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Zoom Call: Sheltering Places

Thinking on the COVID 19 Pandemic

Zoom Calls are the new Lecture Halls! These open invitation events allow people from around the world to tune into vital conversations happening about the pandemic and our new way of life. 

On Wednesday, March 25, at 5 PM CET, Reza Negarestani, Mohammad Salemy and Valentin Golev will host the first session of Sheltering Places.

As those involved in the production of knowledge, social interaction, from small talk at parties to heated discussions after lectures and conferences, is something that we all are avoiding at the moment, in our hope to stop the spread of this disease. With Sheltering Places, we intend to find a way to make up for the loss of casual exchange of ideas with the online spaces that would allow for a great variety of conversation forms and topics. As an online institution that has experimented with many different ways of knowledge production and communication across the globe since 2014, we can put our experience in the service of public good in this regard. The New Centre confronts the COVID-19 pandemic with Sheltering Places, a true online public place compatible with real physical meetings. Sheltering Places is our zoom-based casual public forum, open to all, in which free conversations among the attendees will be punctuated by the lightning talks from invited participants and scheduled guests comprised of our Instructors, Students, and Members.

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Even a couple of months ago when the news of a new respiratory illness originating from Wuhan, China slowly entered the global news cycle, it was impossible to imagine the extent of changes to our ways of living, working and socializing that the spread of this virus would cause around the world. Today, the rising rate of Corona infection and the associated human loss of life, urban lockdowns, curfews, and the closures and cancellations of events and institutions across national borders are daily news. Some estimate that this “New Normal” might last until the end of summer, cautioning at the same time that Fall 2020 might bring with it another round of COVID-19 infections.

During the formal parts of the Sheltering Places program, we will confront the COVID-19 pandemics from philosophical, theoretical political and cultural angels, hoping to produce new ways of looking at the emerging global situation from various local contingencies. At the same time, we would do our best to contribute to a new vocabulary for speaking about this new global experience.

The New Centre has always tried to be a place for intellectual activities that are unrestricted by geography, facilitating rather than subsuming other forms of interaction and networking. In this case, we are essentially using our platform to make sure our real social life continues in another form.

We will be posting the participation links here: for those who would like to enter the discussion with us and those who merely would like to watch.

GUESTS SO FAR: Allen Feldman, Anahita Razmi, Andrei Chitu, Anil Bawa-Cavia, Antoine Bousquet, Ben Miller, Brunella Antomarini, David Auerbach, David Roden, Davor Löffler, Defene Ayas, Didem Yazici, Francis Ruyter, Heba Amin, Inigo Wilkins, J.-P. Caron, Jillian Beemore, João Florêncio, Katerina Kolozova, María Inés Plaza, Maria Tsylke, Renzo Martens, Sophie Lazar, Tiziana Terranova

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