Century, Destruction and Philosophy
Wissam Saade and Fares Chalabi
Friday, March 29 at 8pm
Language: French

Wissam Saade and Fares Chalabi will both give papers related to the theme of fatigue in the twentieth century. The talks will be followed by a conversation between the authors and the audience. 

Brain, Body, Destruction by Fares Chalabi
The Second World War, destruction, the interruption of a sensorial driving force leading to paralysis makes us wonder; what is left for us to do? The sensorial paralysis and the suspension of perceptual continuity and its system opens-up a higher-level practice of the eye: clairvoyance (voyance). Traces of a new politics opposing clairvoyance to a politics of action start surfacing. Two politics: one founded on action, truth, grand narratives and myths; and another, (serial), based on clairvoyance, falsification, and dystopian narratives (non- narratives).

Exists a thought from the aftermath of destruction, a thought coming from revenants, those having trespassed death who return to claim a new body and new brain, thus establishing another relationship between thought and perception, and another relationship between corporal attitudes and the discourses that regulate them. This presentation is based on Cinema1 &2 by Gilles Deleuze.

Fares Chalabi was born in Beirut in 1977, where he studied philosophy and architecture. Admiring the French contemporary philosophers, such as Deleuze and Foucault, he decided to continue his studies in Paris 8. Chalabi left Beirut in 2003 to live in Paris until 2005 obtaining his Masters 1 degree. From 2005 until 2007 he lived in Indonesia and worked for the Red Cross on the post tsunami relief program. Back in Paris in 2008 he finished his Masters 2 degree and enrolled in a PhD program. Today Chalabi lives in Beirut where he teaches philosophy (AUB) and art theory (ALBA).

Century- Myth: Alfred Rosenberg And the Farce of the Twentieth Century by Wissam Saade
Can The Myth of the Twentieth Century by ideologue and Nazi dignitary Alfred Rosenberg still be read today? When rethinking the link between philosophy and Nazism, philosophy and destruction, philosophy and totalitarianism, we are drawn towards Heidegger. What if, instead of Heidegger, we started thinking about Rosenberg? Should the “nazi aspect” in Heidegger’s philosophy give way and acknowledge a “philosophical aspect” in Rosenberg’s racist, prophetic and nightmarish mystique?  Can Rosenberg’s farce at the Nuremberg trial –where he suggested being considered as a philosopher- haunt the history of philosophy? Banality of Evil equals the Banality of Philosophy? Is Rosenberg a “philosophical martyr”? How does Rosenberg’s rectification and banal understanding of Houston Steward Chamberlain’s thesis in “Genèse du XIXème siècle” return and nourishes this century’s malaise, today? To what extent can we refer to the 20th century as “rosenbergian”, and what to say about our century, its fatigue and crumbling myths inherited through amnesic and anachronistic passions? Will this century, exhausted and colonized by the previous one also become a century of grand narratives or a century in search of a myth?

Wissam Saade is a political journalist and researcher in political thought born in Beirut in 1977. Since 2003, he teaches the history of Arab-Islamic civilization and political thought in the Arab world at the Université Saint-Joseph.  He has participated in several conferences in Beirut, Amman, Sanaa, Paris and Berlin. In the past years, Saade has focused his research on three different subjects; the concept of Race in Western modernity;  the concept of oriental despotism in the history of political thought and the history of Orientalism;  and the extreme ambiguity of colonialism. He is currently working on a study on intra-European colonial experience.