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Accepted Paper:

Our Intense Biopolitical Moment’: eschatological narratives and counter-cultures of resistance to technopolitical governance.  
Elisabeth Kirtsoglou (Durham University)

Paper short abstract:

My paper examines religious prophesies and eschatological narratives during the Covid-19 pandemic and demonstrates how prophesies acquired an important role in formulating idiosyncratic - but often exclusionist - narratives of resistance to biopolitical and technopolitical governmentalities.

Paper long abstract:

My paper examines religious prophesies and eschatological narratives in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing from fieldwork in Greece, I demonstrate how prophesies acquired an important role in formulating an idiosyncratic narrative of resistance to biopolitical governmentalities. I found that Orthodox Christian prophesies provided discursive tools to social actors who wished to dispute the notion of the securitised body and to formulate a more generalised critique towards neoliberal citizenship and its technologies of population management. Prophesies became narrative seeds in new ‘conspiracist scenarios’ about the pandemic, the ‘New World Order’ and ‘global governance’ systems. As means of gazing at the present through a vision of the future that presents itself as both near and unavoidable, the circulation of eschatological discourses, signals a deep and profound dissatisfaction with the biopolitisation of citizenship, the normalisation of surveillance, the accelerated financialisation of economic life and an increased suspicion over the efficacy of vaccinations, that is intimately connected to the loss of trust to institutions, state agents and even civil society.

The paper examines how the circulation of conspiratorial political aetiologies and prophesies about the sinister plans of the Antichrist against the pious, created a fertile breeding ground for neonationalist ideas and for ultra-right wing politicoreligious radicalisation. My analysis serves to discuss how discourses of resistance to technopolitical governance do not always support inclusive visions of citizenship.

Panel P18b
Technopolitics, biopolitics and algorithmic governance: Cultures of resistance and countercultures of disbelief during the SARS-CovII pandemic
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -