Michael Hardt is the new chronicler!

May 12, 2014

Michael Hardt, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, and well known for his works on globalization, politics and cultural theory, will be the next guest of Boğaziçi Chronicles between 12th and 28th of May. 

Hardt will make a public talk titled “where have all the leaders gone?” on the 21th of May. Then on the 25th, he will come together with students in a panel-forum on the South Campus of Boğaziçi University to discuss alternative movements and the Gezi uprisings. 

Hardt describes his participation at Boğaziçi Chronicles as: “I am excited to participate in the Boğaziçi Chronicles project, in part, because of the dynamic intellectual atmosphere at Boğaziçi University.  I have met and had wonderful interactions with several students and professors from the University.  In addition, I look forward to learning more during my residency about the current social movements in Istanbul including the variety of forces that coalesced at Gezi Park last summer."


The abstract of his talk on the 21st:
Where have all the leaders gone?
From 2011 to 2013 erupted a cycle of “leaderless” movements, which have proven able to pose democratic ideals, sometimes to force reforms, and to pressure and even overthrow regimes, but they tend to last briefly and often seem unable to create a lasting social transformation.  Where are the new Martin Luther Kings, Rudi Dutschkes, Patrice Lumumbas, and Steven Bikos?  Is the Left no longer capable of producing leaders?  Or have the challenges to authority, undemocratic structures, and centralized decision-making, along with the critique of representation and the mandate against speaking in the name of others made Left politics incompatible with leadership?  And, if so, is this incompatibility a weakness or a strength of the Left today?
Many discussions today in the movements (and the Left as a whole) make it seem as though we are faced with an alternative: either create something beautiful, democratic, and horizontal but that doesn’t last and is ineffective or be satisfied with a hierarchical leadership structure and traditional organizational form that betray our democratic aspirations (which itself will be ineffective because it will inevitably lack mass support).  Neither of these alternatives is, in fact, really a solution to our dilemma and this is not really even the problem we face today, but it is the point of departure of Hardt’s lecture.
(please note that the entrance will be free of charge but due to the limited number of seats, coupons are provided; coupons will be accesible from the Public Relations Office on the 16th and 20th of May as well as the day of the talk. T: 0212 359 6703/6609)