Political school for artists
Do you want to address social issues through art? Does experience tell you that the idea of ‘the world of art’ as a separate sphere independent from society is mere rhetoric? Would you like to learn more about the concept of the autonomy of art, artistic genius and talent? Are you an artist, but you’re forced to work outside the sphere of art in order to survive? Does capitalism have you working your fingers to the bone and you want to see whether there’s an alternative? Do you want to find out what class really means and why we need class theory in order to understand the society in which we live? Are you interested in the history of socialism as an ideology and the history of the labour movement as a political force? Do you want to find out more about actually existing socialisms, beyond the mantra of ‘socialism is a utopia’? Do you consider the woman question inseparable from theoretical and practical reflections on radical social and economic changes? Do you want to learn more about the history of feminism within the framework of the international socialist and workers’ movement? Do you recognise the power of trade unions, but can’t make sense of the workers’ struggle and organization in modern terms? Are you fed up with the way right-wingers and capitalism’s proponents speak over you?
Participate in the Political School for Artists and All Interested!
The purpose of this educational program is to provide insight into the critique of political economy, the basic theoretical concepts and history of capitalism, and the basics of socialism as an alternative to capitalism, with a special emphasis on the role and place of art in the above. The Political School for Artists (And All Interested) is structured as 4 three-day sessions (over the weekends) with lecturers, and will be held from 1 March to 19 May 2019. The lectures will be accompanied by discussions based on pre-defined literature, as well as field lectures in the Zagreb area. This implies that participants should prepare for each session and be willing to take part in collective work.
Seeing as politics has retreated into the benches of the parliament and marble corridors of institutions, and given that long-lasting and thorough political work on the ground has been replaced by ad hoc actions as a means of achieving particular goals, political education has become a thing of the past. We find it too easy to forget that it used to be a constituent part of political organization from below. Even if art institutions haven’t been quick to recognize the need for political and social education of artists, their access was secured through participation in political movements. Contemporary activism in art, as well as activism in general, exhausts itself in spontaneous rebellions, often through entirely individualized outbursts, that dominate the institution of art which remains unexamined in the process. After 20 centuries of debates, the prevailing perception of art is that of a field free from social divisions. The above should come as no surprise if we consider the political landscape and take into account the development of artistic education. It flips between the conservative old master approach and the liberal postmodern approach. The absence of a systemic education based on insights from political and social sciences is topped off with the latest neoconservative tendencies. Even if we did start off the 21st century with a general consensus on capitalism’s supremacy and the failure of left-wing ideas, 20 years on it is clear that an alternative to capitalism is a necessity, and its development starts from below – through education and the creation of a collective.
1st thematic block: The Critique of Capitalism (1 – 3 March 2019)
Krešimir Zovak: Origins and Development of Capitalism
Stipe Ćurković: Classes and Class Theory
Lidija Krienzer Radojević: Political Potentials of the Civil Society
Vesna Vuković: Art and Class
2nd thematic block: The Return of the Socialist Vision (29 – 31 March 2019)
Nikola Vukobratović: Where did democracy come from? The forgotten history of workers movement
Andreja Gregorina: Red Feminism
Krešimir Zovak: Socialist State and its Contradictions
Ana Kutleša: Artistic Production in Socialist Yugoslavia - examples and problems
3rd thematic block: Historical Revisionism (26 – 28 April 2019)
Krunoslav Stojaković: Introduction to Historical Revisionism
Milan Radanović: Historical Revisionism in the Yugoslavian context
Nikola Vukobratović: Totalitarian East and Democratic West. How did the Cold War deform memory of the 20th century?
Sanja Horvatinčić: Revisionism, politics of remembering and media of collective memory (field lecture)
4th thematic block: Workers’ and Artists’ Movements (17 – 19 May 2019)
Miloš Baković Jadžić: Unions today - Perspectives and Alternatives
The Case of Delavska svetovalnica: Organising Migrant workers
Andreja Gregorina: Organizing Women Workers - Union and/or Political Question
Ivana Hanaček: Models of Artists Organizing - yesterday, tomorrow
The program is financially supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe.