Anthropocene Lecture: Bruno Latour

Restaurant View, Cairo Egypt © Armin Linke, 2006. 

At the center of current political storms is the issue of climate change, suggests sociologist and epistemologist Bruno Latour. He reflects on current geopolitical conditions while underlining their intricate link to injustice and nationalist egoisms. In his Anthropocene Lecture he reflects on how we might gain ground again in this vexing situation.

In his upcoming book Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime (German Translation: Suhrkamp Verlag 2018), Latour considers the ecological crisis of the Anthropocene as a fundamental crisis of modernity—a modernity built on abstract assumptions and detached from its material constraints.

The political anomalies of the present day make clear that that current responses to this crisis give birth to unholy alliances against the real problem: finding another way to live on this Earth. While deregulation carelessly advances into a hypermodernism incapable of dealing with an increasing human population, a regressive flight into nationalist imaginations is equally problematic. As a counterpoint, Latour advocates both communion and world-relatedness. Following his lecture, Latour discusses his concept of a “terrestrial” politics that incorporates the ecological conditions of human existence with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

The event is part of the Anthropocene Lectures, a platform for inviting a number of prominent speakers, accentuating the debate on the Anthropocene. HKW has pursued its investigations towards the Anthropocene concept as a paradigmatic shift for science, the humanities and the arts since 2013. The discussion continues at anthropocene-curriculum.org, a transdisciplinary platform for anthropocenic research and education collaborating with partner projects internationally.

The Anthropocene Lectures are developed in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. Haus der Kulturen der Welt is funded by the German Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the German Foreign Ministry.

Anthropocene Lecture: Bruno Latour
Lecture and discussion
In English with simultaneous translation into German
May 4, 2018, 7pm, free admission
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin.
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