This is a plea to interlink Resistance Studies and Violence Studies. Instead of invastigating the efficiency of violence alone and declaring violence absolutely and completely in and on its own, it is necessary to look at resistance practices (escape lines, fighting back), body politics and passivations (self-injury, abortion, suicide) at the same time. For their part, resistance practices and passivations can not be measured by success but by the fact that they actually happened. People cannot be completely reduced to bare bodies without resistance. Resistance to violence has to be considered in its inconspicuous, low-threshold and „flat“ forms. In this elementary political sense resistance is understood as a punctually weakening violence and as seperation of powers in statu nascendi.
This article explores the contemporary practice of forced detainment and expulsion in Switzerland from two distinct perspectives: the 1995 law on coercive measures that first introduced the practice in Switzerland, as well as the cultural context that led to its constitution, and the documentary Le vol spécial by Fernand Melgar, made some fifteen years after the law was first introduced, which records the law’s consequences for the daily lives of rejected asylum seekers awaiting expulsion. Using Giorgio Agamben’s theoretical work on the states of exception and bare life, I seek to uncover what I call the narrative of expulsion, arguing that narrative politics operates on a number of interrelated levels not only to shape the context and practice of forced expulsion that undergird the asylum politics in Switzerland, and other countries, today, but ultimately also to change the post-enlightenment narrative of the political subject and challenge the efficacy of the Human Rights regime the world over.
During the second half of the long 19th century „precarious nature“ moves to the center of a variety of popular discourses. The increasing visibility of and reflection on the human manipulation and destruction of nature is equally important for an understanding of precarious nature as is the publicly received progress of science and the social transformation caused by industrialization and accompanying processes. All these fields create versions of human-nature-relations and of ‘natural’ lifestyles and -forms under increasingly precarious conditions. Precarious nature provides a perspective which allows for the recognition of the dual conditioning of nature in literature, popular science and personal as well as travel narratives and the analysis of its part in the production of affective, discursive and material environments. Ecological story-telling is a vital force which produces a specific proto-ecological knowledge in representations of village-home and forest-wilderness. Liminal spaces between nature and culture thus can be recognized as privileged sites of the negotiation of human-nature-relationships.
Der Aufsatz beschreibt Situationen, in denen Phänomene, die keine Bilder sind, gleichwohl als bildhaft rezipiert werden. Solche paradoxen Verschränkungen von Realitätssphäre und Bildsphäre werden in zwei unterschiedlichen Konstellationen vorgestellt: zum einen in subjektiven literarischen Wahrnehmungsweisen („Medusenblicken“), die eine piktorale Textur in im großstädtischen Raum beobachtete Szenen hineinprojizieren, zum anderen an der Gestaltung gewisser Gebäude und Räume, die darauf abzielen, die immaterielle Sichtbarkeit, die ein Bildobjekt charakterisiert, in den real gegenwärtigen Groß-stadtraum zu integrieren.