13 SES 17, “When Are We Ever at Home?”: Nostalgia for the future, for Europe and elsewhere
Nietzsche diagnosed that the European culture would experience the devaluation of its values, which he called nihilism, and that this event would manifest in different ways. Some symptoms of nihilism are the widespread feelings of nostalgia and homelessness in the West, translated in recent events such as Brexit and the return to nationalism. Barbara Cassin (2013/2016) argues that nostalgia goes beyond the idea of homesickness; and homeland beyond the idea of territory. Hence, homeland as well as language is something that does not belong. Cassin questions whether nostalgia could be a feeling that defines Europe. In this paper I argue that we cannot discuss nihilism today without considering the impact and the contribution of the experiences, languages and ways of life of migrants. My claim is that there is a shared, mutual feeling of nostalgia and homelessness felt both by Europeans immersed in nihilism, and by migrants, who have moved to another home. This mutual feeling of homelessness and nostalgia could, however, be a starting point for educative practices and for a nostalgia to the future to emerge through the creation of new, and mutually inclusive, values.
Cassin, B. (2016) Nostalgia: When Are We Ever at Home? Trans. Brault, P-A. New York: Fordham University Press. Nietzsche, F. W., Kaufmann, W., & Hollingdale, R. J. (1968). The will to power. New York, Vintage Books
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