The Republic can be viewed as a mode of transition from the communist rule to a post-communist phase, especially with the springing up of new (in)dependent nation-states after the break-up of the Soviet Union. But what or who are the “publics” on which the (Re)public is based? Historian Joan Landes finds an etymological connection between “public” and “pubic,” marking the public sphere as gendered – for subjects who qualify to speak by ownership of a penis. The conventional binary opposition to public has been the private, but is the private not already included within the aggressive forms of privatization of the Republic? Private/public as distinguishable sites within the Republic are both fantasy through a kind of Deleuzian lens of the virtual – always referring to one-another, distinguishable only in their discernible indiscernibility. Anthropologists Susan Gal and Gail Kligman refer to privates and publics in the post-socialist era as fractals – the privates within the publics within the privates and so on wherein which each fragment of the Republic is an image of private and public on larger and smaller scales. The images are multiplied within one-another, containing and reproducing each other ad infinitum.
The Republic has been hegemonically designated as singular – both in form and in content. There is the Republic – the idealized structure of modern statehood to which all nations must aspire. And there is the Republic, “our” nation, “our” people as one collective body (fascism propagated by slogans such as “One nation, One culture” that canonize the “proper” and regulate possibilities within a cultural landscape). Within both singularities of the Republic, any notion of “public” is rendered meaningless through an oligarchy’s appropriation of the commons, forced mass migration, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and the draining from the population voices of resistance. But (r-e)-p-u-b-l-i-c-s are also in and between language that separates rather than unites, that foreignizes rather than domesticates. And there is, of course, time and displacement – as modernity epitomized by the concept of “now” is also characterized by forceful and constant revisions. Within this “new” era of “
Republicanism” and “ Democratization,” how can we discuss the specificity of the impact on bodies, on language, on memory, and the interfacial affective realm of the (virtual) embodiment of inbetweenness? How can the publics (de)scribe and reinscribe spaces through which to continue meaningful production of disc(our)ses?
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