From the 2nd – 23rd October 2017, the CCCB invited speakers to look at the concept of revolution from contemporary perspectives.
This series of lectures encourages reflection on the present-day validity of the concept of revolution. Participants include Arundhati Roy, Angela Davis, David Fernàndez, Xavier Antich and Ivan Krastev.
In the nineteenth century, Karl Marx said that revolutions are the locomotives of history. Years later, at the height of the expansion of Nazism and fascism, Walter Benjamin responded to his claim, wondering if revolution was not more like passengers applying the emergency brake. Today, with the impact of globalisation and technological change on the very structure of society and the proliferation of leaders who challenge the relevance of the most basic human rights, Benjamin’s query is once again apposite.
A hundred years after the start of the Russian Revolution, how has our idea of revolution changed? Is it still an engine of liberation or is resistance a more necessary strategy for defending the social advances of the last century? With this debate, the CCCB aims to foster reflection around an idea which has been at the centre of political passions in the contemporary world.
Arundhati Roy (Meghalaya, 1961) is an internationally acclaimed writer and activist, known as much for her novels as for her non-fiction writing on politics, the environment and human rights. In this session, she discussed her work on anti-capitalism and Kashmir and the recent publication of her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Hamish Hamilton, 2017).
Angela Davis (Birmingham, 1944) is a politician, activist and a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Angela is considered to be a major historical figure in the struggle for human rights and the fight against racial discrimination. In this inspiring lecture at the CCCB, she spoke on the meaning of revolution in our time, calling on the audience to fight for progress.
Ivan Krastev (Lukovit, 1965) is a political scientist and the president of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. In this lecture, he talked about international migration and how it can be seen as a 21st century revolutionary movement.
The CCCB's Revolution or Resistance? discussions are part of a Time to Talk series of debates looking at revolution today, 100 years after the Russian Revolution. This has been realised with the support of the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.