Consciousness Raising with Hari Kunzru

Thanks to everyone who has tuned into the conversations with Will Stronge and Dan Taylor so far.

Our next event will be held on Monday evening, again at 7PM GMT, and I’ll be joined by Hari Kunzru, author of numerous novels — most recently Red Pill, which will be the focus of our discussion. For those familiar with Hari’s latest book, a story about consciousness raising it is not, but it perhaps provides a striking warning about the many, often seductively pessimistic obstacles that stand in the way of such a process — a smothering self-consciousness, first and foremost.

You can find the intro below, along with the video link for the livestream. See you there!

Mark Fisher’s final lectures, on the topic of postcapitalist desire, are life-affirming and speculative. Their unfinished nature is tragic but Fisher was not alone in exploring the possible emergence of new worlds beyond our capitalist reality. In this series of conversations, Matt Colquhoun explores how Fisher’s concerns are shared by other writers and thinkers at work today.

In our third session, we will be joined by author Hari Kunzru to discuss consciousness raising. For Fisher, consciousness raising was a practice to be reaffirmed in the twenty-first century — but it is not without its obstacles. In his most recent novel, Red Pill (Scribner, 2020), Kunzru describes a Kafkaesque world where what is raised is self-consciousness, rather than any kind of interpersonal support structure. We will discuss how the horror of self-consciousness leads all too easily to a violent pessimism, and what we can do to counter and undermine these pervasive systems of oppression, both within ourselves and in society as a whole.

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