TO THE FUTURE PUBLIC Act#1:
Después del Futuro / بعد المستقبل / After the Future / Μετά το μέλλον
How can we imagine a different future from a position of precarity from the point of view of Athens and other locations? In what ways can artistic practices and forms of organization connect with the experiences and the collective demands of of those who they claim to represent? How can we develop new relations, tactics and fields of action, through the reading of local situations, from within a condition of global segregations? What are the features of the future public that we are addressing?
We invite you to a participatory discussion based on a collective exercise on the development of a “science fiction” script : From our various angles of viewing, what possible futures do we see? What are the necessary conditions and the next steps that need to be made in order to reach them? What are the differences between utopias and dystopias?
May 16th, 16 – 20.00 : Presentation of the ARTIrafiti project and participatory workshop part 1. Directed by Jose Iglesias Gª-Arenal και Charo Romero Donaire.
Screenings: Sam Jury / Left Hand Rotation
Public performance by Cesar Garcia (Mexico)
May 17th, 19.00 – 21.30 : Participatory workshop part 2. Participatory action in the public sphere. Directed by Jose Iglesias Gª-Arenal και Charo Romero Donaire.
From the point of view of Athens, TO THE FUTURE PUBLIC attempts to formulate a meeting point between local communities, artists, researchers, activists and initiatives with a focus on self-organization and cooperative economy, connecting various locations in the world in an open, decentralized and evolving testing laboratory for the exploration of future curatorial and artistic practices, bringing together different voices from various fields, with different perspectives and backgrounds.
The platform focuses on providing a collaborative framework for in-situ responses to specific sites or contexts in the public sphere of Athens, while thinking collectively about ways to act when thinking beyond a frozen future is inconceivable, an institutional limit impossible to cross. Through interventions, performances, ephemeral installations, assemblies, research-based projects, workshops and cartographies, the areas of the city center are responded to as field that is experienced and performed - an intricate web of inter-dependencies, conflicts, and radical syntheses. We resist the “exoticised” and abstracted narratives of Athens as being ”unique” and "creative" due to crisis as constructed and traded in a market of symbolic capital conforming to the prerogatives of an international art market, institutional and urban development interests. Within such framings ideas like collectivity, performativity, "inventive" institutional models, and alternative commons lose their radical potential and are thus relegated to harmless themes. This comes at a moment when basic human rights are considered a state security risk, when sweeping economic restructuring converts the global majority into a segregated precarious surplus, and when a widespread hostility to the very notion of society has become commonplace rhetoric, at a time when the public sphere, as both concept and reality, is under threat. The question of representation, of who is telling the story in the name of whom, emerges as the core issue at stake.
Furthermore, what was once idealistically imagined as a homogeneous public is now clearly perceived as far from sharing common interests, and equal rights of access. Therefore, the question concerning the utopian nature of a future public becomes truly urgent today.
As agents working locally and engaged in global discourse, we stand in support of ground-up participation and art as a catalyst for organizing, reviving, rethinking, and remaking the everyday experience. Seeking counter-narratives to the increasing industrialization of the cultural field, we trace the radical points of intersection with the practices of others from around the world, who are also working from within and outside existing institutional framings, and whose locally focused work constitute de-facto deflections from accepted paradigms within the globally established art economy. Resisting cultural and artistic monopolies, we support, by all means possible, the creation of new temporary spaces in the overlapping zones of art, political activism, and theory - spaces where the boundaries between artists and public are blurred, where the concept of "expertise" is fluid and radical relations become possible. From the standpoint of Athens, we envision a shift away from models based on the exporting of cultural capital, towards a new hierarchy of priorities based upon actual needs and sustainable practices. In doing so, we strive for the development of participatory, inclusive models and strategies, and attempt to carry out the urgent task of cultivating horizontal communication and exchanges between movements across social, geographical and institutional divides.
Después del Futuro/ ب دع الم س تقبل /After the Future
Μετά το μέλλον: Eccentric movements
Jose Iglesias Gª-Arenal και Charo Romero Donaire
Después del Futuro/ ب دع الم س تقبل /After the Future pretends to be a technical platform to find a way beyond the barrier of the future, outside from a lineal time fated to a continuos repetition.
Después del Futuro/ ب دع الم س تقبل /After the Future was founded during the curatorial preparation of the 10th edition of ARTifariti, International Art and Human Rights Meeting of Western Sahara, in the refugee camps of Tindouf (Algeria), 2016, an edition dedicated to the young generation of Saharawis who were born after 1991, year of the ceasefire between Morocco and Western Sahara, a time of technical peace, but where the temporal refugee camps started to be seen as a
permanent “solution”. ARTifariti 2016 was an event where we worked with Saharawi, Algerian and foreign artists to think collectively about how to act when thinking beyond a frozen future is inconceivable, an institutional limit impossible to cross.
The conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara has always been read as a problem based in an identitarian issue: if there is or not a Saharawi people and if they legitimately own or not own a territory. During ARTifariti 2016, we tried to expand this speech and reading Western Sahara problematic in a global scale: as a tangled point where very different political, economical and historical lines cross.
Can we develop a collective movement which is not based in identity?
With Agamben, we understand the camp (not the city) as the social basic structure of our time. We traveled to the Saharawi refugee camps looking for tools to navigate our present, seen ourselves lost in a drift without reference points. What we found was a young generation surviving in a saline desert and designing an
utopia. Utopias is what we need. Thinking placed in the refugee camps of Western Sahara (camps founded more than 40 years ago) gives us a radical starting point to begin an eccentric movement.
Athens is marked on the map as a point of crisis. Economic crisis, politic crisis, social crisis, philosophical crisis, urban crisis, neoliberal crisis, refugee crisis… We do not really know what is happening there. The information is confuse and all the speeches produce a noise that makes invisible the energy waves which are currently transforming the city.
We go to Athens with intuitions and questions. We are in the middle of a complex trip, from the Saharawi refugee camps to the destitutional conflicts of London and the neoliberal violence of Buenos Aires. The local details and the scale of the problems are very different, but we perceived a common flux, the same fluid of violence going through architectures and bodies. We want to tell you about our
strategies and our experience sailing through these places, and to hear from you about the current situation of Athens.
We need to build a new geography to represent a world enclosed in a
temporal cyclotron. We need new maps to understand the effects of these new violences in our bodies in a global level.
From Después del Futuro/ ب دع الم س تقبل /After the Future we want to propose a space to think global transformations from specific situations, accepting knowledge as a precarious language and understanding places and bodies as two inseparable categories.
Our proposal takes form through a long time workshop where we will present our work in the refugee camps of Western Sahara. We will talk about the current situation of the young generation of Saharawi, who were born as refugees there and how we collaborate with them to develop an international artistic meeting.
We will attach the presentation with some of the visual material realised by different artists during ARTifariti, as we will tell abut the problems we are having translating our experience in very different contexts, as an exhibition in Lanús (south of Buenos Aires), a public museum in Spain or the “emerging artistic sphere”
After this first presentation, the second part of the workshop will be based in a debate to analyse the current position of Athens and the local strategies. To impulse the dialogue we have designed a structure based in a sci-fi exercise: What are the possible futures? Where are the differences between utopia and dystopia?
At some point, we will display the melfas, artworks produced during
ARTifariti by a group of young Saharawi females, sculptural paintings usually used as dresses. These pieces works as collective portraits, landscapes or impossible flags. We will install them creating an architectural installation as a core for a future
The history of the House of Refugees began in 1997 on the 1st floor of Valtetsiou 35 in Exarchia, with the initiative of the Network of Social Support for Refugees. Gradually, a meeting space was developed between migrants and greeks, a space of solidarity, co-existance, freedom and exchange. At the House run community meetings, the assembly for the coordination of the antiracist and refugee support self organised groups of Athens, events, talks, and also a self-organised information bureau for refugees. Here was born the idea of an antiracist festival of Athens. The House also has a cultural function, as a space that organises music concerts, social events and exhibitions. Many free language and other classes are held here, openly accessible and run by volunteer teachers. This space of encounters between people and ideas has led to the creation of many new groups and bonds, bringing together different worlds. The care of the space is shared collectively, and has thus far surpassed every expectation.