Bonds: Guilt, Debts and Other Liabilities

Conference, Cartography, Theater

Debt is everywhere - in news reports, expert discourse and public debate. Economists and politicians are negotiating deals with numbers and sums of money which are almost beyond comprehension. In our search for the cause of the “debt crisis”, we always look for someone to blame. Yet the debate rages on and there is still no solution in sight.
A transdisciplinary international conference at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt took the current debate surrounding the monetary crisis as the starting point for examining the concept of guilt in general. In a series of lectures and discussions, experts of various disciplines, such as theology, psychology, neuroscience, economics, law and politics, focused on the processes of guilt transformation, experiences of guilt, and diverse cultural, social and political aspects connected to guilt and debt. However, the debate does not revolve around money, or lack thereof, but is somehow always tied to general issues of the human condition.
The project also included the performance of the play “Economics of Good and Evil” by the Czech performance group Listovani. The play is based on the bestselling book of the same name by the Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček. Following the publication of a final report on the conference and a white paper with potential courses of action, the organizers hope to hold further events and establish a sustainable, transnational network of experts devoted to this issue.

Project director: Thomas Macho (A)
Artistic director: Irini Athanassakis (A/GR)
Cooperation partner: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Participants: Ralph Bollmann, Christina von Braun, Eric Brian, Michael C. Burda, Peter Eigen, Elena Esposito, Aris Fioretos, Michael Freund, Ulrike Harms, Marcel Hénaff, Ulrike Herrmann, Jochen Hörisch, Michael Hutter, Maurizio Lazzarato, Maria-Sibylla Lotter, Wolfgang Pircher, Birger P. Priddat, Tomáš Sedláček, Leopold Seiler, Stephan Seiter, Ulrike Vedder, Elisabeth Weber, Sigrid Weigel, Holger ZschäpitzBerlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 6 – 8 Dec. 2012


Institut für Kulturwissenschaft

Georgenstraße 47

10117 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)