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Felix Stalder

Exploding the Box

Moderation: Nina Scholz

Part of the festival "The Mole Keeps on Digging. Animals / Politics / Performance"

Whistle-blowing (which is different from leaking) is an emergency measure for those who still believe that power should be accountable and its agency transparent to those affected by it and have the power to chance it. This might also explain why there are so few leaks in undemocratic societies as such an assumption makes no sense there. Thus, whistle-blowing is a last-stop attempt to save democracy, to explode the black box for the people to peer into it.
But the effects of the leaks have been limited. Chelsea Manning served years in solitary confinement, Assange and Snowden are forced into exile, and Antoine Deltour, the source of the Luxembourg Leaks that detailed massive tax evasion inside the EU, is to this day the only person who was sentenced because of these leaks. Few politicians had to resign, but one of the architects of this system remains the president of the European Commission.
The problem is, there is no ‘people’ in the sense of the Greek word ‘demos’, as in democracy, anymore. There are only people left, atomized human beings who are, behind their back, sorted into all kinds of groups while trying to maintain some kind of identity within ever shifting networks.

We therefore have to think about creating new mechanisms that sustain collective actors and new institutions that make use of the work of the whistle-blower.
Past dates
September 2017
By and with
Felix Stalder
Supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education.