Volume 12, Issue 1/2, 2009
Art, Praxis, and Social Transformation
Anne Bartlett, Gerard Kuperus, Marjolein Oele
Aesthetic Sensibility and Political Praxis
Foucault, Lyotard, and the Darfur Crisis
This paper develops insights from Foucault and Lyotard to examine the Darfur crisis and the transformative potential of spaces of alterity. We show that Foucault’s quest for an aesthetics of existence is an attempt to found an alternative form of ethics based on wakefulness, sensibility, and suspicion on the part of the subject. In the final part of the paper we link this idea to Lyotard’s sensibility of the sublime. We show how aesthetic sensibility can be transformed in a political sensibility which bears witness to political injustices that result from the incommensurability of different genres of discourse. We illustrate this point using aesthetic representations of Darfur.