Politics and Passions

Anna Ostoya & Chantal Mouffe



Art can contribute to changing the world. It can bring new forms of subjectivity. We need to bring people to see things differently. Political subjectivities are not just an expression of a position you’re in. They are discursively constructed in a multiplicity of practices.‘ Chantal Mouffe

In 2009, the artist Anna Ostoya created a booklet with textual collages using an essay by the political theorist Chantal Mouffe, ‘Politics and Passions: The Stakes of Democracy’ (2002). In the essay, Mouffe critiqued the then-dominant ‘beyond left and right’ politics of neoliberalism and warned of its dangers – the rise of right-wing populist parties. Fascinated by Mouffe’s strikingly prophetic ideas, as well as her bold call to fight the status quo in order to radicalise democracy and to prevent violence, Ostoya returned to the booklet in 2019. She composed for it a series of portraits based on sketches of people on the New York City subway and on reproductions of her paintings and collages from the preceding decade. She also conducted a conversation with Mouffe about the politics of the last forty years, about the contemporary moment and about art, which is included in this publication.

DISCOURSE is a series of small books in which a theorist, artist, or writer engages in a dialogue with a theme, an artwork, an idea, or another individual across an extended text. Explore the full series here.




Paperback with flaps
12.5 x 19.5 cm, 224 pages

ISBN 978-1-913620-19-6
July 2021
€17.50 £15 $20

‘A charming booklet with textual collages using an essay by Mouffe, a political theorist, in which the writer critiques the politics of neoliberalism and warns of its dangers.‘ New Statesman, Books of the Year

‘A stunningly multifaceted collaborative book … against apathy, easy answers, and consensus politics.’ Aperture

‘Ostoya has created a visual language that is capable of breaking down dense prose and effectively communicating the passion behind Mouffe’s project.’ The Nation

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