Salon 34 Anger

Anger. A word that often does the rounds in the 21st century. On a global scale, citizens are increasingly dissatisfied with their governments – from discord within the current American administration to rising hostility within France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, and Lebanon. Anger, fueled by Brexit, the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill proposed by the Hong Kong government, Catalan separatists, rising Hindu nationalism in India, and the recent protests in Chile. Anger due to the persistence of racial violence, threats against the rights of women and workers, discrimination against the LGBTQ community, repression, as well as fear and instability surrounding health care systems, income inequality, the environmental crisis, and the effects of mass migration. A powerful emotion that can be both instinctual yet also intellectualized, anger has often been capitalized on for violent means. However, when channeled productively, anger has the power to spark collective imagination and forge empathetic relationships. While anger is subjective and not universally displayed across individuals and cultures, we will work to demystify and critically explore the current culture of rage.

Some of the questions we will strive to answer in our next salon: Is collective anger made of myriad individual ones? Can claiming anger be a tool for collective bonding? Is anger infectious? Are people getting angrier, or is the baseline shifting? Is anger a propeller, or an impediment for progress? What is the social cost of anger? How is anger affecting culture? Can a “collective anger management” course exist? Can anger be weaponized? What are the most egregious cases of incitement to collective anger? How is anger rooted in cultural identity? Do expressions of anger vary across cultures, genders, and ages? Is there such a thing as hereditary anger? Are we born with the capability for anger or is this behavior taught? What is the connection between anger and respect? When is the expression of anger efficacious? When should it be repressed? How does anger manifest in the body? How do artists channel anger into their work? Do they ever try to defuse it? Do we perform anger?

This salon took place on December 10th, 2019.


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