Here’s both the audio recording and text (PDF) of the double talk WM1 and WM2 gave at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, on April 5, 2011.
On the previous day we’d given the same talk at Duke University, Durham, NC. The UNC version is slightly different, because it took into account things emerged in the Duke Q & A.
We wish to thank, among many, Mimmo Cangiano, Roberto Dainotto and Federico Luisetti, who invited us and organised the whole thing; Laura Moure Cecchini, who put us up in her flat; the comrades of El Kilombo Intergalactico, for an eye-opening afternoon of “counter-tourism”; Michael Hardt, for being always the gentleman; Fredric Jameson, for supporting the initiative; Michal Osterweil, with whom we share precious memories of the penultimate uprising.
[Click on the small Playtagger icon to listen without leaving this page. Click on the text link to listen on a new page. Right click and save (or ctrl + click and save) to download the mp3s.]
WU MING 1 – WE’RE ALL FEBRUARY OF 1917 (47’31″)
An article by Hardt & Negri in The Guardian – Are the North-African uprisings revolutions? – Are 20th century references really that useless? – Looking for a “healthily schizophrenic” narrative of the revolution – Picture yourself in a trench by a river – How the Italian working class instantly grasped the anti-war nature of the 1917 February Revolution – What did the revolution look like in their eyes? – Forked tongues and resonances – Jacques Rancière on In the shadow of young girls in flower – What is “haecceity”? And can a sense of haecceity be conveyed through a narrative? – Enter Vladimir Mayakovsky – Lev Trotsky on Mayakovsky – The 150 Million – Conclusions.
WU MING 2 – HOW TO TELL A REVOLUTION FROM EVERYTHING ELSE (44’21″)
The “colored revolutions” – 1989 – What is a “toxic” narrative of the revolution? – Retrospective illusion of fatality – The first regime to fall down was our regime of discourse on the Arab world – Orientalism and revolution: T.E. Lawrence – Looking for the “Original Sin” – Chronological myopia – The Synecdoche Effect – A timeline in the Guardian website – The meme of the “Twitter Revolution” – Partial intentionality and the Ceausescu Effect - “Divide and conquer” stories – The Main Event and the Wind-Down – The Result and post-coital tiredness – Conclusions.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (19’52″)
N.B. As yet, the two texts have no footnotes. They were written for public reading, and have a a semi-oral nature. When one speaks, s/he’d better not give exact bibliographical details, page numbers, the name of every translator etc. We’ll provide an appendix ASAP, with all the correct references.