Passagen Gespräche: Stören!

Passagen Gespräche with Mihály Vajda

Verleger Peter Engelmann im Gespräch mit dem Philosophen Mihály Vajda

The social criticism of French philosophers reactivates old ideas and tries, like Alain Badiou, to revive the idea of communism. In the third edition of the Passagen Gespräche (Passagen Conversations) with Peter Engelmann, Hungarian philosopher and dissident Mihály Vajda disturbs our Western consensus regarding retro offerings of ideological orientation in our chaotic times. But one cannot accuse him of conformism. As a Hungarian Jew, Vajda narrowly escaped being murdered by the Nazis. As an antifascist student of Georg Lukács, he was persecuted by the Kádár regime. After the fall of the wall he was marginalized by the Orbán regime. Which socially critical positions and philosophical perspectives arise from this biographical experience, especially with regard to the current topicality of war, terror, flight and displacement?

The Passagen Gespräche bring the diversity of the Passagen publishing house's programme to the stage and into dialogue with the audience. In the theater, as a place of Encounters and cultural experiments, the open conversational situation becomes an intellectual adventure. 

Western-style capitalist democracies are currently both threatened by geopolitical conflicts and radical movements from the outside, and endangered by persistent economic and political crises from the inside. The search for alternative models for society is thereby becoming increasingly explosive. As a dialogic format for critical reflection, the Passagen Gespräche not only aim to analyse the urgent problems of our present, but also pose questions about the possibility of changing existing conditions: What is philosophy's potential to intervene? Wherein lie the subversive possibilities of artistic practice? Where are viable politico-emancipatory strategies being developed?