Thomas Burø


Symposium Lecture:

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Thomas Burø:  39 years old, trained by university as a philosopher and by punk rock as a musician.
I am working at the interstices of philosophy, cultural production and cultural analysis; driven by an interest in transforming our culture towards a more sustainable way of life.
Since graduating in 2007 from Roskilde University Center, I've been teaching at University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School, and Vallekilde Folk High School as well as working independently as cultural producer, musician and composer within the performative arts sector. Currently, I teach event management, philosophy of science and I sing in a punk band named Tvivler.



Our Sad Contempt for Powerlessness

or, on masculinity and cultures of sustainability

I would like to contribute to the symposium by offering:

1) The theoretically based suggestion that in order to reform masculinities as we currently know them, we need to examine our culturally accepted contempt for states of powerlessness. We need to examine how contempt for powerlessness informs our valuation of ourselves, of others and how we relate to our ecosystems. A whole range of notions are related to sanctioned exercises of power and encompass the contents of masculinity: competence, virility, potency, virtuosity, leadership, physical strength, killing, self-sufficiency, the capacity and willingness to affect and dominate others, strong willedness, decisiveness. The opposites of such notions are all signs of powerlessness, leaving very little space to perform and explore ways of being a male in ways that contribute to cultures of sustainability.

2) A practical perspective on how masculinities can be reformed as lived lives in relation to their environments; how they can move from subordinating female bodies, animals, plants and other others to connecting with them in a compassionate, intimate and respectful manner. The approach I would like to present is comprised of set of life hacking practices aimed at the individual male person’s relation to himself, a set of social and communicative practices aimed at relations between a male and others, and a set of practices aimed at the relation between a male and the ecosystem(s) that sustain(s) him.

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