What Was The European Union? Part 2
Following last June’s event at General Public marking elections in Greece, Jeremiah Day, Fred Dewey, and Wolfgang Heuer offer a second evening of constructive intervention around core, founding principles of the European Project and in particular how they have been affected by „the crisis.“
Jeremiah Day graduated from the art department of the University of California at Los Angeles in 1997 and lived and worked in Los Angeles until moving to Europe in 2003 to attend the Rijksakademie. His work has been shown recently by the Stedeljik Museum, Amsterdam, the Museum for Cycladic Art, Athens, and Essays and Observations, Berlin.
Tonight, we gather to raise a glass to Stéphane Hessel, who passed away after achieving unprecedented fame for publication, in his ’90s, of the best-selling pamphlet Indignez-Vouz! Addressed to youth, the pamphlet is a call for outrage, boldly linking the original goals and passions of the French and European Resistance to current dissatisfactions over neoliberalism, the economic model, injustice, and the destruction of social and political protections.
Hessel’s biography is intertwined with central events of the last hundred years. A Jew born in Berlin in 1917, Hessel escaped a POW camp during the war to join the French Resistance, signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and helped inspire a constellation of activities on multiple continents, from the Indignado movement in Spain to what came to be known as „Occupy.“ Hessel fought for politics, a shared human possibility, and a different Europe and world. What does his extraordinary courage mean?
Over drinks, in discussion and informal presentations, we’ll toast Hessel and discuss what is left in the wake of his passing. With Europe’s founding principles, born in the Resistance—of „economic and social democracy,“ a balanced, federal Europe, and „the public interest“—under assault by financial agents and political leaders, what might the „crisis“ mean for Europe, for peace, and for our shared future?
For much of 2011-12, Fred Dewey conducted an open working group on the works of Hannah Arendt at Berlin’s General Public. While in Los Angeles, he helped place self-governing councils on the city charter and, for fifteen years, ran the cultural public space Beyond Baroque. He is a writer, teacher, publisher, editor, critic, activist, and thinker. The School of Public Life, a book of interventions, is forthcoming from doormats/errant bodies.
Wolfgang Heuer teaches political philosophy at Free University, Berlin, Founder of HannahArendt.net – A Journal of Political Thinking, and co-curator of the Hannah Arendt Denkraum, Berlin 2006.