A Radical Prescription for Democracy


The story we tell ourselves about the history of democracy is that we evolved from a dark past where power reigned absolute to a state of checked violence and a shared understanding of the value of a human being. Despite its flaws, modern democracy is proof that we are here for a reason and share a destiny: freedom. But in order to achieve this goal of freedom, we consent to give it up, per the social contract. What does it mean to consent to be governed? Is such consent actually possible, or does it simply clear the path for state bureaucracy and violence to expand deeper into our private lives? If the purpose of history is liberation, why are we using it to justify the modern expansion of power?

In this Olio, participants wrestle with the relationship between democracy and freedom. We begin with Foucault’s assertion—that the shift from monarchy to democracy doesn’t just signal the diminishment of power, but rather the disappearance of power—and go on to analyze his most celebrated and provocative lectures from the series “Society Must Be Defended,” in which he argues that our goal is to make power visible, to make “windows where there were once walls.” The session will also examines Foucault’s suggestion that we build a democracy to secure our most basic pleasures.

*Tickets to all BAM x Think Olio events are sold here*





Location: BAM Fisher

321 Ashland Place Brooklyn, NY 11217

The BAM Fisher Hillman Studio is a large performance and event space in BAM Fisher.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jan 22

Living Room Salon | Our Struggle with Free Will

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 8

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!