Racial Segregation in Brazil

Content Warning: This paper refers to sexual violence as a result of racism

“To be an oppressor is dehumanizing and anti-human in nature, as it is to be a victim” (hooks, 2015). In this quote, the author bell hooks shows how the subjugation of an individual or a group is a way of excluding them from the condition of being human. The very definition of “the human” has changed throughout history, often being used as a mechanism of maintenance of the status quo, which goes to show that there is no neutral point of view when it comes to the conceptualization of human nature. Taking that into account, this paper will argue that human nature is a social construct often used to support certain political views and forms of domination of one group over another. Racism will be the focus of my analysis as it is one of the possible misconceptions about human nature that can be used by articulations of hegemonic power.


Friedrich Nietzsche en de luxe van Epicurus


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was naast filosoof ook getalenteerd filoloog. 1 In 1869 werd hij als 24-jarige benoemd tot hoogleraar klassieke filologie aan de universiteit van Bazel. Antieke denkers hebben dan ook een grote invloed gehad op het denken van Nietzsche. Er is in de literatuur veel geschreven over de invloed van Heraclitus, Plato en de stoïcijnen op Nietzsche. Er is echter weinig geschreven over de invloed van de Griekse filosoof Epicurus (341-270 v.Chr.) en zijn Romeinse volgeling Lucretius (94-55 v.Chr.) op het denken van Nietzsche 2. De invloed van Epicurus op het denken van Nietzsche wordt naar mijn opvatting onderschat. Nietzsche heeft vele aforismen over Epicurus geschreven en in een aforisme uit het werk Der Wanderer und sein Schatten (1880) noemt Nietzsche Epicurus zelfs een van de grootste mensen ooit (Nietzsche 2008a, 534; WS295). Dat zullen velen opvallend vinden; veel van Epicurus’ gedachten zouden we immers niet meteen met Nietzsche associëren. Zo hebben beide denkers een hele andere visie op het lijden. Toch is Nietzsche bijzonder positief over Epicurus. Nietzsche – ook wel de ‘filosoof met de hamer’ genoemd – staat erom bekend grote kritiek te hebben op vrijwel iedere denker en discipline. Er zijn slechts enkele figuren waar Nietzsche achting voor uit, waaronder Epicurus (Nietzsche 2008a, 415; VM408).

Lees meer
  1. Een taalkundige die zich specialiseert in oude en dode talen.
  2. Nietzsche lijkt het denken van Epicurus en de epicuristische interpreet Lucretius met elkaar te identificeren. In dit stuk wordt Lucretius dan ook niet zozeer als individuele denker behandelt, maar voornamelijk als interpreet van Epicurus.

The Metaphysics of Techno

Imagine you are standing in a dark night club, surrounded by hundreds of people dancing ferociously to an amalgamation of synthesizers and drum machines beating together in rhythmic unity. The atmosphere is ecstatic and vibrant in the sort of way that makes you temporarily forget about your life outside the walls of the club. You are not just enjoying the music, you embody the music. You are here. You are entranced. You are alive.



Feminist and Postmodernist Metamorphoses Reconsidered

The cyborg is a bad girl […] Maybe she is not so much bad as she is a shape-changer, whose dislocations are never free. She is a girl who’s trying not to become Woman, but remain responsible to women of many colors and positions.1

Some differences are playful; some are poles of world historical systems of dominations. “Epistemology” is about knowing the difference2 


The relationship between postmodernism and feminism is one of debate. Often, postmodernism is taken as the “assumed reference point in a debate that has largely taken place within feminism and has authorized feminism’s reflection on itself through either disavowal or disapproval”.3 Against this background, Ahmed wonders how we, as feminists, might be able to read postmodernism differently — “as feminist and for feminism”.4 Put differently, can we reconsider the relationship between feminism and postmodernism — generating some sort of metamorphosis? Is it possible that this relationship is not marked by authority, hierarchy, and exclusion, but, instead, might be understood as being one of mutual and reciprocal productivity?

Read more
  1. Donna Haraway, Constance Penley, and Andrew Ross,  “Cyborgs at Large: Interview with Donna Haraway,” in: Social Text, No. 25/26 (1990): 23.
  2. Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s,” in The Haraway Reader (New York and London: Routledge, 1985/2004), 20.
  3. Sara Ahmed, Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 3.
  4. Ahmed, Differences that Matter, 2.

Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublëv: A Dostoevskian Hero


Few literary writers have left their mark on the realm of thought and art as fiercely as Fyodor Dostoevsky, whose novels and stories have brought forth – with an incredible pathos and novelty – questions that are seared into the condition humaine. Dostoevsky’s feat to give flesh and blood to various philosophical, psychological and theological debates has enticed poets, philosophers, theologians, artists and film directors. The ideas presented in books such as The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, Demons and The Brothers Karamazov have been of an enduring value, as they continue to echo in the works of many thinkers.


What happens when someone’s unhappiness threatens another’s joy?

Although I will only talk about unhappiness and happiness, my intention is not to imbue you with my unhappy ideas!

Everybody assumes that happiness is one of the most desirable feelings. Happiness! Of course, we all want to be happy! In other words, everybody avoids the state of unhappiness. 

What if we discuss the status of its desirability? Some spaces and positions in our daily life are designed to normalize the desirability of happiness. To avoid unhappiness and to constantly desire happiness – is not ‘just’ an innocent thing. To clarify, I will tell you a story of mine that is not about the persuasion of happiness, but rather about how one’s unhappiness can threaten another person’s joy. In doing so, I dare to release the feelings that are suffocating me in everyday life.

Read more…

Is it Justified to Evaluate Female Genital Mutilation Categorically Different from Male Circumcision?

An Examination of Inconsistency Based on Cultural Bias and Making Distinctions Between Religious and Cultural Practices


Within the Western discourse, there is a categorical rejection of female genital mutilation (FGM). It is considered a violation of an individual’s rights and a form of unnecessary violence. At the same time, the topic of male circumcision (MC) is perceived – especially in the US – as much less problematic or even benign. While it may at first sight appear unfeasible to compare FGM with MC, I will demonstrate in this essay that there are certain similarities that are often ignored, and which point to an inconsistency in our categorically different evaluations of FGM and MC. This inconsistency becomes especially evident in philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s account of both practices and potentially points to a cultural bias. A double standard of comparable practices cannot be accepted if we want to develop accounts that are as objective, or minimally biased, as possible. Additionally, if it turns out that we are inconsistently evaluating two comparable practices, we might want to adjust policy and legislation, respectively. 

Read more…

Het conflictueuze karakter van de liefde

Wie het woord objectificatie hoort, denkt misschien al snel aan discriminatie, xenofobie of seksisme. Zoals de Amerikaanse relatietherapeut Esther Perel ons echter laat zien, zijn we ook in de liefde soms geneigd ‘de ander’ te reduceren tot een bepaald beeld dat we van haar hebben. Vanuit onze behoefte aan veiligheid en geborgenheid, zo schrijft ze, zijn we soms bang voor de vrijheid en eigenheid van onze geliefde. Als zij een vrij subject is, kan zij altijd besluiten ons te verlaten. Om dit te voorkomen proberen we haar gevangen te houden in het beeld dat we van haar hebben. Zo komt niet alleen de liefdesrelatie, maar ook onze eigen vrijheid onder druk te staan. In een relatie staan dus twee belangrijke menselijke behoeftes met elkaar op gespannen voet: enerzijds de behoefte aan veiligheid, nabijheid en geborgenheid en anderzijds de behoefte aan vrijheid, eigenheid en autonomie. 

Lees verder…

Fighting street harassment with chalk

A notification shows a new message at the top of the screen: “Hey whore!” it says. It is another direct message on Instagram with a story of street harassment in Nijmegen… 

This is just one example of the many messages we have been receiving since our Instagram account Catcalls of Nimma was founded last year. The idea behind this account is to create a platform where people share their experiences of street harassment. They tell us what has been said and where it has been said. We then go to the place and chalk down a quote from the story. The picture of the chalked quote, together with the rest of the story, is then shared on our account – without mentioning the name of the sender(s). 

Read more…

Time and morality: how the passing of time in L’Enfant evokes a sense of moral acknowledgement

In Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s 2005 film L’Enfant, protagonist Bruno’s (20) girlfriend Sonia (18) has just given birth to their child, Jimmy 1 Both unemployed, they are barely surviving off her welfare cheques and his crimes, until Bruno decides to sell their baby for a large sum of money to a black market adoption without Sonia knowing. What he sees as a quick fix for their financial instability, she interprets as an utterly disturbing and sickening act. Feeling guilty for the shock he has caused her, Bruno eventually buys the baby back but is then turned down by Sonia. Eventually, Bruno ends up in jail after yet another petty crime. The film ends when Sonia comes to visit him in jail, and we see them embracing one last time in a moment of shared despair and anguish.

  1. Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, dir., L’Enfant (Sony Pictures Classics, 2005), DVD.