This Thursday Night Live! programme revisits the lecture Do Comrades Gossip? by Jodi Dean. Looking back at a night of intimate conversations, writer and philosopher Simon(e) van Saarlos reflects on the evening through the lens of personal memory and practice.
Comrade is a term of address, carrier of expectations and figure of political belonging. Promising new relations of equality and solidarity, it provides liberation from the conventions of oppressive bourgeois society, liberation from expectations linked to sex and race. Comradeship is a relation of sameness, the sameness that comes from being on the same side. Anyone but not everyone can be a comrade. In her lecture at Het Nieuwe Instituut in November 2019, professor of political science Jodi Dean focused on the energy and enthusiasm of women comrades, juxtaposing it to the term ‘gossip’.
For the first online event of the Gossips series, writer and philosopher Simon(e) van Saarlos reflects on the evening through the lens of personal memory and practice, recounting recollections and bringing in thinking processes, questions and theoretical threads that have arisen from that experience. Listen back to the Online Programme
Simon(e) van Saarloos
Simon(e) van Saarloos is a writer and philosopher based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands who has published several books in Dutch, including a novel and a collection of columns. In Enz. Het Wildersproces, Van Saarloos shares a feminist and queer report of the trial against the Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders, while Het monogame drama (Playing Monogamy) is a critiques of monogamous living and false notions of safety, proposing a nonmonogamous love life and a different take on ownership and property. Van Saarloos' most recent book, Herdenken herdacht, is a non-fiction work about queer forgetfulness, whiteness and embodied commemoration. Van Saarloos curates collaborations between artists, activists and scholars and regularly appears on stage as a lecturer, interviewer and performer.
The Gossips lecture series aims to bring women together, to re-generate and re-perform the original concept of ‘the gossip’, which originally meant a female companion, as a support structure for women’s ideas, thinking processes and exchanges. Gossips seeks to collectivise feminist discourse and create a platform through which there can be new utterances to counteract all the words used to define and degrade women (Federici), deconstructing and unfolding them. It also aims to offer an open dialogue with its audiences. The series is curated by iLiana Fokianaki.