When (and if) they celebrated Easter this week-end, most people did not have its religious significance at the back of their head. Easter is now more an opportunity to get together with one’s family and relatives, its religious meaning blurred and hazy, rather than a moment when Christianity should be celebrated. Yet it seems that David Cameron seized this calendar opportunity to present the UK as a “Christian country”. More than 50 prominent public figures including novelist, diplomats, Nobel prize winners and playwrights have immediately accused David Cameron of fostering divisions in the UK by making this unnecessary, irrelevant point.
Rather than promoting a fantasized vision of this country’s religious history and “status” (sic), Verso has published for many years critical accounts of Christianity and the broader issues of religion, belief and faith. Contrary to what Cameron is saying, religion can have far-reaching revolutionary implications.
Back in the autumn of last year, Platoon Kunsthalle Seoul built on the success of previous conferences in London, Berlin and New York on The Idea of Communism to present the 4th Idea of Communism Conference. The meeting gathered some of the most prominent theorists and philosophers of the contemporary left, including Verso authors Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou.
You can now view a recording of the entirety of Zizek’s fascinating talk on Youtube, as featured below. In the talk he delves into ideas expressed in both volumes of The Idea of Communism.
With contributions from Jodi Dean, Antonio Negri and Terry Eagleton, the Idea of Communism volumes offer a lively and thought-provoking overview of the ideas and debates provoking communist theory today.
To read more about the conference, including a mission statement from the organizers and the full list of speakers, click here.
To celebrate the release of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, we’re giving away a total of 14 Žižek books. You could win this entire Žižek library, including everything from his recent tome on dialectical materialism – Less Than Nothing – to Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan: (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock). Look at the books you can win here!
We are also giving away tickets to a screening of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology for a special screening with a Q&A with the director Sophie Fiennes at the ICA in London on Saturday 5 October, 6pm.
How it works:
There are just five questions, each relating to Žižek’s writings and films. The first person to email with all five correct answers will win the full Žižek backlist plus one pair of tickets to a screening of The Pervert's Guide to Ideology. We will also be offering four runner-up prizes of Žižek’s recently published Less Than Nothing and The Year of Dreaming Dangerously plus one pair of tickets to the screening of The Pervert's Guide to Ideology each.
In the lead up to the release of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, The Independent and The Guardian have published interviews with the film’s co-creators, Slavoj Žižek and Sophie Fiennes.
Largely improvised, the film exhibits the high octane intellectual energy which characterizes much of Slavoj Žižek’s work. Against the solid identities of conventional academic or philosophical respectability, his ‘habit of self-contradiction’ and ‘impromptu hyper-digressive tours de force’ make his ideas more like ‘protons ricocheting frenetically in the Large Hadron Collider of his brain’ than ‘austere’ philosophical tenets. Jonathan Romney, Žižek’s interviewer, finds joy and humour in this dynamism. For Fiennes herself, Žižek’s verve is near to being sonorous: ‘“you have to engage with it almost like music”’.