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Mieke Bal

Mieke Bal is a cultural theorist, filmmaker and occasional curator, Bal has published 45 books and made experimental documentaries, installations and “theoretical fictions.”

Idolizing Systems: That Doesn’t Sound Right

Veneration, respect, acceptance can turn things—images, but also systems—into something live, real, and revered; certainly not questionable. I have recently read a novel, which was composed by SMS messages and emails sent piecemeal from a clandestine iPhone by an Iranian Kurdish journalist imprisoned for five years on Manus Island in Australia. His crime? Trying to save his life by escaping from Iran, seeking asylum in the land of freedom. The book won several awards in that same country that locked him up and tortured him. The New York Times calls the author, Behrouz Boochani, “Australia’s most important writer.”

A Long History of Madness, 2012 – Present

The “social unconscious” surfaces when a society first drives people mad through violence, then represses mad people, and puts them out of sight.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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