ZONES #2 | Speculative Fictions of the Zone

Fr12Nov19:30Fr21:00ZONES #2 | Speculative Fictions of the ZoneScreening lecture with Jeanne EtelainVeranstaltungsartScreening,Vortrag


The Zone is a figure of speculative fictions, of those imaginative stories, from fantasy to science-fiction, from fairy tales to indegenous myths, that include elements eluding accepted science or recorded history. We may name but a few: ancient legends about the Antipodes, Jean Cocteau’s Orphée, the TV series The Twilight Zone. The most famous one, however, might be Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 movie Stalker. People have largely interpreted the Zone in this film as either a political symbol for Stalin’s gulags, a forbidden desired territory akin to West Berlin, the sign of a coming techno-ecological catastrophe foreshadowing the Chernobyl disaster, or even the Lacanian void which sustains desire. But Tarkovsky was famously hostile to these kinds of interpretations: “People have often asked me what the Zone is, and what it symbolizes, and have put forward wild conjectures on the subject. I’m reduced to a state of fury and despair by such questions. The Zone doesn’t symbolize anything […]: the zone is the zone.” In this screening lecture, we will take Tarkvosky’s words for it and examine the Zone literally, that is as a mere portion of space whose nature – not meaning – needs to be clarified.

Pandemic: Since the event is an in-person event and the number of participants thus, in accordance with current COVID-19 regulations, strictly limited, anyone who would like to attend will need to register in advance with a short message to Following the 2G rule, masks will not be required, but all attendees will have to present either proof of vaccination or proof of recent recovery. The room is equipped with air filtration devices, but given the dynamic situation, we would also like to ask you, if possible, to test yourselves with a rapid test ahead of the event.

ZONES | out of place

Born out of the research group Zones: Topologies of Power co-organised by Jeanne Etelain at diffrakt, ZONES | out of place is a two-day programme set to bring together recent work from scholars, artists, and activists. Over the past decades, the category of place has been torn between, on the one hand, its erosion through the homogenising forces of globalised capitalism and, on the other hand, its retreat into the reactionary versions of rising nationalisms. Yet, from Special Economic Zones to Temporary Autonomous Zones, we witness the proliferation of new spatialities referred to as “zones” that seem to challenge both the smooth globe of networked capitalisms and the striated territories of sovereign states. While the zone seems to have become a basic category of contemporary experience, acquiring a political resonance, its potentialities and limits still remain unknown…

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12. November 2021 19:30 - 21:00(GMT+02:00)

diffrakt | zentrum für theoretische peripherie

Crellestr. 22, 10827 Berlin

diffrakt | zentrum für theoretische peripherie