Symbolic violence is the kind of gentle, invisible, pervasive violence that is exercised through cognition and misrecognition, knowledge and sentiment, often with the unwitting consent or complicity of the dominated. It is embedded in the very modes of action and structures of cognition of individuals, and imposes the spectre of legitimacy of the social order.
Symbolic violence, discipline and domination are the mechanisms of control that are hiding in plain sight in every sphere of our society: from the brutal order of the military system and manipulative behaviour of politicians, to the naturalized codes of behaviour in the public and private spheres. Ours is a surveillance society in which each individual has internalized the disciplinary mechanism to the point of becoming his/her own overseer. It is the embodiment and naturalization of those mechanisms during the process of socialisation that makes them almost impossible to recognize. So, are we trapped in the system or is there a way out? How can we recognize and resist the workings of symbolic power? What role does art play in this process?
Drawing inspiration from the philosophical discourse, art, politics, as well as video tutorial culture, in the installation-performance Hiding in Plain Sight: 4 Studies on Symbolic Violence Yana Novotorova and Charlotte Triebus are reflecting on the modes and mechanisms of social and personal domination.
A moving documentary is about to be published.