I dedicate my life’s work to all past and present Iranian writers and thinkers who have been imprisoned, tortured, executed and exiled. We live in the age of new catastrophes. An exile’s life is about fighting against oppression in the country of birth, gaining knowledge, demanding justice and freedom for all the world’s people.
The scenes unfolding in the streets of Jerusalem, disturbing as they may be, should be seen and understood in context of decades of continuous dispossession and dehumanisation of Palestinians. A context marked by a violent rhetoric of displacement and replacement whereby those who are Indigenous to place and land can simply be replaced, erased, and removed without hesitation.
The idea of a public or collective space is inherently fluid, and perhaps contradictory; a matter of constantly shifting definitions. What we witnessed on the sixth of January at the US Capitol building was, among other things, a dispute about what a public institution is, and what it owes to which citizens.
At this juncture, it’s difficult to evaluate the Journal of Controversial Ideas as anything more than a performance of daring by thinkers who want to win the culture wars, and in which the ‘free enquiry on controversial topics’ takes the backseat to political posturing of the most transparent kind.