Curatorial Initiatives
Kant's Essay

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The Perpetual Peace Project is pleased to release recordings featuring the voices of students and community advocates in San Diego, California in conversation about what peace means to them.

The workshops explored how the discourse of peace is negotiated and understood in the context of a border community. The first workshop involved graduate students in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego, which is located in the neighborhood of La Jolla, and focused in part on complicity and the figure of the traitor. The second workshop took place 30 miles south of La Jolla at Casa Familiar, a social services organization based in the neighborhood of San Ysidro. Situated at the United States border with Mexico at Tijuana, San Ysidro is the busiest international border crossing in the world. The discussion at Casa Familiar, which also included students from the previous discussion, featured a variety of artists, activists and community advocates in conversation, and explored peace in relation to questions of socio-economic justice, cultural difference, and border mobility.

About the Workshops

Concerning the idea of perpetual peace, Jeremy Bentham once wrote that "it is not only thought to be hopeless, but to such a degree that any proposal to that effect deserves the name of visionary and ridiculous." And yet, Bentham adds, "What better education [...] than the proposal itself?" Taking Bentham's provocation seriously, in these workshops we read Immanuel Kant's writings on Perpetual Peace in order to confronted a number of related questions concerning the idea of peace, for which there is no single answer or solution.


The recordings featured on this webpage are from lectures and workshops conducted at Casa Familiar in San Ysidro and at the University of California, San Diego on January 21, 2011. They were led by Aaron Levy, Executive Director of Slought Foundation.

The workshops were organized by architect and urbanist Teddy Cruz and were made possible in part through the support of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California.

Click here for information about other workshops

Listen to the Recordings

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Workshop at Casa Familiar
(65 min)

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Workshop at University of California, San Diego
(38 min)

Selected Quotations

- "While there are natural separations, there are also man-made separations. Like the border here that creates a force and that makes of the people that are here strangers by force."

- "The momentary mutual recognition of the rights of the stranger... peace is a respect for the stranger's rights."

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