Friday and Saturday, February 3rd and 4th, 2023 – See program here
Place: Museo Reina Sofía, Auditorio 200
Admission: Free of charge, limited capacity (200 people)
Organizers: Museo Reina Sofía and MIRCo Research Center(UAM)
In the last years certain communicative logics similar to those of a military conflict has taken to the extreme in the global public sphere: demonization of the adversary, rhetoric of the traitor, verbal violence, conspirationism, fake news, homogeneity and verticality in discourse, polarization, exaltation of the own group, hyper-masculinity, creation of scapegoats… These are not new mechanisms, but they have spread across networks and media, capturing people’s attention and making it difficult to express divergent points of view. Communicating in this manner prevents active listening and reasoned debate, ultimate foundations of any political system not conceived as authoritarian, from representative governments to spaces of autonomy.
Militarized forms of communication are characteristic of far-right populist groups, who inherit from old fascism its doctrine of instilling a military moral and a worship of violence in the civil sphere. Despite usually being linked to ultraconservative and ultra-nationalist religious denominations, these forms of discourse are not only produced by the far right, but they are also easily embraceable by the neoliberal context and are permeating all kinds of debates within the current societies, as we will analyze during this conference. The mechanism of a «permanent cultural war», with its continuous interpellations to prefixed stance taking, constricts the political experience to games of opposition between mutually excluding identities.
Along a series of interventions, we will seek to analyze diverse levels and confrontational dynamics by which these militarized forms of communication are permeating the social life and changing the collective experience of the present. Given that this is a global dynamic, we will analyze different contexts in which communicative warmongering has affected social debate, as in the case of Turkey, Brazil, Chile or Argentina. We will also reflect on the communicative effects of the rise of excluding populisms in Spain, the post-Soviet countries and the European Union itself, in the broader context of the current war in Ukraine. Finally, the conference will try to show some initiatives of communicative demilitarization of civic nature, by means of which it is possible to image other outcomes to the current authoritarian drift, such as the creation of frameworks from below, the collective dissemination of knowledge or counter-propaganda forms characteristic of grassroot movements. The conference will close with a buffonish performance by Leo Bassi on political manipulation.