Daily programme


Barbarians at the Gate
29.02.2016 18.00
Cankarjev dom Cultural Center, Klub CD - Ljubljana
Festival Focus 2016: Newcomers



February 29th, 18:00, Klub CD (entrance fee: 5€)

Discussion of the central topic of the World Literatures – Fabula 2016 festival, The Newcomers , with Jean-Claude Milner, Alenka Zupančič, Peter Vermeersch, Igor Štiks, Teofil Pančić and Srećko Horvat
(in English, with simultaneous interpretation in Slovene)

The international discussion was conceived based on the Slovenian intellectual and social elites’ general ignorance regarding the phenomenon of refugees (who reached Slovenia in early autumn and remain the social topic of the day). The discussion will host compelling critical thinkers from all across Europe, from Serbia to France, who will examine the Slovenian and international reactions to the current wave of migrants.

The discussion will proceed from an essay authored by Peter Vermeersch at an artist residency in Ljubljana from December 2015 to January 2016, a time he used primarily to observe the events on Slovenian borders. We should also point out that this will also be the first time for Slovenia to host the renowned French philosopher, political thinker and one of the most prominent living structural linguists, Jean-Claude Milner (1941).

Discussion participants: Igor Štiks as both moderator and guest (Štiks is a Croatian writer and essayist with Bosnian roots, a doctor of political science and a long-time researcher at the University of Edinburgh; a co-organizer of the famous Subversive festival in Zagreb and of the Open University Sarajevo), J.-C. Milner (French philosopher and essayist, one of the most prominent living proponents of the Lacan school of structuralism, also known for his essays on anti-Semitism in European history and culture and as an investigator of the current socio-political situation), Srećko Horvat (Croatian philosopher, journalist and activist, author of a number of books including the oft-translated What Does Europe Want? (Što Europa želi, 2013) that he co-authored with Slavoj Žižek; Horvat is also the cofounder and former head of the Croatian Subversive Festival ), Peter Vermeersch (essayist, professor of political science at the University of Leuven near Brussels specializing in Central and Eastern Europe, author of “Essay on the Wire”, written specially for Fabula), Alenka Zupančič (philosopher of the Ljubljana School of Psychoanalysis whose doctoral work had been mentored by A. Badiou, author of numerous monographs that have been translated to other languages and a perceptive analyst of Slovenian and European society), Teofil Pančić (Serbian essayist, journalist, reporter and columnist of Vreme, his visit will be accompanied by the publication of his essay collection/travelogue Viktor Bubanj Boulevard (Aleja Viktorja Bubnja).

"There are no barbarians, there are only doors."
J.C. Milner

"Today’s worst barbarism is systemic, built into the global social order, and mostly wireless."
Alenka Zupančič

"To paraphrase Cavafy, the real question is what would happen to us without those barbarians; they are, after all, some kind of solution."
Igor Štiks

"Only civilized people consider themselves, and their societies, barbarian."
Teofil Pančić

"We came, we saw, he died. This is not some Barbarian saying about killing someone at our European doors, this is what Hillary Clinton jokingly said when Gaddafi was killed. So who are the real Barbarians?"
Srećko Horvat

"Common divisions are tragic reductions. A perspective that sees the world as made up of us and them, the civilized and the barbarians, lacks a sense of reality as much as it lacks imagination."
Peter Vermeersch

Read the essay:

Peter Vermeersch: Night travellers
Translated by Florian Duijsens


Cankarjev dom Cultural Center, Klub CD