domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2007

State of belonging, state of being

The last issue of the Refugees Magazine, edited by the United Nations Refugee Agency, brings a special report about "The Excluded - The strange, hidden world of the stateless". One of the people mentioned in the article is the German philosopher Hannah Arendt, who was stateless for 16 years until she became an American citizen, in 1969, six years before her death. As the report states, Arendt had a successfull career, as one of the most influential thinkers in the 20th century, but most of the millions of the stateless people in the world remain anonymous and marginalized by their situation.
Here is Arendt´s reflection on the issue:
"To be stripped of citizenship is to be stripped of worldliness; it is like returning to a wilderness as cavemen or savages... they could live and die without leaving any traces" (Hannah Arendt, in "The Origins of Totalitarism")
The full report can be seen at

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