A New Political Imagination. Making the case.
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Tony Fry is a design philosopher, cultural theorist, writer and award-winning designer. He has held academic position and directed research projects in Australia and internationally. Currently he is an adjunct professor, Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania, visiting professor, Universidad de Ibagué, Colombia, and director, Studio at the Edge of the World, Tasmania. Tony's research interests span: futures, cities and sustainment, post-conflict/post development, the political, the Anthropocene and the post-natural life. As a consultant he has worked for government, the private sector and NGOs. Tony is the author of fifteen books, numerous essays and the editor many collections.
Madina Tlostanova is a transdiasporic decolonial thinker and fiction writer, professor of postcolonial feminisms at the Department of Thematic Studies (Gender studies) at Linköping University (Sweden). She focuses on decoloniality, feminisms of the Global South, indigenous cosmologies, postsocialist sensibility and arts. She was a DAAD visiting professor in the University of Bremen (2006, 2011), an international researcher at Duke University (2007), a visiting scholar at Linköping University (2013) and Södertorn University (2014). She has authored 10 monographs, over 270 journal articles and book chapters, published in Russian, English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Croatian and other languages. Her most recent books are Postcolonialism and Postsocialism in Fiction and Art: Resistance and Re-existence (Palgrave, 2017), What Does it Mean to be Post-Soviet? Decolonial Art from the Ruins of the Soviet Empire (Duke University Press, 2018) and A New Political Imagination, Making the Case (co-authored with Tony Fry, forthcoming, Routledge, 2020).
While acknowledging the complex conditions of crisis in the present, politics at multiple levels remains preoccupied with extending its power, national interests, economic growth and greater productivity. There is a fundamental disjuncture between the complexity of the combined critical conditions that are now putting life on Earth at risk, and the divisions and theories of knowledge that are trying to understand the situation instrumentally. A political and intellectual dislocation from the actuality and depth of the crisis is at work. Consequently, an erroneous picture of ‘contemporary reality’ has been constructed by default. In response the talk and the forthcoming book it is based on, make the case for a new political imagination that rejects the sufficiency of existing political ideologies (including democracy) being the end point of politics. We engage narratives of change, rethink imagination and critical practices, to finally present a relationally connected way to move forward.