We are always tangled up in various power relationships – whether as citizens of a state, in schools and universities, at work, or in relationships with our family, partners and friends. These power relationships are constantly negotiated, constructed and deconstructed. Power relationships can hinder us, but also enable us. On the one hand, power signifies the authority to make decisions that affect other people and their lives, it means to exercise dominance; on the other hand, power also carries the possibility and the ability to effect change. Consequently, one can find power also in shedding one’s powerlessness – symbolically, creatively, and aesthetically.
The third issue of the magazine 39NULL considers the complex relationship between power and powerlessness. On more than 150 pages, we discuss not only the negative, repressive side of power but also its productive potential. Forty contributors from the fields of arts and culture, social sciences, and politics expose the various aspects of power and powerlessness in image and text. They consider the imperatives, the misuses, and the illusions of both power and powerlessness.