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title. Vita Performativa, a fictional audition (draft)

concept. Daphne Kokkini

date. January 2019 , text written for the online magazine Philosophy of Performance 

issue. Special Issue "Sites of appearance, matters of thought: Hannah Arendt and Performance Philosophy"

city. Zürich

type. text / article / performance / publication 

links. philosophy of performance 


Brother and Sister / Antigone's wedding / Inseparables


We are in a dark space. A table, two chairs, 3 cameras. 2 Persons enter. A and B.

[Sound-Intro: Ludwig van Beethoven, Musik zu einem Ritterballet, WoO 1]


- Frau Hannah Arendt, you are the first woman that will be portrayed in these series. A woman with a profession some might regard as a masculine one: you are a philosopher.

- Ja, i am afraid i have to protest!


With these words plunges Hannah Arendt into the legendary

interview, for the back then young and talented journalist Günter

Gaus, that was broadcasted by RBB Television on the 28th October

1964. Gaus himself claimed it later as being the most fascinating

discussion of his entire career. The interview has been since then

a reference point, reaching even a wider audience the last few

decades after the explosion of communication and social media. If

Arendt would only lived longer to witness the birth of these new

realms of appearance, would she recognize in them an immense

expansion of existing or new ways of conceiving political space?


I watch her sitting comfortably in one of those armchairs, facing

mostly a man or even many men. Sparkling eyes behind thick

glasses, her modern short grey haircut and a cigarette in her

usually left hand could summarize the impression she makes on me.

Her body language inspires firmness and stability, the way she

articulates every word is solid. She seems always thirsty for the

next question, for this world - the world of many statements, of

many ideas, of many questions - is her element. And Hannah feels

so comfortable in her element. While observing her, i keep

thinking about the parts of a play i would like her to read for

me. I haven’t decided where to place her. She seems to carry

qualities of several characters. Perhaps i should let her decide.


- I am afraid i should already protest! I don’t belong to the circle of

philosophers. My profession, if one can speak of it as such, is political

theory. I don’t see myself as a philosopher… I avoid the term political



(the rest of the text available after request)

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