This article by Bridget McKenzie is a response to my previous article ‘The absence of thinking: Hannah Arendt and the totalitarianism of ecocide’ which raised both some positive and some, surprising to me, negative comments. I haven’t met Bridget but we are both exploring similar concerns in our work and I think Bridget has furthered the ideas I raised. Bridget was formerly Head of Learning at the British Library and Education Officer for Tate. In 2006 she founded Flow UK with Mark Stevenson. Then in 2010, Eliza Hilton and Katherine Rose, established their sister company Flow India, based in Delhi/NCR. Flow works to promote and facilitate creative learning and critical thinking as a way to change the world. They have worked primarily in arts, museums, education and heritage on digital, engagement and education strategies.
Comments are welcome
I was really interested in this piece by Cathy Fitzgerald on Hannah Arendt and her prediction that a new form of totalitarianism involving state-sanctioned ecocide would arise. This was a newly invented term in 1970 and Arendt talked about it in her last few years. Cathy acknowledges that Arendt is mainly associated with commentary on the ‘banality of evil’ of Nazism, and that the importance of this work shouldn’t be lost. But Cathy concludes that “A different but somehow similar situation is now occurring with ecocide, in how it is both right here and ‘hidden’ in political denial and our world of mass distractions and hyperconsumerism.” I agreed with the importance of updating Arendt’s thinking and, as a film about her opens in our cinemas this week, I shared the article on social media. I felt that it could be controversial but wasn’t sure how it would turn out.
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