O NOVO RAPTO DA EUROPA, em Madrid

Começa já na próxima quinta-feira, dia 27 de Fevereiro de 2014, o encontro O NOVO RAPTO DA EUROPA no Museu Rainha Sofia, em Madrid. A stress.fm, em colaboração com a Jogos Sem Fronteiras, deslocou-se lá para cobrir o evento. 


"The project of a united Europe, as conceived after the Second World War, is largely exhausted. Little credibility remains in the fictions of that “cunning of European reason” that believed it could overcome the causes of the continent’s historical tragedy (war, dictatorship and fascism, exploitation and inequality, colonialism and racism) by emphasising the virtues of “social market economy” and the old geopolitical combination of the States, rather than through a decisive constituent proposal. The causes of this situation are varied and enormously complex, but from the historical point of view, it is possible to identify certain landmark events in this long agony. On the one hand, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, which reduced the need for a united Europe that was equally anti-Soviet and antifascist, and on the other, the shift towards neoliberal ideas in the EU process during the 90s and the failure of the European Constitution process, which contributed to a generalised feeling of indifference among the citizenry and disenchantment with the European project. This explains the establishment, under the pretext of the global debt crisis, of what Étienne Balibar has called the “commissarial dictatorship” of the Troika.

There is a new “abduction of Europe”, but not through the cleverness of Zeus who, charmed by the Phoenician woman named Europa, abducts her so he can show her the pleasure and glory of the Greek kingdom. This time, it is financial logic that has abducted her, and in return has set an unpayable price: democracy, social rights, the emancipation of the victims of colonialism, equality and brotherhood on the continent. But as the dream of European reason fades, the time of monsters is begins. Whether beloved or condemned, the European Union is an allusion, albeit in an imperfect and contradictory one, to the emancipatory traditions of this continent since the Enlightenment: a Europe united by the ideas of social and political emancipation, a Europe that goes beyond the national borders of the post-colonial States and their traditions of war and periodic destruction.

The attempted return to the “sovereignty” of nation-states in the current financial and institutional catastrophe creates a kind of mirage that makes it easy to forget that in Europe, sovereignty, nationalism and war have always been inseparable.

The event The New Abduction of Europe. Debt, War, Democratic Revolutions hopes to lay the foundations for a radically new European cultural and political agency, driven by the urgency of the situation. It seems futile to call for a Eurocentric humanist consciousness if such consciousness is incapable of reflecting the non-Europe within Europe, the results and challenges of its colonial, imperialistic and fascist past, of the modifications taking place in the world system and of the end of liberal public spheres and the emergence of the network of networks. It is vital that we call for new actors.

It has likely been both the world of cultural and artistic production and the new movements of cognitive and creative work, squeezed between increasing instability and individualisation, and also the social movement of migrations (which has confronted us with the post-colonial skeleton in Europe’s closet), which have practiced and theorized Europe as the smallest possible expression of consistency in the political realm over the last two decades. Perhaps we should examine the Arab springs, or movements such as Spain’s ‘May 15th’ protests, Syntagma Square in Greece, or the events at Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park, to revive hopes for a European spring that can bring an end to the current nightmare. It is impossible to think about a European future without first examining, interpreting and disseminating these experiences, which are not a thing of the past but are fully alive and absolutely of the present."


WHY?

"Debt, War, Democratic Revolutions hopes to lay the foundations for a radically new European cultural and political agency, driven by the urgency of the situation. It seems futile to call for a Eurocentric humanist consciousness if such consciousness is incapable of reflecting the non-Europe within Europe, the results and challenges of its colonial, imperialistic and fascist past, of the modifications taking place in the world system and of the end of liberal public spheres and the emergence of the network of networks. It is vital that we call for new actors.

It has likely been both the world of cultural and artistic production and the new movements of cognitive and creative work, squeezed between increasing instability and individualisation, and also the social movement of migrations (which has confronted us with the post-colonial skeleton in Europe’s closet), which have practiced and theorized Europe as the smallest possible expression of consistency in the political realm over the last two decades. Perhaps we should examine the Arab springs, or movements such as Spain’s ‘May 15th’ protests, Syntagma Square in Greece, or the events at Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park, to revive hopes for a European spring that can bring an end to the current nightmare. It is impossible to think about a European future without first examining, interpreting and disseminating these experiences, which are not a thing of the past but are fully alive and absolutely of the present.

METHODOLOGY

This event does not want to be a flash in the pan, it aims to break down divisions between public debate and collective action, establishing a model that could be replicated in other regions across Europe, offering a strategic and programmatic repertoire that sets it apart from countless other meetings organised in the name of a “European spirit”.

First of all, its object of scrutiny is the European Union itself as well as the idea of a European continent with moving borders and dividing lines.  Secondly, it aims to go beyond a description of localised experiences. In order to build a common process we need to start thinking and imagining things together. This will involve a great deal of preparatory work by the participants before the event itself, using online collaboration and networking tools. That way whatever proposals are put forward can be developed so that the agenda of each one of the workshops can be determined in relation to the debates that will inform the roundtables. Ideally, all of this prior collaborative work will generate valuable resources extending beyond the event itself. To this effect, each of the working groups and the round-table debates will have coordinators in charge of organising this work. In addition, written and audiovisual materials from the event will be compiled and published with a view to stimulating the replication and growth of this type of gathering in other parts of Europe.

WHAT IS IT?

The event will include four round-tables and a debate on the evenings of February 27th – 28th and March 1st. The debates will be open to the public and streamed live. A dialogue will be established with members of the whole audience, whether physically present or participating through  social networks."

SCHEDULE:

Thursday 27th February

18:30 – 19:00 Presentation
Jesús Carrillo, MNCARS

19:00 – 20:00 Opening dialogue
Antonio Negri, Zdenka Badovinac, Manuel Borja-Villel and Raúl Sánchez Cedillo

The austerity policies put in place by European governments through the Troika have turned a financial crisis into a project bent on the destruction of social and workers’ rights, and they have established a regime of infinite debt on individuals and institutions. But new political and institutional creations are demonstrating that debt and democracy based on citizen participation and on social rights are incompatible. In these creations we get a glimpse of prototypes of a Europe made from the bottom up, out of the sense of brotherhood of the social struggles and self-organisation by citizens.

Friday 28th  February

18:30 -19:30 Roundtable 1: Organization in a Time of Crisis
Discussion between Antonio Negri, Valery Alzaga and Ada Colau. Moderator: Raúl Sánchez Cedillo.

The austerity policies put in place by European governments through the Troika have turned a financial crisis into a project bent on the destruction of social and workers’ rights, and they have established a regime of infinite debt on individuals and institutions. But new political and institutional creations are demonstrating that debt and democracy based on citizen participation and on social rights are incompatible. In these creations we get a glimpse of prototypes of a Europe made from the bottom up, out of the sense of brotherhood of the social struggles and self-organisation by citizens.

19:30 – 20:30 Roundtable 2: New Democracies and Paths towards the Commons
Discussion between Isabell Lorey, Montserrat Galcerán and Marina Garcés. Moderator: Someone from FdlC (tbc).

The ideal of social and political citizenship in Europe has never been more than a distant aspiration, constantly belied by the facts. While in effect, it was dominated by a white, male, industrial, national and state-oriented figure. And with the hegemony of the neoliberal paradigm, even the collective reference associated with the working class and union movements has disappeared. The “government of the precarious” is imbued with individualism and the abandonment of collective solidarities. However, the practices of the commons, both those linked to the “natural commons” (water, land, renewable energies) and those linked to the “artificial commons” (knowledge, care-giving, networks) enable us to imagine a Europe united by new institutions of the commons, born out of cooperation and care-giving between precarious lives that have taken the form of a challenge.

20:30 – 21:00 Q&A

Saturday 1st March

18:30 -19:30 Roundtable 3: Europe as a Province
Discussion between Ranabir Samaddar, Sandro Mezzadra and Jesús Carrillo.  Moderator: Francesco Salvini.

The ambiguity of the European project can be seen in its very history. The antifascist brotherhood of the “founding fathers” never questioned the colonial and imperialist reality of the founding nations. The return of the repressed lives in the peripheries of European cities, as the post-colonial reality; banlieue, internal borders and the political exclusion of millions of people. At the same time, the convulsions of the globalisation process all over the world put the continent in a provincial position, i.e. no longer central. The end of the colonial legacy of the European nations is considered a condition for democratic emancipation on the continent.

19:30 – 20:30 Roundtable 4: Towards a New Social Contract for Culture 
Discussion between Carmen Mörsch, Hilary Wainwright and Bojana Piskur. Moderator: Yaiza Hernández.

Culture, which was one of the pillars of the ideological reconstruction of Europe after the war, has seen its enlightened foundations slowly erode as a result of its enclosure in the market and in art institutions, and because of its distance from society’s conflicts and contemporary subjectification processes. What would be the basic elements of this new contract that would put culture at the centre of social emancipation processes?

20:30 – 21:00 Q&A

PARTICIPANTS:

Valery Alzaga. Chicana union organiser and migrant rights activist. She has also worked as a union  co-ordinator in Europe and Africa. She is researching the development of new forms of  bio-unionism and emotional organisation.

Zdenka Badovinac. Director of Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana (Slovenia) since 1993. Curator and art historian. Founding and executive member of the European museum network L’Internationale.

Manuel Borja-Villel. Director of Museo Reina Sofía since 2008. He has also been the director of Fundació Tàpies (1990-1998) and of MACBA (1998-2007). Executive member of the European museum network L´Internationale.

Ada Colau. Activist and spokesperson of PAH (Platform for Mortgage Victims). She has been involved in numerous social movements since 2001. She is the co-author, along with Adriá Alemany, of the book Vidas hipotecadas. De la burbuja inmobiliaria al derecho a la vivienda (2012).

Jesús Carrillo. Head of Cultural Programs at Museo Reina Sofía and professor of art history at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Montserrat Galcerán. Professor of philosophy at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Social activist and writer, she is the author of Innovación tecnológica y sociedad de masas (1997) and Deseo (y) libertad. Presupuestos de la acción colectiva (2009).

Marina Garcés. Professor of philosophy at the University of Zaragoza and consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Since 2002 she has been promoting and coordinating the collective project Espai en Blanc, which works towards an engaged, practical and experimental relationship with philosophical thought. She is the author of Un mundo común (2013) and En las prisiones de lo posible (2012).

Yaiza Hernández. Lecturer in the MRes Art at Central Saint Martins (London) and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. Until 2012, she was Head of Public Programmes at MACBA, before that, she worked as director of CENDEAC (Murcia) and curator at CAAM (Las Palmas). She have recently published Inter/Multi/Cross/Trans. (Montehermoso, 2011). She is currently preparing Repressive Tolerance, and General Theory.

Isabell Lorey. Visiting professor of political theory at the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Basel. She conducts research about the precarization of work and life in neoliberal society, social movements, democracy and representation. She is part of the collective kpD -kleines postfordistisches Drama- and she has published, among other works, Governmentality and self-precarization (2006) and Occupy! Die aktuellen Kämpfe um die Besetzung des Politischen (2012).

Sandro Mezzadra. Professor of contemporary political theory and post-colonial studies at the University of Bologna. He is co-director of the magazine DeriveApprodi, a member of the editorial collective Studi Culturali and he also contributes to the newspaper Il Manifesto. He has published The Right to Escape. Migration, citizenship and globalization (2004) and La condizione postcoloniale. Storia e politica nel mondo globale (2008), among other works.

Carmen Mörsch. Artist, educator and researcher. Director of the Institute for Art Education (IAE) of Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland) and advisor and head researcher for the educational program Documenta 12.

Antonio Negri. Post-operaist philosopher and thinker, co-author, with Michael Hardt, of Empire (2002), Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004) and Commonwealth (2011) and Declaration (2013).

Bojana Piskur. Art historian, curator at the Moderna Galerija of Ljubljana and a founding member of the group Radical Education.

Francesco Salvini. Sociologist and researcher at Queen Mary University, he also forms part of the social centre Exit-Raval and of Universidad Nómada.

Ranabir Samaddar. Director of the Calcutta Research Group. He has conducted numerous studies on the human rights issue in the conflicts of South Asia. He is the author of The Politics of Dialogue (2004), Emergence of the Political Subject (2009) and The Nation Form (2012).

Raúl Sánchez Cedillo. Translator and editor of books by authors such as Toni Negri and Felix Guattari. Since the 1990s he has been involved in various political networks and research groups in post-operaist circles. He is part of Universidad Nómada and of the Fundación de los Comunes.

Hilary Wainwright. Feminist sociologist and activist, she is a researcher at the Transnational Institute and at the International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS). She is the editor and co-founder of the British magazine Red Pepper.