasdottir, A. Ferguson (eds), Love. A question for feminists? (Routlege, 2013).

Weak Resistance and its Implications for the Arts

The current project explores the concept of weak resistance and examines its implications for the field of art. In the times of growing precarization, the forms of resistance to the neoliberal modes of exploitation, exclusion, and expropriation often take on the ordinary, everyday and common forms and references, rather than the until now hegemonic heroic formats of action. They often follow the feminist critique and re-appropriations of the everyday, the queer analysis of failure as a form of resistance, and the subaltern/decolonial resistance to the hegemonic Western normalcy. The project builds on previous work tracking the implications of this shift in the modes of resistance analyzed in political theory. But, as Jacques Ranciere rightly argues, politics and art are just two aspects of the reconfigurations of the social, and hence the forms of resistance might have important implications for the field of art. For art practice, the theory and history of the idea of the “avant-garde of the weak” makes it possible to compose different temporalities and connections, in which what has until now been seen as heroic can also be perceived as weak, at least strategically. Following Boris Groys and his thoughts on ‘weak universalism’, the project asks whether a “weak avant-garde” is possible and what its consequences might be for a feminist, queer, and decolonial art history and aesthetics. 

ICI Project (2014-16)

Chasing Europe, or on the Semi-Peripheral Publics

The semi-peripheral countries of the in-between economic and geopolitical zones are still perceived as following the core and cutting off from the peripheries (Wallerstein 2006, Spivak 1999). In my research I would like to undermine this logic and to look at the semi-peripheral states as errant and failing, becoming heterotopic sites of the utopian realized in existing conditions (Foucault, 1994; Deleuze and Guattari, 1980). The “Solidarność” workers union and the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”, built in two semi-peripheral countries – Poland and South Africa – as forms of resisting the non-democratic regimes, will be discussed as examples of the public undermining the Western concepts of the public sphere and as inspirations for a decolonial, feminist theory of semi-peripheral public (Habermas, 1989; Fraser, 1990; Kluge, 1990). In order to do so, we also need to look at the agency of these states as forms of a new division of the sensible, where the agency of the oppressed is not solely seen as result, but also as source of politics.

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