Monuments to Resistance & Domination

Yesterday, we had the honor of spending an entire day with Howard Caygill, one of the world’s leading philosophers and author of On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance. After discussing “On Resistance” and “The Future of Potsdamer Platz,” Howard took us on a walking tour of Berlin, one of his former cities of residence.  This was his first time returning to Berlin since the early 1990s. We walked from Rosenthaler Platz, a place where the former gate of the same name once stood and where immigrants from the East would pass through. Anyone with the last name Rose, Rosenthal, etc, probably passed through these gates and it functioned much like Ellis Island. From Rosenthaler Platz we visited one of the few monuments of defiance from WWII in a nearby park, discussed the history of the city gates, architecture from medieval, socialist, and neoclassical as it relates to Kantian aesthetics, before and after the Berlin wall, the ‘death strip’ and Potsdamer Platz with its current corporate architecture that cuts the space like a series of knifes. We could feel Howard’s reaction to the corporate takeover of Potsdamer Platz. If there was a grain of hope for the future of this place with its long history of provisional versus monumental architecture, there was nothing left now.

Here are some photos from the walk …

We ended the day with dinner at the Happy Potato (again and still yummy) with both Howard Caygill and Vadim Zakharov. What another amazing day!



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