After last year’s encounter held by Françoise Vergès, this time around the WeGil staircase will host a public meeting with Elsa Dorlin, who will be addressing the themes at the centre of her research and thinking: the violence that is inherent within power, the structural repression and the systematic suffering some have always suffered, as well as the interweaving of colonialism, patriarchy and oppression. The open lecture is the result of a collaboration with the Masters Degree course in Gender Studies and Politics at Università di Roma Tre as well as the Fandango publishing house. The location – the WeGil – is a historic building from the Fascist period in Rome’s Trastevere district, one which was reopened by the region of Lazio in 2017. Short Theatre will use this highly symbolical place to reflect in a non-neutral way on the themes analysed by Dorlin. Reflections on the architectural legacy of the Fascist period and Italian colonialism, the latter an era that has never been properly resolved. These are meditations that, in the wake of decolonial and feminist thinking, must be done collectively, highlighting themes of racist and patriarchal oppression.
Even today, despite the lessons of history, some lives matter so little that one can shoot a teenager in the back and claim that was armed, aggressive and threatening. This conscious “disarmament” of subjected and oppressed peoples for the benefit of a minority who feel they have an indisputable right to possess weapons raises direct questions about the use of violence for self defence by every liberation movement: From Suffragette Jiu-Jitsu to the Warsaw ghetto insurgent movement and the Black Panthers, passing through the Queer Insurrection & Liberation Army and other contemporary resistance movements. A diffusive history of self defence that Elsa Dorlin, philosopher and intellectual, traces in her latest text Se défendre. Une philosophie de la violence published in 2020 by Fandango.