byzantine philosophy

Videos


The Housekeeper’s Tale
International Solidarity in Apartheid South Africa

Keynote Address
North American Levinas Society
“Solidarity and Community”

29 July 2021

Need I remind anyone again / that armed struggle is an act of love? 
Keorapetse Willie Kgositsile

In 1987, my husband Rob and I were recruited in Canada to move to Johannesburg to run a safehouse for underground leaders of the anti-apartheid struggle. We did so until 1990, when the operation was discovered by the regime and we fled back to Vancouver.

Those years raised profound and troubling questions for me. However, it was only in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas that I eventually found a way to properly frame and understand my experience of violence and armed resistance, of one’s infinite responsibility before the suffering of others, of solidarity and justice.

I wrote “The Housekeeper’s Tale” for a 2016 conference on the Politics of Armed Struggle in Southern Africa. More literary than scholarly, it sets out several lessons from the School of Underground. What does it mean to go to war? What does it mean to love your enemies? What does violence mean? What peace will come?


Philosophical counselling: The ethics and politics of life
An interview with Helen Douglas

Interview by Ran Lahav
13th International Conference on Philosophical Practice
Belgrade, August 2014

“But if they’re interested in being able to work out their life, with someone who is going to keep them company, keep them safe, and not do anything to them while they’re doing that, then they stay. And then we work.”


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