In neoliberalism ‘the story’ has become a universal currency. Today, every commodity has a story to tell. The neo-liberal subject is obliged to tell their life story as a story of coming to oneself, of healing or self-discovery. Self-realization here means that we do not exist without a story. The story is not only a instrument for empowerment but at the same time a hegemonic instrument of power.
We advocate neglecting storytelling as a principle of order and instead searching for truly new images that make structures addressable and enable collective desires. We refer to Vilém Flusser: “The old images are images of something, the new ones are projections, models for something that doesn’t exist, but could exist. The old images are “fictions”, “simulations of”, the new ones are concretisations of possibilities. The old images are an abstract, receding “imagination”, the new ones a concretising, projecting “imagination”. So we do not think imaginatively magically, but on the contrary imaginatively designing.
Susanne Heinrich, the priest’s daughter from East Germany, wrote four books at the age of 19 to 25 and received numerous scholarships and prizes for her literary work, including participation in the Bachmann Prize, stays at the Villa Aurora L.A., Casa Baldi Olevano Romano (Villa Massimo) and Schloss Solitude Stuttgart. Since 2012 she has studied directing at the Deutsche Film und Fernsehakademie Berlin. Her first film “Das melancholische Mädchen” (“Aren’t you happy?”) won the Max Ophüls Prize for “Best Feature Film” in 2019 and will be shown in cinemas this summer. She lives with her daughter in a flat-sharing community in Leipzig and is shouter in the band collective “Hysterische MILFs”.
Rafael Dernbach is a writer and philosopher and currently research associate at Futurium, House of Futures in Berlin. At University of Cambridge he wrote a PhD on anticipatory realism in the works of Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl and Neil Beloufa. His research won numerous awards among them the Gates Cambridge Scholarship in 2014 and the Austrian Film Institute Essay Prize in 2018. His essays, videos and interviews have been published by several media outlets including German Life and Letters, Teknokultura, ZDFinfo and Zeit Online.