Who: Ekhi Lopetegi of Delorean
What: PhD in Philosophy
Where: University of Barcelona
Years of study: eleven-plus
Do you have your PhD, or are you currently working on it? I started my PhD about three years ago. Right when I started, the record Subiza came out, so I decided to stop studying for a year in order to tour. In September of this year, when we finish touring the record, I’ll matriculate again at the University of Barcelona to continue my PhD studies. I’ve studied philosophy since I was 18 years old, and it’s what I want to continue [doing]. I’m now 27. I wanted to get my PhD because when I did my licenciatura, which I think is comparable to a masters in the US, I realized that I was truly interested in philosophy and that four years of study was completely inadequate in order to reach a decent level of philosophy. So I had it very clear that, after I’d finished graduating from my licenciatura, I would continue deepening my studies, because there hadn’t been sufficient time.
Is there a conversation between music and philosophy for you? Well, at first glance, the band and my studies have always been very separate, but that’s also because it’s not like my bandmates are really interested in philosophy. But lately, when the time comes to write lyrics, the point from which I arrive at writing them is philosophy. I’ve never been a good writer or poet or anything like that. The takeoff point from which I write is philosophy. There hasn’t been a great deal of contact between music and philosophy for me, but my lyrics have always had a conceptual relationship with philosophy.
How does studying philosophy and politics affect your experience of the politically charged climate in Barcelona today? We started our band as a way of separating ourselves from what was the cultural and social life of the Basque country. I believe that unconsciously the fact that our references in the band are Anglo-Saxon, that we sing in English, it was all an attempt to separate ourselves from a musical, cultural and social scene that was very, very rigid. In that sense, there’s certainly a relation.
In terms of Barcelona, what I can tell you is that, to me, the most interesting events have been those that have occurred in the past three weeks [the wave of protests in late May/early June, 2011]. While I study philosophy, what I think is truly crucial is what’s going on today in Spain. The other day, the people took over Plaça Catalunya to shouts of “no nos representan!” [“we’re not represented”]. The police broke it up. But right after—through Twitter, Facebook, etc.—people found out what was happening, and 4,000 marched to retake the Plaça Catalunya, forcing the police to flee. In those types of practices, I think that an entire course of political philosophy can be learned in one day. All Carl Schmitt can be found in those six hours in Plaça Catalunya. I’m not in philosophy to have a good book collection, nor am I interested in its aesthetics, I’m interested in the moment of truth, and that’s what’s occurring here. People are simply fighting for their existence and nothing else.
TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY KT
The Theater and Its Double by Antonin Artaud
Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of Prison by Michel Foucault
Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville