Sensate Democracy

judith butler on a “broader understanding of sensate democracy.”

The performativity of the human animal takes place through gesture, gait, modes of mobility; through sound and image; through various expressive means that are not reducible to public forms of verbal speech. That republican ideal is yet to giveway to a broader understanding of sensate democracy. The way we gather on the street, sing or chant, or even maintain our silence, can be, is, part of the performative dimension of politics, situating speech as one bodily act among others. So bodies act when they speak, to be sure, but speaking is not the only way that bodies act—and certainly not the only way they act politically.

Judith Butler, “Can One Lead a Good Life in a Bad Life?,” Adorno Prize Lecture

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