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Relevant revolutionary theories discussed in Oslo. This week saw discussions about Walter Benjamin’s theories hosted by the Office of Contemporary Art and the National Academy of Arts in the Norwegian capital. The series of readings covering Benjamin’s thoughts about language, violence and history by focusing on pure language through his works was inspired by a larger project on Benjamin and the politics of translation. It followed the previous international workshop and conference ‘Benjamin in Palestine: On the Place and Non-Place of Radical Thought’, which was held in December 2015 in Ramallah at the International Academy of Art Palestine and Birzeit University. 

marxism, translation, oslo, theories, paywall



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Relevant revolutionary theories discussed in Oslo

Published on Tuesday, 1st March, 2016 at 23:13 under the news category, by Clara Reig Palau.
Last Updated on 2nd March 2016 at 12:40.

This week saw discussions about Walter Benjamin’s theories hosted by the Office of Contemporary Art and the National Academy of Arts in the Norwegian capital.

Walter Benjamin in 1928
Walter Benjamin in 1928
Photo: Akademie der Künste,Berlin/Public Domain


The series of readings covering Benjamin’s thoughts about language, violence and history by focusing on pure language through his works was inspired by a larger project on Benjamin and the politics of translation.

It followed the previous international workshop and conference ‘Benjamin in Palestine: On the Place and Non-Place of Radical Thought’, which was held in December 2015 in Ramallah at the International Academy of Art Palestine and Birzeit University. 

‘The Promise and Compromise of Translation’, which took place between 29th February and 1st March this week in Oslo, was an initiative led by German-Palestine philosopher Sami Khatib together with Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili.

It highlighted Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) and his achievements as a philosopher and a critic, focusing on his works on language and translation.  

Benjamin sustainably contributed to the aesthetic of theory, literally criticism, and historical materialism. Combining elements from German Idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin led revolutionary works within philosophy, history, language, and arts.

His writings are a supposed a re-thinking of the idea of progress in Modernity European philosophy. Benjamin’s controversial studies about language, which were questioned during the early 20s, are now seen as his major achievements, consequently placing him as being one of the most influential theorists in recent history.

Among the theorist’s best works are his studies on translation. In ‘The Task of the Translator’ (1936), he translated texts from Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) and French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-67). In his essay ‘Critique of Violence’ (1921), Walter Benjamin exposed the violence of the modern state and its jurisdiction, legislation, and executive forces.

His most relevant work is probably his ‘Theses on the Concept of History’ (1940). Benjamin revisits the vulgar conception of Marxism here. The theorist proposes a new approach to history which is not based on a progressive flow towards the future, but rather on a disruptive constellation of the present and the past. Thus, the medium in which the present is connected to all lost causes and struggles of those who lost their histories becomes the “tradition of the oppressed.” 

This week’s two-day event had two interrelated sessions. The first, called ‘The Task of The Translator’, was led by guest speaker Rebecca Comay, Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature, and the Director of the Program in Literary Studies at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. It was moderated by Mike Sperlinger, Professor of Writing and Theory at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo.

In the second session, guest speaker Jeffrey Sacks, Associate Professor in Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages at the University of California, introduced the lecture called the ‘Tradition of the Oppressed’. Rike Frank, curator and researcher and Associate Professor at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo, moderated the reading.

This week’s ‘The Promise and Compromise of Translation’ was addressed to scholars, philosophers, artists and professionals interested in a discussion on political and societal issues that affecting the world today, which had already been highlighted by Walter Benjamin’s works and theories.



Published on Tuesday, 1st March, 2016 at 23:13 under the news category, by Clara Reig Palau.
Last updated on 2nd March 2016 at 12:40.

This post has the following tags: marxism, translation, oslo, theories, paywall.





  
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