A weekend in London

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This blog post is to announce that I will be in London on Saturday 24th November.

I’ve had some pretty surreal experiences in my life, so much so that in the end I became somewhat of a Situationist. Situationists believe that reality is compromised by hyperrreal spectacles, which exist above reality and replace it as the epitome of reality. Situationists often do bizarre things like leave dead sheep outside the BRIT awards or walk into Notre Dame Cathedral dressed as priests and announce to the congregation that God is dead. It is a revolutionary, avant-garde movement that believe constructing situations like these helps people defamiliarise and critically analyse their everyday lives. It is a theory that fits quite well with the media as the media is innately used to constructing reality, sometimes ersatz realities. Sometimes the media creates reality ex nihilo, a phenomenon that was satirised in the film Wag the Dog.

Jean Baudrillard was a French philosopher who suggested that in the postmodern world we are surrounded by simulacra of reality, things, events and experiences that cannot quite be defined as real because of some semantic ambiguity that has contaminated the postmodern world. Oftentimes I have had experiences that are irreal, or remember experiences of my own which seem to me to be footage of another person.

How do we live in the modern world, then? Should we surrender, accept we are some form of posthuman, and give up on any having a singular narrative in our lives that gives us a sense of belonging to the world? Should I accept, when I look at my wedding photographs, that the person smiling there isn’t quite me, but a dimension of mine that I don’t quite ‘own’? Should we give in to the fact that there are dimensions of ourselves which we can’t claim agency for? Or should humanity fight against these theories and ideas that radically redefine our humanities? Or would that be contrary to how the universe wants to run itself?

Perhaps I am just young, or a novice, or too philosophical. But for some of us the key to understanding our lives is to ask philosophical questions.

I hope to raise awareness on Saturday of this debate. See you there!

đŸ™‚

Majid Salim

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