Ereignis: 0, (Max.: 500+)

[...]r /> nobility = refusal of revenge

(Nietzsche:) to sanctify revenge with the term justuce <-- characteristic debasement of agonistic ethics (رستم)
as though justice were simply a further development of the feeling of having been wronged ***
*agon* can morph into a nobler, more animated form. it (can) come closer to life than to death

**(singular) energetic expression of vital life is not always “individual” **

noble and base --> they name a coordinate within (in excess) of which life forces flow and way and wane

Deleuze + Guattari + Nietzsche --> an ethical imperative to examine the kinds of life forces we affirm. negation is not expelled --(Singh reading D+G+N's ethnographic intuition)--> what ‘is’ may be richer than any ideal ‘ought’ ==> anthropology and philosophy, then, are two distinct but related ways in which life may be examined

to think affirmativelt ==> our negations become sharper

my recent knee-jerk reaction (for example to Olearius) would be to invoke Eurocentrism
(resist: “west” and “non-west”, built on entirely negative images of Europe, from which perspective postcolonial settings appear with double negativity from which they can never recover)

thoughtful moments among friends but scholastic and conversational traditions (--> Greek) =/= “sage”, part of a larger conversational contest culture (not always between “friends” but is an agon -->? Kelile-o Demne)
-other conceptual-conversational traditions (in Iran,,,?) [for example “taking an author from behind and giving him a child that would be his own offspring, yet monstrous”, producing an anthropologically oriented Deleuze, a reading of ___ that produces a ___ically oriented ___]
*** it is not a question of negating dialectices but of setting out a different style of thought and examining the ethnographic and political consequences that follow ***

“when you asked him the question about deities, you began a type of conversation called gyan-charcha --> knowledge-talk technique (<-- my favorite mode of reading of literature, and basically everything, is like that)

?which concept(s) you use to think through these things:
bonded and legitimate labor
power relations

}--> the fabric of human relatedness depends on it

*[lunar enlightenment]*
(Singh's beautiful lunar reterritorialization of “enlighting”:) what kind of light do we assume as our image of plenitude?
عجایب ماه #moon's inflow-ence, waxing and waning intensities, fluctuating thresholds, the rise and fall of gods, tutelage of moon, a lunar rather than a solar sense of enlightenment, blemished and inconstant, the moon is nondialectical, *neighbors lunacy*

Derridean moment of negative transcendence

waxing and waning plenitude of that flux

varying thresholds and intensities
logics of a/not-a
ethics and energetics @Sana

*** a shift of even a degree (say, a different mode of contract or force) could be the difference between social life and death, happiness and despair, or exploitation and freedom ***
(Singh teaching me to think about Tehranians)

دروغ بد را با دروغ بهتر جایگزین کنیم نه با حقیقت

Nietzsche's double affirmation, yes yes
Deleuze, “the ass does not know how to say no because he says yes to everything with is no” --> to affirm is “to release, to set free what lives”
--> the idea of “challage your presuppositions” --> this is a dialectical habit of thought: the idea that the signature moment of thinking is a determinate negation (of State, Islam, Europe, etc.) Singh asks: how did this particular mode of reflexivity come to stand in for “true” anthropological thought?

would it have been better to leave things more “fluid” and “complex and contradictory”? @Eszter

ethnographic labor:
1- a form of hunting and gathering impressions
2- sifting الک کردن and cultivating expressions

(my work in apass:) our relation to concepts becomes more explicit, as we turn impressions into considered thoughts


thinking postcolonial urbanism with Anand Taneja

(this is the question of the limitations of imagination:)
how (for a generation of scholars [or artists]) rural (india) [or syria, Iran, or South Korea] has become simply a space of disasters, statistics, and deaths ----> Anand's work is a counter-example [i am learning from him to be attentive to my own imagination's stopping-points. to resist stories that render life in those milieus unthinkable] --> that those spaces are not only of abjection but also of imagination and curiosity --> to think about alternative (conceptual) vocabularies to think about those abjected places, religion, and ajayeb [that does not only negate those milieus]
-to think about religion is super usefull and relevant, because it is also about what secularism is

how people (in rural areas) conceive of vitality and advancement?
*how people imagine a better life?* --> (to think non-unilateral and non-static) *picture of aspiration* (in a world like Tehran; #proposal to research on ‘the image of growth’ رشد roshd, slow growth, [roshd-e bi-raviye رشد بی رویه of toxins and species, and so on] in the context of contemporary Tehran)
-imitations of forms

(i am activating a rhizomatic mode of perception [learning from Anand learning from Deleuze and Guattari])--> how one aspect of life leads to another =/= paritioning of the milieu

anthropology of the state : how one engages the state in an every day level

Blickmaschinen gaze system visuality vision technique observer perspective situated knowledges positionality [source: Werner Nekes collection] *historically one crucial exit point from the system of ruler-relation was to become ascetic (زهد): disregard for sovereign authority (حاکم hakem, hakemiat) --> a different form of power that one let's to lead to self-rule

[bare life =? life without a way of life ----> there is no life without a way of life]
(Singh:) someone's life cut off from their source of vitality
a local body of thought (jinn, etc.)


(Anand asking) what does it means to live in a city of jinns?
the jinn:
serves as witnesses of times long gone
figures of authority whose shrine blesses remembered forms of urban religious life
forgotten by the amnesia of the postcolonial state
rendered unislamic by the selective amnesia of revivalist tradition

jinn --> revive that old orientalist trope, constituted not only by bazzar, mosque, and hammam, but also of the antinomian potentials that have long been part of the Islamic tradition


lives of saints
تذکرة الاولیا Tazkirat al-Awliya
concerned with canonization, education, and collective recollection of contemplative life
(vita as a biological genre recounting the lives of holly men and women in several religious traditions: Bhaktamala, Theravada buddhism, Therigata, etc.)

Singh asking: how would we narrate a scholarly life? (and i add to that: who could be oulia اولیا Arahant [further ones] today? queer or nonhuman)
*participated in the world historical “isms” (--> ajayeb)
--Singh--> narrating a conceptual life, vita

*uncertainties of reception* (in Attar's Tazkirat al-Awliya)

singularity of trajectory of Attar's saints =/= my random sampling of themes

anthropology: to write about anything that exists or imagined

can we talk affirmatively of a postmodern ethnography of ajayeb? =/= “totalizing vision” of culture

recovery of a human voice as a moral imperative (--> Hoda)

(?your history as a) telos of increasingly self-awareness

-Derrida's philosophical style tending to negative transcendence (différance: an absence that transcends ‘a’ and ‘not a’)
-Deleuze's tradition of affirmative immanence

(Singh Deleuze Strauss:) structure is composed of “pre-individual singularities” ~ nomadic distribution of potential --immanent--> contradictions, accidents, mutations


heretic --> reorder and obliterate the partitioning of categories that compose the structural order of religion [--> Veena on Sikhism and Hinduism: symbolism of Sikhism understood in relation to Hinduism structural order, annihilating the categorical prioritise (intellectual and social) of the medieval world. Sikhism rejecting the opposition between categories of: the rulers, the caste system, and the orders of renunciation --> investment of the virtues of all three *in a single body of faith* and conduct]

heterodox sects
rebellious thinkers
--> negation of the organizing conceptual order

(social and) ritual order generates its own forms of instability

...ambivalences of key concepts ==bring==> “play” to the structure, for good and ill ~ liminality

(Veena's) liminial situation: a form of instability where the individual experiences his social world as separated from the cosmic --> death: disarticulation --> must be undone by inhabiting the liminality : ritually rejoining the flow of life

similarities of ritual mourner and ascetic: transcending the categories of the social and the cosmic

incorporation of the liminal undead (preta) with ritually incorporated ancestors (pitri) [job of the mourner]

(crucial task of the) ritual: conveying the dead from the threshold of liminality into an ancestral flow of life

emphasis on the system is (always?) at the cost of the event
(eternal investment of the artists in foregrounding of the event rather than the structure --> rapture with structure as caste, tradition, state, norm, system, etc. at the cost of missing the practical kinship transcribed into the social contract, leadership, and laws of encounter)

***modernity is composed (neither by continuities nor rupture then, but) by transfigurations***
(Singh + Veena)

critical event
critical structure

[*]event: institute a new modality of historical action which is not inscribed in the inventory of that situation
(for Furet: French revolution is an event par excellence) --Veena--> event: moments when new modes of action come into being which which redefines traditional categories (such as: codes of purity and honor, the meaning of martyrdom, construction of a heroic life, etc.)

foregrounding the event as analytic category (without disappearing the question of structure):
-sati of Roop Kanvar
-Sikh militancy
-collective violence during the partition of India and Pakistan

not only the state (tries to institutionalize collective memory), but also minor communities (in the process of their emergence) try to control and fix memory in much the same manner [not total of course] (--> something i am learning in north of Norway with the sami)

there is always *ambiguity* in the way even the most passionate public presentations of militant nationalist discourse is framed (--> there is ***noise in reference to violence*** @Mona)

event ==> shift the configuration of analysis (and not annulling the structure's analytical possibilities)

event: (a new set of) circumstances for which rules are not set in place

in the case of Bhopal intoxication --> gradual creation of an expert discourse which sought to dissolve the concrete and existential reality of suffering victims

in the case of such-large suffering event coordinations gradually come to be defined around it --> question of structure

(**modernity is an event**)

pain and suffering are not simply individual experiences ... they may also be experiences which are created and distributed by the social order

Veena's *anthropology of pain*
how institutions (in the domain of religion, and modern: bureaucracy, law, medicine) maintain and signal their legitimacy in the face of massive human suffering?
-manufacture of pain
-theology of suffering

the discovery of the event, as a question for anthropology, is precisely that: *event exceeds structure*
(exess ==> reimagining the networks that compose our lives)

Veena --> Bhopal industrial disaster: neither social relations nor locally available knowledge were sufficient to apprehend the event. it is at this point that people had to actively search for new knowledge, for new kinds of social actors that might help them address the question of what was happening to their bodies --> they had to reconstruct social relations to include the existence of international legal systems and governmental bureaucracies in their image of society***

toxic potency (==> difference, collective violence [such as the partition of India and Pakistan =/=], stable violence [such as a village caste dispute],,,)

poles of life and death that separates different kinds of collective violence --> the sexual and reproductive violence witnessed in the Partition connot be understood by taking social relations as model

...distance that arises out of forms of proximity

Veena 3 books:
Structure and Cognition --> illuminates certain recurring patterns
Critical Event --> paints a kind of national lanscape
Life and Words --> turn to an art of an anthropological portraiture

...healing properties of the everyday
...everyday life generates its own forms of toxicity

(Singh's) art of portraiture
of individuals, of milieu,

*singularity (of a portraiture) may express something both local and global*

Veena --> how would we conceptualize the moments of potentially violent uncertainty?
-Benjamin: invocations of the uncanny
-Derrida: the spectral
-Veena: eventedness of the everyday (--> skepticism)

Cavell (on Hollywood cinema and other sites where the drama of separation and union is played out) --> how philosophers have typically focused on skepticism [longstanding western philosophical question and doubt about existence] with respect to material objects and the external world
...existence of the finite neighbour (seemingly known other) --> may become unknowable

--> *Veena discovers the concept of skepticism for anthropology (as a discipline centrally concerned with the varying conditions of human relatedness and otherness)*

[i have been trying dicover skepticism unsystematically in artistic practices those that have strong concerns of social justice and suffering, but i never named it as such. @Hoda, Xiri's emphasis on the threatening nature of liminality (demand for equality or freedom) =/= **to take the possibility of unsettlement or chaos as founding concern**]
--> skepticism (may) suggests a differnt route of inquiry

(Veena -2007:) “the intimacy between skepticism and the ordinary is revealed in the present work on several sites, as in the panic rumors that circulate and produce the picture of the other as phantasmal from whom all human subjectivity has been evacuated, or when violence in the register of literary is seen as transfiguring life into something else, call it a form of death, or of making oneself, as it were, into a ghost”

[violence ==> ghosts]

skeptical problematic --> shifting potency of words : energies that words may gather, and the ways these energies may give or deny life

speech =/= voice
==> ***silence is not necessarily life-denying or that it necessarily indicates a lack or an inability to mourn***

[victims of violence telling stories]
words imbued with spectral quality (yet animated by some other voice)

there is a deep moral energy in the *refusal to represent some violations of the human body* [=/= forensic architecture project's imperative of detailed representation of violation, explicit acknowledging traumatic memory]
--> ***living with poisonous knowledge*** (a different acknowledgement of traumatic memory) --> absorption exercises of remaking a world

--{on ‘forensic architecture’ (an aesthetics developed by Weizman): Keenan asks: if the excruciating citizon videos (showing police violence for instance) could not convince a jury how can forms of aesthetic critique based on research and visual evidence [= post-conceptual art] be anymore effective on the general poblic? (<== ‘evidence =/= proof’)
-age of testimony (-public truth-)
-citizon photo journalism --> “witnessing ~= action”
-the appearance of nonhuman objects as evidence (in forums and courts) as records of imperssions [sense perception] --> object = sensor (waiting to be interpreted by justice-seekers) ~-> ***proxy for an absent victim***
[*]forensic: pr[...]