Othernesses provides a platform for critical exchange and dialogue on an international and cross-disciplinary level between different critical approaches
and brings them together.

Starting from persistent, historically conditioned, heartbreaking, devastating political events, manifested not only in extreme ideologizations, violence and in war, but also the effects and impacts of 'natural disasters',

the fundamental idea in Othernesses,

is to start from thinking itself to (re-)think things as a critical practice,

in order to break through common patterns of thinking.

The central theme is to problematize questions of alterity and its meanings for a different, pleasurable but mindful thinking, and in this way to be a praxis of change and critical intervention.

„Poor countries like ours, can least afford to dispense with creative thought; with the transposition of creative theory into imaginative praxis. The creation of a literature is central; it is literature as part of a creative culture which releases the imagination from old colonial and traditional patterns, breaks up the cake of costum, and creates new and dynamic patterns of identity.”

(Sylvia Wynter)

“[T]he curiosity that comes from a peripheral gaze: the gaze of the vagabond, the gaze of the poetic figure of the flâneur (again evoking [Walter] Benjamin, one of [Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui’s] favorite philosophers), that comes from the condition of passing by, transiting, roaming, and thus has a capacity to connect disparate elements.”

(Véronica Gago)


What would it mean, following an impulse, to start thinking with the other of our selves, rather than from ‘ourselves’?

Independent of relations of power and domination,
and beyond them.

Maybe theories and understandings of ‘power’, too, can and must be looked at and defined anew.
What does 'power' actually mean?
Is it what it purports to be?
Isn't it better
not to have any?

A step towards this question would also be to start (re)thinking with the other, at the borders of our 'selves', in order to be able to start thinking in terms of

Hannah Arendt,

in responsible ways,
instead of remaining 'thoughtless'.

This is what this workspace for critical reading and thinking stands for and advocates to do at the same time.


Othernesses sees a connection
between reading, thinking, and criticism.

It is structured within the framework of three workshops,
two of which are themed annually.
Particular emphasis is placed on 'reading' as an always political practice
against the backdrop of historical contexts,

and questions
of subjectivity
are of special focus.

In these workshops different 'texts' of central thinkers

and critical approaches

are read, compared and discussed
against the background of historical contexts.

The end of the year consists of a joint event,
an open workshop, a podcast or the publication of texts
in the framework of a WorkingPaperSeries or in a dossier.

“This interweaving, this textile, is the text produced only in the transformation of another text. Nothing neither among the elements nor within the system, is anywhere ever simply present or absent. There are only, everywhere, differences and traces of traces.”

(Jacques Derrida)