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Die Freiheit des Fremden. Reflexionen zur Halt- und Bodenlosigkeit. Eine Skizze

Flusser’s philosophical autobiography, Bodenlos, reflects upon the existential meanings of being groundless–that is, to have lost everything, materially, spiritually, and conceptually. Bodenlos contrasts with the more theoretical concept of Haltlosigkeit–the human condition of uncertainty–, in which the foreign and the concrete are constitutive of all “groundless” existence. In spite of the more theoretical claim of Haltlosigkeit, the term bodenlos refers to the ambiguity of all situations of a human existence in crisis. Rather than the Heideggarian “heroic” act of deciding and of an autonomous selfdetermination, this Bodenlosigkeit is, moreover, a feeling of lost ground, of being displaced that builds up the concrete, actual, and new situation. This also informs Flusser’s understanding of freedom and liberty, an understanding which is not simply based on autonomous free will and self-awareness or on certain reactive behaviour. Rather, it is – as bodenlos – the in-between both of these existential possibilities and theoretical positions. This is what the independence of the migrant, the liberty of the traveller, the freedom of the foreign itself could mean: the highly precarious movement of the inbetween.  

Freiheit des Fremden (PDF 312.51 KB)