Wallstein Verlag

Carolin Emcke

What is True

On Violence and Climate

124 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8353-5625-2


German Version

A plea for the ethics of storytelling and thinking in utopias.

How is it possible to talk about violence? How can we tell stories about experiences that override all moral expectations of what people can do to each other? With what caution, what discretion and what empathy must we search for language in contexts of war and violence? Carolin Emcke asks about the ethics of storytelling. For her, the search for what is true is always one that also questions her own role. Anyone who writes about violence and trauma must also write about what remains untouched as a normative core: human dignity.
Writers who reflect on what is true, who think above all about violence and how it destroys people, must also talk about the violence of the climate crisis: What role does factual storytelling play in narrating climate discourses? For Emcke, the search for truth in the face of the climate catastrophe must open up in different directions. Backwards: What has happened and who is responsible? But also forwards: This search for truth in the context of the climate crisis must show what will be, it must open up and map out spaces of possibility. »What is true« is a plea for the ethics of storytelling and for utopian thinking.
Carolin Emcke, was born in 1967 and studied philosophy in London, Frankfurt am Main and at Harvard University. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the concept of »collective identities«. From 1998 to 2013, Carolin Emcke traveled to crisis regions worldwide and reported on them. In 2003/2004 she was a visiting lecturer in political theory at Yale University. She is a philosopher and publicist and is regularly involved in artistic projects and interventions, including the events »Narrating War« and »Archive of Flight« at the House of World Cultures, Berlin. Carolin Emcke has curated and moderated the monthly discussion series »Space for Dispute« at the Schaubühne Berlin for almost 20 years. Her books »Against Hate« (Polity, 2019), » How We Desire« (Text, 2018), »When I Say Yes« (Polity, 2020) have been translated into over 15 languages. Awards: Merck-Preis der Deutschen Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (2014), Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (2016), Carl-von-Ossietzky-Preis (2020).
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