We live in a time of selective outrage. Someone, somewhere in the world, is finding what you just said, offensive. And rather than agreeing to disagree, they will make their lack of tolerance for your way of thinking known by disgracing you. And wherever possible, disgracing you from the comfort of their living room, with just one click, or one cruel comment posted on some forum somewhere. Cancel Culture – the practice of publicly rejecting or ending support for people because of their opinion, moral views or actions – is a modern form of ostracism, which in turn dates to ancient Greece.
These days, having an honest conversation is punished by criticism or hurt feelings – which makes those that in the past dared to open their mouths, that little more fearful of doing so.
Perhaps the fear first became tangible when Trump came into office. There appeared to be a seismic shift in how people converse. The bully bullied and his pebble thrown into the water, rippled across the world. Interest in conversation seems to have diminished, as if people see no value in having a conversation with somebody else. Where in the past people listened to others and curated their thoughts to offer a response once the end of another person’s sentence had been reached, now, if you have a strong opinion, it’s enough to dig your heels in and shout – without any need to justify your opinion.
The discourse of old – where people discuss ideas and take away knowledge from any conversation – often has no one in the room daring to hold space for it.
On 5 April 2023, Gwendolyn’s Bridge Club hosts “Cancel Culture?”, an evening with bright minds who shed light on the topic. Join Jörg Scheller, professor of art history at the ZHdK, journalist and musician and his guests Mohomodou Houssouba, author, literary scholar and member of the International Institute for African Studies, and Inés Mateos, expert on education and diversity and a member of Institute New Switzerland (INES).
Limited capacity seating. Please reserve your seat here.
Bar open before and after the event.
Date: 5 April 2023
Time: 20:00 Uhr (Doors Open: 19:30)
Venue: Theaterplatz 2, 3011 Bern
Entry: CHF 17.-
With sincere thanks to Marlene Wenger and Bjørn Strømme.