In the Presence of Others

Reality is what we make of it—at least in principle. So argued Hannah Arendt, the political philosopher whose brilliant and sometimes troubling ideas frame the many contributions gathered in this issue of World Records. Arendt returned again and again to her core philosophical concern: a common world experienced in the presence of others. In Arendt’s estimation, to recognize one another, and to do so on equal terms, was an essential human practice. “The reality of the public realm relies on the simultaneous presence of innumerable perspectives and aspects,” Arendt writes in The Human Condition, “in which the common world presents itself and for which no common measurement or denominator can ever be devised.” When such a world appears, humans are no longer forced to accept the givenness of reality. Suddenly, they may realize their own capacity to make it anew.

This issue of World Records investigates how documentary film and video, performance art, curatorial frameworks, digital social media platforms, and photojournalism provide grounds for collective action.

Table of Contents

Nicholas Gamso & Jason Fox, Introduction: In the Presence of Others

Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Maia and The Boundaries of the Frame

Martin Lucas, Action Between Art and Citizenship

Rayya El Zein, To Have Many Returns: Loss in the Presence of Others

Jonathan Kahana, Arendt in Jerusalem: Documentary, Theatricality, and the Echo of Irony

Nitasha Dhillon, Life, Documentary and Decolonial Struggle

MTL Collective, Principles for Decolonial Film

Gregory Sholette and Tania Bruguera, Picking up the Power: Gregory Sholette In Conversation with Tania Bruguera

Nicholas Gamso, Truth, Politics, Disintegration, and Forensic Architecture at the Whitney

Bonnie Honig, Jenny Reardon, and Warren Sack, Conditions: Warren Sack In Conversation with Bonnie Honig and Jenny Reardon

Miriam Ticktin, Rewriting the Grammars of Innocence: Abounaddara and the Right to the Image

Jason Fox, Can Rights Be Found on a Map?

Cecilia Sjöholm, Making Visible Rights: Photography After Arendt

Kareem Estefan, Our Violent Commons: Witnessing the Worldly Within the Imperial Commons

Rachel Stevens, Our Violent Commons: The Territory of Listening

Irmgard Emmelhainz, Our Violent Commons: Empathy and Codependency