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Stories of crisis and crisis times: New and old myths

Refugees crowd on a boat off the Libyan coast

Crisis is often attached to migrant and refugee flows, as well as to other phenomena such as climate change, the stock market or even voting behaviour. Yet, are these social and political issues really an emergency and existential threat, or are other things also at play? Are crisis and emergency age-old devices of communication and control, diverting our attention from other more wicked problems? And are these problems and issues always for others, or are we all implicated in perpetuating crisis stories? 

This discussion will address the moods, feelings and political utility of crisis and stories of crisis in contemporary times. It brings together writers, researchers, philosophers and filmmakers to explore contemporary crisis talk and stories of crisis that appear to be bombarding us with narratives of existential threat.

With writer and historian Dr Ruth Balint; political theorist and human rights philosopher Dr Alexandre Lefebvre; literature, media and cultural studies expert Dr Michael Richardson; and author, philosopher and filmmaker Dr Mary Zournazi. Chaired by Dr Claudia Tazreiter.

This discussion was recorded live on stage at the Biennale of Sydney and was supported by the UNSW Sydney Grand Challenges Program.

Photo credit: Massimo Sestini