Exile, hospitality, cohabitation

10 Donatella Di Cesare

Exile, hospitality, cohabitation

€ 3.00
Saturday 25 May 2019 3:00 pm
piazza San Bartolomeo 1

In post-Nazi times, the idea that people can decide who to live with held steadfast. And it is this that has given populist xenophobia its strength, racism its trampoline. But everyone’s political-existential condition is now actually planetary exile. This is illustrated by the stranger, who opens the doors to a city where hospitality is indispensable. Recognising the precedence of the other in the place they are allocated to live means opening up not only to an ethics of proximity, but also to a policy of cohabitation. The “co-” in cohabitation implies the concept should be interpreted in its widest and deepest sense, so not merely participation but simultaneity too. This does not mean an inflexible form of coexistence. In a world where many exiles compete to cohabit, it means sharing your spatial proximity in a temporal convergence, where each person’s past can expressed in the shared present, in view of a common future.


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Donatella Di Cesare is a Professor in Theoretical Philosphy at La Sapienza University in Rome. She is one of the most present philosophers in the public debate as well as in academic circles and the media. She writes for the magazine L’Espresso and newspapers Corriere della Sera and il manifesto, as well as collaborating with many Italian and international websites and magazines. The ethical and political questions about violence in the age of globalisation encouraged her to research the phenomena of torture and terror and explore the dark side of the global civil war, in: Torture (Bollati Boringhieri, 2016) and Terror and Modernity (Einaudi, 2017). The epic clash between the State and migrants is the theme of her book Resident Foreigners. A philosophy of Migration (Bollati Boringhieri, 2017; winner of the Pozzale Prize for essay writing 2018 and the Sila Prize for Economy and Society, 2018). Her most recent books are Marrani. L’altro dell’altro (Einaudi, 2018) and Sulla vocazione politica della filosofia (Bollati Boringhieri, 2018).

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