Hannah Arendt advocates a concept of political freedom that is intimately linked to the appearance of the person on the public stage.
However, Arendt's theory of public appearance is wrested from the problems of disappearance and invisibility - under totalitarian regimes, under conditions of slavery and poverty.
To better understand the intuition behind Arendt's persistent adherence to a notion of freedom that coincides with the possibility to appear in public, one must take into account the experiences of being deprived of this possibility.
Juliane Rebentisch is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach/Main. She is a member of the Research Council at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt/Main and a Regular Visiting Professor of the German Department at Princeton University