This essay by Jack Segbars was published in open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain.
A conference held last year in Palestine reflected on the relevance of Walter Benjamin’s critical responses to oppression, in a place all too familiar with its reality. In his essay, Jack Segbars considers how and if critical theory now can avoid entrapment by the very target of its critique, and instead realize actual political change. As knowledge production becomes more entangled with artistic production, models – namely that of participatory panel discussions – must be reviewed for their capacity to enact the change they so desire.