The human core of the public realm : women prisoners’ performed ‘radio’ at the Majdanek concentration camp

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Ripatti-Torniainen , L & Stachyra , G 2019 , ' The human core of the public realm : women prisoners’ performed ‘radio’ at the Majdanek concentration camp ' , Media, Culture & Society , vol. 41 , no. 5 , pp. 654–669 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443719848584

Title: The human core of the public realm : women prisoners’ performed ‘radio’ at the Majdanek concentration camp
Author: Ripatti-Torniainen, Leena; Stachyra, Grazyna
Contributor: University of Helsinki, P3 - Publics, Politics & Promotions
Date: 2019-07-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Media, Culture & Society
ISSN: 0163-4437
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303704
Abstract: The article elaborates Hannah Arendt’s thought on the public realm to analyze the performed ‘radio’ that women prisoners ‘produced’ with their voice at the Majdanek concentration camp, Poland, in Spring 1943. The authors reconstruct the rationale that clarifies why an image of a radio was meaningful at a death camp. The documented memories reveal that the ‘radio’ created a resistant, harm-preventing and despair-relieving space. Mobilizing the meanings Arendt gives to the public realm as the shared reference and shared belonging, the authors show that the memories point towards the prisoners’ efforts to break their exclusion by decisively continuing their belonging to the public world through their own performance. In Arendt’s concepts, ‘broadcasting’ and listening to ‘programmes’ actualized prisoners’ being and subjectivity, the both of which were under constant assaults. Conceptualized through Arendt’s thought, the performed ‘radio’ reveals amid the extreme exclusion, isolation and cruelty of the death camp how profoundly meaningful the public realm is to humans.
Subject: Hannah Arendt
action
concentration camp
exclusion
public realm
radio
resistance
social participation
518 Media and communications
611 Philosophy
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