Love in the Time of Crisis: Examining the Subject of Love in the Southbank's Festival of Love (2016)

Rachel Cockburn

Abstract


This article is an interrogation of love, as it is understood, conceptualised, and practiced in the social sphere, focussing specifically on the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love (London, UK, 2016). By drawing on Christian Lotz’s social material critique of love (2015), and Michel Foucault’s theory of governmentality (2009) I argue that the Festival of Love, whilst asserting love as celebratory and aspirational, does in fact demonstrate the governmentalised love of modern liberal governance.

Following this I engage with Gillian Rose’s discussion of love in periods of social crisis (1992) in order to articulate what might be understood as the ambitions of governmentalised love, and, moreover, what is at stake in this politically. In doing so I draw out the dangers of love as a concept and practice of modern governance, so as to stress the importance of thinking love differently, as an ethico-political practice.


Keywords


social materialism; political philosophy; love; performance; governmentality; pietism

Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Amnesty International UK. 2018. ‘Seventy Years After Windrush’. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/yes-minister-it-human-rights-issue/seventy-years-after-windrush. Accessed 4 June 2018.

Arendt, Hannah. (1958) 1998. The Human Condition, second edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226924571.001.0001

Arendt, Hannah. (1951) 1976. The Origins of Totalitarianism. London: Harvest.

Badiou, Alain and Truong, Nicolas. 2012. In Praise of Love. London: Serpent’s Tail.

Dean, Mitchell. 2010. Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society, second edition. London: SAGE.

Dean, Mitchell. 1991. The Constitution of Poverty: Toward a Genealogy of Liberal Governance. London: Routledge.

Foucault, Michel. 2009. Security, Territory, Population. Lectures at the College De France 1977–1978. Translated by Graham Burchell. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Foucault, Michel. 2002. Power, Essential Works of Foucault 1954–1984, Volume 3. Edited by James D. Faubion. Translated by Robert Hurley et al. London: Penguin.

Foucault, Michel. 1997. Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, The Essential Works, Volume 1. Edited by Paul Rabinow. Translated by Robert Hurley et al. London: Penguin.

Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. 2009. Commonwealth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Harvey, David. 2011. The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism. London: Profile.

Harvie, Jen. 2013. Fair Play: Art, Performance and Neoliberalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137027290

Lazzarato, Maurizio. 2015. Governing by Debt. Translated by Joshua David Jordan. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e).

Liberty. 2018. A Guide to the Hostile Environment. https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/sites/default/files/HE%20web.pdf. Accessed 3 June 2018.

Lotz, Christian. 2015. ‘Against Essentialist Conceptions of Love: Toward a Social-material Theory’. In Thinking about Love: Essays in contemporary continental philosophy. Edited by Diane Enns and Antonio Calcagno, 131–148. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Rose, Gillian. 1992. The Broken Middle. Oxford: Blackwell.

Southbank Centre, n.d.a. “The Seven Kinds of Love”. https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/festival-love/seven-kinds-love. Accessed May 2017.

Southbank Centre, n.d.b. What’s on: Festival of Love [brochure]. London.

Troeltsch, Ernst. (1911) 1981. The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, Volume 1. Translated by Olive Wyon. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Weber, Max. (1905) 2011. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Stephen Kalberg. New York: Oxford University Press.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2018.41201

Copyright (c) 2018 Rachel Cockburn

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.