Project Background

Perpetual Peace Project 2013

At Utrecht Centre for the Humanities

Background

The Perpetual Peace Project, which began in 2008 with a series of public initiatives and curatorial interventions, was based on the re-publication of Kant’s original 1795 treatise using different media and formats to provoke a renewed conversation on the possibility of peace as a shared contemporary horizon. Many academics, public intellectuals, diplomats, and activists have taken part in various initiatives and public documents, including video interviews with leading philosophers and diplomats that were the basis of the exhibition at theNewMuseumand the symposium held at the International Peace Institute during the fall of 2010. Additional symposia, workshops, and exhibits have taken place around the world since then, including a public symposium inSeoul,Korea&Rwanda.

Perpetual Peace Project is a response to the principle that ‘peace’ is an abstract concept, a utopian idea that cannot fathom the conflicts that we face in society on a global and local scale today. Syracuse Humanities Institute initiated the Perpetual Peace project as an alternative to this frame of mind. It figures peace, not as an absence of war, but an ongoing dialogue between anyone who is willing to participate.

By bringing this project toUtrecht, the Centre for the Humanities aims to mobilize discussions on peace and bridge that discourse from the academic to a civic arena. In the fall of 2011 this was achieved by the first Perpetual Peace Exhibition held at the Utrecht University Library. The installation was arranged in an open space with six video monitors each depicting a video response on Immanuel Kant’s seminal essay entitled “Perpetual Peace”.  The installation implied that there was an ongoing virtual conversation amongst the featured artists and academics.

In the centre of the exhibit space there was a computer pillar logged onto a specially made Perpetual Peace blog. On this virtual space, visitors of the exhibition could write down their reaction to the statements on peace. The blog is still live and part of our consensus to keep the dialogue on peace flowing.

In the spring of 2012, our School of critical theory activated students rethought their concept of peace in a practical assignment. They conducted street interviews, partook in dialogues with local institutions and developed interactive formats such as blogs and events that created feasible reformulations of peace in a contemporary g-local setting.

For more information on our 2012 initiatives please visit: http://perpetualpeaceutrecht.wordpress.com

PPP Home page: http://www.perpetualpeaceproject.org/

 

Perpetual Peace at the Centre for the Humanities in 2013

Publication

At this time, Professor Rosi Braidotti and Proffessor Gregg Lambert are in the process of re-writing Perpetual Peace, that is, actively revising and reworking many of the key terms and definitive articles of the original text. The rewritten text will be published and issued by the Centre for the Humanities in 2014. Contributing authors include esteemed academics and policy makers such as Saskia Sassen, Brad Evens, Richard Sennett, Michael Hardt, Helen Cixous, and many more.

Website and short films

As one of commemoration projects, Redrafting Perpetual Peace initiative invited six academics from different disciplines to re-think the main conditions for perpetual peace between states, outlined in I. Kant’s original essay, from a contemporary perspective. These six essays and six short films are published on the website http://redraftingperpetualpeace.org/