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Heterotopia: Holding a Mirror to Indifference

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Event details

"Imagine you had no identity, no right to work, to study, travel and practise your religion - because you belong nowhere, and have no means to prove who you are, or where you are from. If you managed to escape discrimination and violence, your only possible future, if you didn't drown at sea, would be in a detention camp. Now imagine the lives of the Rohingya, whose present fate many people in Australia greats with indifference.
This session aims to reflect on the roots of this indifference. It holds up a mirror to ourselves, just as Michel Foucault recommended when he described the concept of heterotopia. A utopia, he pointed out, is a placeless place that gives us visibility. A heterotopia, by contrast, functions to disrupt our sense of place, to challenge our beliefs and values, to remind us that being oblivious to the suffering of others is neither normal nor timeless."
(Jonathan Bogais)
Speakers: Dr Jean Jonathan Bogais, Mohammed Anwar (Secretary-General: Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia), Dr Devorah Wainer. Moderator: Prof John Keane
2015 Festival of Democracy at the University of Sydney, organised by the Sydney Democracy Network. 16-17 October 2015. More


Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1927):
"The problem of a world constitution that takes no account of the mental apparatus by which we perceive it is an empty abstraction."