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Can Beauty Save the World? On Historical Injustice, Reconcil

Can Beauty Save the World? On Historical Injustice, Reconcil

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  • Di 9. Apr ’24, 18:00


IWM, Spittelauer Lände 3, 1090 Wien, 09. Alsergrund


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“Beautiful world! Where hast thou gone?" asks Friedrich Schiller in his famous poem “The Gods of Greece.” He laments the loss of harmony in a world divided by injustice both past and present. In this lecture, Lea Ypi reads from her forthcoming book on human dignity.

In it, she reflects on the relationship between politics and art by focusing on historical injustice and its legacy in a divided world. Through the life of her grandmother, Leman Ypi, she travels from the utopia of classical Greek unity described by Schiller to the dystopia of her own past. A journey that begins in 1918 in Saloniki a few years before the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and ends in 2005 in Tirana, just over a decade after the fall of communism.

Lea Ypi is a professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her areas of expertise include normative political theory, Marxism and critical theory, and nationalism in the intellectual history of the Balkans. She has received several awards for her academic work, including the Academy Prize for Excellence in Political Science. In 2022, she was named one of the world’s Top 10 Thinkers by Prospect Magazine. Her philosophical memoir, Free: Coming of Age at the End of History, which explores her childhood in Albania during the final stages of communism, has been critically acclaimed and has won several awards. She also writes regularly for The Guardian and The Financial Times.

Misha Glenny, Rector of the IWM, will welcome the audience, introduce the speaker, and moderate the Q&A session following the presentation.

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