Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Romina Perni | Università di Perugia | Italy


September 15th 2022 | 12.00 – 13.30
Panel #3 | “(Bio)Political Orders
Room G.127 | Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milan, Largo Gemelli 1

The Space of Full Transparency. Contemporary Dystopian Scenarios

The paper focuses on suggestions about the idea of transparency as it is described and presented in some contemporary dystopias. In this regard, two kinds of spaces will be taken into consideration: the inner/private one, starting from two episodes of the Black Mirror series, The Entire History of you (2011) and Crocodile (2017); the public one, reflecting on the book The circle by Dave Eggers (2013). The purpose of the paper is twofold. On the one hand, I would like to show how the idea of full transparency is obtained on a narrative and descriptive level trough the characterization of the two spaces. The episodes of Black Mirror describe situations in which it is possible to know the inner space of memory through the sense of sight, and use this possibility to perform actions, control one's own behavior and that of others. In The Circle the transparent space opens up to sharing the inner/private space with others through the most technologically advanced devices. On the other hand, I would like to reflect on a central task. Transparency is considered as a value for an effective control of self and relations with others and as an ideal of right political order, but it cannot be defined and realized without considering its possible distortion and the impact with the dimension of human freedom. The dystopian works examined show us that, when transparency becomes more pervasive, the possibility of its erosion becomes more concrete, bringing out its extreme fragility. Furthermore, as inner/private and public spaces become more transparent, human freedom seems to be resized and its limits redefined.

Romina Perni is Research Fellow at the Department of Political Sciences of the University of Perugia. She is interested in publicity and transparency of power, especially related to Kant's political philosophy. Her studies also focused on kantian cosmopolitanism, utopia and contemporary dystopia. Some of her publications: È possibile un'’educazione alla pubblicità’? Una riflessione sul progresso in prospettiva kantiana, in Bollettino telematico di Filosofia Politica, 2020; Non c'è pace. Crisi ed evoluzione del movimento pacifista, co-author with R. Vicaretti, People, 2020; La deformazione distopica. Raccontare il tempo presente con Francis Bacon, in Cosmopolis, XVI, 1/2019.