‘Time on the Move’ by Achille Mbembe

An ICI Berlin event, in cooperation with the BMBF/DAAD Thematic Network ‘Literary Cultures of the Global South’


Our world is going through a peculiar moment, one for which there doesn’t seem to be a proper name yet. Since naming our time is part of what is at stake, Achille Mbembe will suggest that in the midst of the current dread and confusion, one thing at least is clear: ours is a time of planetary entanglement. But entanglement is not all that characterizes the now. As it happens, times of planetary entanglement are propitious for all kinds of escalations, the renewed production of things, forms, and events both baroque and dystopian, if only because such events generally strive to generate their own actuality through sheer excess and stupefaction. The lecture focused on one such modality of the now, negative messianism, and its relation to the politics of pure violence.

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