[-empyre-] Resilience and Resistance

Leon Tan tanleon at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 12:21:25 EST 2012

Dear Ethel and others,

Thanks for starting up an interesting debate. I think that the two concepts may be related, which is not to say they are identical but that they overlap. 

Resilience, at least in the context of the wellbeing of social wholes of various kinds, assemblages if you like, refers to a capacity to survive through the vicissitudes of current political-economic struggles. Resistance, if we conceive of it in terms of immunology, may similarly relate to this capacity, as in, becoming resistant, or immune, to certain undesirable phenomenon. It is not necessarily dialectically opposed to a 'power,' but relates to complex relations within a milieu. 

Regarding Olav Westphalen, one must ask if resistance, or 'recalcitrance' as the recent series was called is really feasible within the confines of the Royal Art Academy in Stockholm. Also, there ARE in fact various occupations, even if they are small, in Sweden. For example, in Nordstan in Gothenburg. 

There are also occupations in the form of 'squatting' in a number of places in Sweden, which is to my mind a useful shift away from mindless conformity with the law, at least in Sweden. The group Prekariatet are doing some very interesting work in Stockholm and are worth checking out. http://prekariatet.se/ 

Then, there is also the excellent movement called Planka http://planka.nu/eng/ a group of citizens bent on reclaiming public transport, who refuse to pay fares. 

Leon Tan

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