Freedom? is a new publication from Two Fuse (Fiona Whelan and Kevin Ryan) that examines the ways in which freedom in contemporary Ireland has become a race without a finishing line, while also exploring possibilities to reimagine the practice of freedom.
As a figure of thought, the concept of freedom tends to shuttle between abstraction and ideal – the first exemplified by Isaiah Berlin’s contrast between negative and positive liberty, and the second by Philip Pettit’s neo-republican conception of freedom as non-domination. Located within the realm of lived experience however, freedom is invariably forged from context-specific constraints and takes the form of cultural practices. In this contribution to the Síreacht series, the collaborative platform Two Fuse examine the practice of freedom in the context of neo-liberal enterprise culture, focusing specifically on how this is shaped by power relations that sustain social suffering by generating an equality of inequality. Engaging with this situation, Two Fuse look to socially-engaged art with a view to exploring possibilities to reimagine the practice of freedom, paying particular attention to the 2016 performance Natural History of Hope by Fiona Whelan, Rialto Youth Project and Brokentalkers.
Freedom?was launched in May 2018 as part of the series Síreacht – Longings for another Ireland, Cork University Press, 2018.