From 3 to 11 June 2017, Schauspielhaus Bochum will be holding a week of events on the topics of populism, nationalism and the recent rise of xenophobia in Western nations. The week's title "Us and Them: The Gaze on the Other" references a central formula of populist movements: The division between a hypostatised notion of community ("we") and a projected outside ("them") serves to simplify the complexity of modern society and allows social frustrations and feelings of disempowerment to be channelled against minorities and political opponents. At the centre of this view is a rigid and defensive concept of identity. But what if we think of identity, to paraphrase the philosopher Kwame A. Appiah, as a process rather than an object? Is the formula of "us and them" a populist poison of political discourse, or can it be brought to fruition within the contemporary struggles for identity? The week-long event will bring together well-known historians, social psychologists, politicians and the interested public in a series of lectures, talks and open debates. The programme will be accompanied by theatre performances and film screenings.
Us and Them: The Gaze of the Others
A week of events
3 - 11 June 2017