10.15am Friday 9 July 2021

Eva Worm: Das Leben der Anderen

Movie scene: Captain Gerd Wiesler is keeping Georg Dreyman and his girlfriend Christa-Maria Sieland under surveillance overhearing a very intimate scene. One senses his longing for having a love life of his own and his ambiguity on whether he will succeed… Prison scene: two inmates talking to a master student wishing they could have a cup of tea with the guards, sense a feeling of normality. The prison guard later reflects – “what if I am the one not letting them in, not being able to tear down the walls”.
By watching lives of others, longings and dreams may be brought to life and the potential relatedness may challenge the solving of the primary task. read more (PDF)

Simon Western“I saw that beautiful barbed wire go up” Trump Populism and the re-desiring of walls.

The fall of the Berlin wall marked the end of an empire. The Berlin Wall was a Master-Signifier. It signified an extreme example of a ‘Society of Prohibition’ (Stavrakakis 2007) where the harsh ‘Law of the Father’ was imposed upon the East Germany people living in a communist-surveillance state. In the West, prior to the 1968 counter-cultural risings, a more benevolent ‘Law of the Father’ had imposed a softer ‘Society of Prohibition’ where the authority of the church and other governing institutions were respected, and the individual socialized to ‘know their place’. The fall of the wall meant that those from the east found themselves in a new place, without an explicit Law of the Father prohibiting their choices. For the ‘Society of Prohibition’ had been replaced by the ‘Society of Commanded Enjoyment’, ushering in a new world of individualism, sexual liberation, freedom and consumer choice. Lacan anticipated the passing of the ‘disciplinary epoch’ and claimed that Jouissance, which now included enjoyment, now dominated the social landscape. In the society of commanded enjoyment, the question of how to gain happiness and fulfillment changed. In the disciplinary society, happiness was gained via transgressions of the law of the father or repressing desire to conform to social norms. The question the subject now faced was how to enjoy i.e. what is my mode of Jouissance? This is at stake for the subject and society today. read more (PDF)

M. SidiropoulouWomen and Leadership: Glass mirror – An internal “glass ceiling”?

Frequently featuring in the news, leading business magazines and financial newspapers, women’s leadership presence or absence makes headings.
Content, and imagery-rich, the story of women trying to make it to the top has attracted a wealth of “obstacle” symbolism. Examples such as the “labyrinth” representing women’s long winded path of twists and turns to leadership (Eagly & Carli, 2007) and “glass cliffs” (Ryan & Haslam, 2005) describing the precarious leadership positions offered to women in times of crisis, suggest an external symbolic topography of barriers. The glass ceiling (Hymowitz & Schellhardt, 1986), perhaps the most widely known metaphor of hindered female advancement, is no different: the ceiling is an obstacle that is solid, impenetrable, concrete, allowing female leaders to watch their competitors move up yet remaining invisible to others. read more (PDF)

Gwen Hanrahan: From the other side – translating our encounter with real and imagined borders

Your discovery was my land; my discovery is your borders’ (*). As systemic-psychoanalytic consultants, we discover a client’s land from the other side, the outside. We encounter and cross their organisational borders and contours and seek to translate these embodied experiences to make sense of what else, unconsciously, might be going on and getting in their way.
We bring with us into this work our multiple identities, identities that may carry meaning in the client’s historical and contemporary socio-political contexts. Our identity can become enmeshed with what we encounter there. Rather than considering such enmeshments as a psychic wall or barrier, where difference is not allowed, the author invites consideration of the concomitant unconscious dynamics in order to complement and expand our understanding of the client’s particular predicament. read more (PDF)

Sari Mattila & Ajeet MathurShut In, Shut Out: unexamined ‘otherness’ in repressions, suppr., oppr., expressions

Fear of systemic collapses is a pervasive emotion in circulation. There are numerous reminders of how politics of exclusion and hatred are being perpetrated against group identities in support of jingoistic nationalism with plenty of “wall-building” in various parts of Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The struggle over Brexit affecting UK and Europe, the gridlock over President Trump in the USA, China’s rejection of verdicts by international courts over territorial disputes in South East Asia, collapse of WTO’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism, unfinished talks over a new trade deal, climate change, biodiversity, food safety and food security, UN reform and the retreat from globalization reflected in sharp reductions in foreign investments worldwide are disturbing signs of various kinds of ‘shut in, shut out’ phenomena marked by collective despair and angst. Some of these are expressions of withdrawal; others unconsciously fueled repressions or outcomes of suppressions or reactions to oppressions triggered by complex sets of motives and powerbases. These need distinguishing to enable differentiate ‘walls’ by our proposed typology and the framework developed to distinguish walls from fences, hedges and other iconic demarcations of diversity and plurality. read more (PDF)