Two lectures and a dialogue 1
Isabell Lorey
Nicola Perugini
14. Januar 2022
Fr 14.01.22 15:00 Uhr

Gejm Matej Povse1 quadrat3
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14. Januar 2022, 15:00 Uhr

Nicola Perugini: Human Shields as Human Screens
From phalanx-fighting, through the use of multiple distance weapons, to the development of airpower and drone warfare in the last century, the history of armed conflicts is one of increasing distance from which people are killed, but also one of increasing weaponization of the human body. Starting from World War I, innocent civilians who were used as human shields to protect military targets in violation of the laws of war were often defined as ‘human screens.’ The notion of human screen, I argue, is not merely a synonym for human shield. In fact, the human screen is not only a human weapon. As I show in this archaeological exploration, the process of transformation of the human body into a screen translates also into the development of a new media technology that both allows to modulate the use of lethal force and shape the perception and political meaning of violence in the battlefield.


Isabell Lorey: Immunised Bodies and Logistifications Just in Time. Transformations through the Pandemic
Neoliberal prevention reached its limits with the Corona pandemic – no one was prepared. Isabell Lorey shows that lack of prevention is not an oversight: In the Covid 19 pandemic, behaviour and desires for a new capitalist phase are just being rehearsed in an enormous condensation and speed, which essentially depends on each*individual learning to deal with extreme unplannability and increasing uncertainty. Logistics and digitalization continue to drive the normalisation of extremely precarious just-in-time jobs. And in the home office, the entire person, including the social environment, is immunised and capitalised without at least redistributing care work. The immunising limitation of contacts corresponds with renationalizations not only in Europe. What fundamental social and economic transformations, based on old domination relations of immunisation, are taking place with the help of various desires for immunised bodies?


Nicola Perugini's research focuses mainly on international law, human rights, and violence. He is the co-author of The Human Right to Dominate (Oxford University Press 2015) and Human Shields. A History of People in the Line of Fire (University of California Press 2020). Nicola has published articles on war and the ethics of violence; the politics of human rights, humanitarianism, and international law; humanitarianism's visual cultures; war and embedded anthropology; refugees and asylum seekers; law, space and colonialism; settler-colonialism and trauma in Israel/Palestine. Nicola’s current research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and examines decolonization wars and international law. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (2012/2013), a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University (2014-2016), and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow (2017-2019). He has served as a consultant for UNESCO and UN Women. His opinion pieces have appeared in Al Jazeera English, LRB Blog, Newseek, Internazionale, The Nation, the Huffington Post, the Conversation, Just Security, Open Democracy, the Herald.


Isabell Lorey is a political theorist, and Professor for Queer Studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. She also works for transversal (, the publication platform of the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp). Current publications in English: State of Insecurity. Government of the Precarious, London: Verso 2015, Democracy in the Political Present. A Queer-Feminist Theory Present, forthcoming with Verso 2022; “Precarization and Care-Citizenship,“ Griffith Law Review, 2020:27(4), 426-438; „The Constituent Power of the Multitude,” Journal of International Political Theory, 2019:15(1), 119-133; „Preserving Precariousness, queering debt,“ Recerca. Revista de Pensament y Anàlisi, 2019:24(1), 155-167; “Withdrawal as Exodus and Strike. Political Strategies for a Presentist Democracy,” in Pepita Hesselberth, Joost De Bloois (Eds.), Politics of Withdrawal. Media, Arts, Theory, Lanham/Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield 2020, 133-146; “The Power of the Presentist-Performative. On Current Democracy Movements,” in Ana Vujanovic, Livia Andrea Piazza (eds.): A Live Gathering: Performance and Politics in Contemporary Europe, Berlin: b_books 2019, 26-38.

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