Rhetorics of Reaction (2015)

“You’re Either with us or against us” it roars again before war operations are revitalized. What became clear after the terror attacks of Paris in the reactions of many politicians has been long prepared in the public discourse: A simplification of specific political issues, allowing less and less grey tones. The old magical formula against the complexity of the world is still in vogue. Instead of intervening directly, we step back and take a look at this polarizing political rhetoric. We ask for the conditions that lead to the widespread thinking in black and white, looking for counter-narratives to escape it.  

We recommend the essay film “Bitter Lake” by Adam Curtis. Curtis himself says it “tells a story about why the big stories we are told today have stopped making sense.” Using the example of the history of Afghanistan and the role of the United States, Britain, Russia and Saudi Arabia it questions power and the power of simplistic stories. Deconstruction of simplistic narratives and constructing counter-narratives go hand in hand.