Saturday, 22 September 2012
Quite opposite to Austrian tradition, the Masala Brass Kollektiv is organised without a command structure, but with about twenty brass musicians who claim to be amateurs. The Masala Brass Kollektiv plays its own compositions and arrangements, be it Balkan brass, klezmer, reggae, funk or rock. As brass music creates its best impact on the streets, where activists operate, Masala Brass Kollektiv is often asked for musical support by political initiatives.
“Truth is concrete” replaces business as usual during the first week of this year‘s steirischer herbst festival - but it is just a start: The festival continues afterwards with exhibitions, performances, concerts further investigating the relationship between art and politics.
Performance by Kavecs (GR)
"The black circle" project is an improvisation on the ideological complexities of the European countries under crisis. Drawing upon the recent experience in Greece and the political radicalisation of the Greek youth since December 2008, "The black circle" manifests the dark sides of collective mobilisation and the allure of alternative definitions of national identity and European geography. "The black circle" performances are ambivalent appropriations of ideas and aesthetics that inform the so-called third-positionism today.
Antanas Mockus (CO) in conversation with Joanna Warsza (PL)
When Antanas Mockus took over Bogotá for the first time as mayor in 1995, the city was considered as one of the most hopeless in the world. Mockus got elected without the backing of a political party – and employed artistic tactics to change the fate of Bogotá: mime artists regulated the streets, weapons were exchanged for toys, a big heart was cut out of his bullet-proof vest … With ideas like these, Mockus not only brought back a feeling of civil responsibility to the citizens, but he also was successful in hard numbers: the homicide rate fell 33%, traffic fatalities 50%, 7,000 community security groups were formed and more than 60,000 people voluntarily paid 10% more taxes to support his policies.
Lecture by Srđa Popović / CANVAS (SRB)
The internet age has brought new types of protest, such as hacktivism, clicktivism and even slacktivism. Now one can witness the rise of a new -ism: Laughtivism – the use of humour in social mobilisation and nonviolent action. Political satire is nothing new but laughtivism applies the idea of subversion through humour directly in protest. Laughtivism derives its power from the ability to melt fear – the lifeblood of dictators – build the morale of groups and cut to the core of out of touch leaders, sensitive to derision because of their intense narcissism. 2012 was a bad year for dictators and there is hope that 2013 will be good for democracy.
Antanas Mockus (CO) continues his conversation with Joanna Warsza (PL)
When Antanas Mockus took over Bogotá for the first time as mayor in 1995, the city was considered as one of the most hopeless in the world. Mockus got elected without the backing of a political party – and employed artistic tactics to change the fate of Bogotá: mime artists regulated the streets, weapons were exchanged for toys, a big heart was cut out of his bullet-proof vest …
Tactic talk by Arash T. Riahi (A/IR) & Arman T. Riahi (A/IR)
“Everyday rebellion” is a cross-media project paying tribute to the creativity of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience. With a cinema documentary and an online platform, it deals with borders of political paradigms. Global nonviolent activists share their activities, beliefs and destinies. An app for smart phones, to support street movements, will be created, as well as a desktop game to be used in schools to teach students about the possibilities for peaceful protest.
Tactic talk by Róza El-Hassan (H/SYR)
Toma Sik and Róza El-Hassan met in 2002 in Budapest. He defined himself as social non-artist and socialised bon vivant, practicing the art of life. Far before others, in the 1960s and 70s, Toma Sik started in the Palestinian/Israeli peace movement as a human rights activist while living in Tel Aviv. He was a vegan, anarchist and cosmopolite. When one looks at Sik‘s heritage today; his life, his message and poems, one could get an urgent feeling to follow his path.
Discussion and presentation of film clips with Arash T. Riahi (A/IR) & Arman T. Riahi (A/IR) (Everyday Rebellion), hosted by Claus Philipp (A)
All over the world the brothers Riahi film and collect material for an epic documentary about global tendencies of opposition, resistance and rebellion. For the first time they will present outtakes to a broader audience.
Tactic talk by Jeudi Noir (F)
Using humour and derision, Jeudi Noir hacks the media in order to spread its social and political message. Armed with costume and fake bank notes and helped by the frenzy of social networks, they create flash mobs on-the-go. Jeudi Noir has had to find a way to use the media that are sometimes reluctant to relay civil disobedience. The next step to hack buildings, choosing significant places and occupying them to make sure politicians speak about major and everyday housing problems.
Tactic talk by Don Karl aka Stone (D)
The Arab uprisings triggered an explosion of graffiti and street art in the Middle East. Graffiti has been one of the most important tools to express public dissent. Thus walls become the interactive newspaper of the people. In Syria everything started with kids writing graffiti on school walls, while a popular political street art movement formed in Egypt. Artists were detained in many countries throughout the region and in Libya and Syria were even tortured and killed.
Performance by Davis Freeman (USA/B), Jerry Killick (GB)
Supported by Andreas Semlitsch (A)
There is a lot of talk about the impending ecological doom, but what can one really do about it? How can one convert one’s words into action? Bribery! An unorthodox preacher will present a late night topical performance that proposes 7 actions that could possibly fend off this future disaster. By passing out almost free alcohol with a few moral costs, “7 promises” hopes to change the world one vodka shot at a time!
Concert by Lexxus Légal (CGO)
The rough texts of Lexxus Légal denounce the ills haunting Africa in general and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular, especially Kinshasa: From corruption to globalisation, from trickle down theories to pity economy: Lexxus Légal calls for human rights as well as for freedom of speech to express the people’s frustration. He claims his africanity and criticises some misleading traditions; at the same time, hoping to contribute to the realisation of the dream of a unified and fair Africa.
DJ-Set by Brian Shimkovitz (USA)
Supported by DJ Black Fox Tropikal (A)
A trip to the music cultures of an entire continent: after a stint in Ghana researching the local hip-hop movement, Brooklyn‘s Brian Shimkovitz has accumulated hundreds of cassette tapes of rare African music from Zimbabwe to Ethiopia to Senegal. He has been sharing his bounty through his popular blog "Awesome tapes from Africa" – and he takes these tapes on the road as a DJ. He is accompanied by Black Fox Tropikal who combines African and Carribean music styles with contemporary pop.
Excursions by Theater im Bahnhof (A)
With Marta Navaridas / The Loose Collective (A)
Just before the crack of dawn, Theater im Bahnhof invites us to excursions in the urban space. These daily get-togethers for breakfast and a walk in the city of Graz make room for encounters off the beaten track of the busy times during daytime. Every destination has its own main focus and no two excursions are alike.
This morning: Join collective polit-sports in the early hours of the morning at a spot, highly characteristic for Graz as a city of bans, which will be a perfect build-up for election campaigns to come.
Yoga for the masses by Sri Louise (USA)
To start the day, Sri Louise invites us to Yoga for the masses. These open level sessions are geared to awaken one‘s political body by exploring what the renunciation of capitalism means for the global revolution. Each class is accompanied by a series of songs to promote the journey. First up on the playlist, in solidarity with Spanish and South African miners, is an old union song revamped by Ani DiFranco asking, “Which Side Are You On?“
Lecture by Bettina Knaup (D)
Feminist queer artists of different generations understand performance art as a laboratory for new forms of (collective) action and social/political practice (Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Tanja Ostojić, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz et al.). These artists propose a relational feminism that defines urban space as somatic practice or stresses the autonomy of migration, a queer time policy of “temporal drag” and the strategy of performative invisibility.
Tactic talk by Femen (UA)
Feminism means that one has to fight – even with crazy weapons. Feminism is not something only to be written about in books: Femen have provoked a number of small revolutions in mass media, claiming “If I am not a feminist, I am a slave to men”. The reaction to their bare breasted protests measures freedom in each country where Femen take action.
Hosted by Joanna Warsza (PL)
With ArtLeaks, Jakob Braeuer (D), Nikolai Klimeniouk (RUS/UA), Dimitry Vilensky / Chto Delat (RUS), Hans Winkler (D), Wolfgang Vacarescu (A) & WochenKlausur (A)
Since 1969, the Belgian writer and satirist Noël Godin has attacked well known people with cream pies: Jean-Luc Godard, Nicolas Sarkozy and Bill Gates have been among his victims. In the US, one can be sentenced for cream pie throwing for up to six months, but Godin was proclaimed innocent, as he was aligned with the surrealist tradition.
On September 30, 2004 a car accident by a Polish and a German vehicle in the middle of the Polish-German border disturbed traffic for some hours. The crash happened at the very place where it is impossible to determine which legislation should apply. The accident was arranged by the artist Hans Winkler, testing the boundaries between art and criminality.
The block of short lectures and interventions will look upon art, which is legally on the edge, which dares to enter the area of the forbidden to make political or social use of it. Based on case studies – such as the show trial of Pussy Riot in Moscow or revisiting the action “Immigrant Labour Issues” of WochenKlausur at steirischer herbst 1995 – it tries to answer what is the nature of the conflict between “immunity” of art and the concrete truths of the paragraphs. How to create the grey zones, which make art enable what otherwise is illegal? And how the normative can be re-negotiated with the help of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression and freedom of art?
Lecture and screening by The Pinky Show (USA)
The Pinky Show cats produce a wide range of research-forms and texts in order to address a simple question: “In the face of disaster-level human stupidity, what can ordinary nobodies like ourselves do to try to make things better?“ Pinky & Bunny show how they use simple analytical instruments and inexpensive, D.I.Y. production techniques to help move people towards a critique of our most deeply-held stories.
An open conversation with Köken Ergun (D/TR) and Carlos Celdran (RP)
Köken Ergun and Carlos Celdran interview each other about works like "Palastinian Stamp" and "Binibining Promised Land".
Short film by Leah Borromeo (GB)
Commissioned by the British Channel 4, “Random acts” are shot in collaboration with their subjects as they play in that space and truth between journalism and art. No. 138 shows artists and activists launching a poignant paper aeroplane “assault” on London‘s Syrian Embassy in solidarity with Syrians killed in protests against Bashar al-Assad.
Facilitated by Hector Huerga (ES)
Every day the camp comes together to reflect and discuss whatever is leftover, whatever is boiling, whatever has to be said. The General Assembly is facilitated every day by a different moderator – offering different ways of thinking and discussing, of exchanging and criticising.
General Assembly is moderated by Hector Huerga according to the principles of consensus used by 15M movement and Occupy: As a forum for exchange of opinions, feelings, thoughts, as a place not just to be heard, but to learn how to listen. It is therefore a metaphorical space of silence where words and individual ideas have to flow from one to another to end up building something together.
Lecture and audience choir by Salam Yousry (ET)
The Choir Project is based on workshops open to everyone without demanding artistic experience. People share their thoughts, listen, really listen, write songs collectively. Within two years, The Choir Project has established a network of more than 500 people around the world. A unity of differences in languages, backgrounds and interests – from Cairo to Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, over to London, Munich, Berlin, Paris, Istanbul and now Graz.
Tactics talk by Marina Naprushkina (BY)
The Office for Anti-Propaganda is an archive of videos, texts, artworks and graphic images, focused on analysing how the authoritarian system in Belarus operates and what possible role critical culture might play in bringing about a Belarusian Spring. The Office participates and organises political actions and publishes underground newspapers which are distributed in Belarus and the world.
Tactic talk by Michal Murin (SK) & Milan Adamčiak (SK)
Since 2005, Michal Murin has been engaged in an extensive project about and with Milan Adamčiak, a formerly very well-known representative of Fluxus in Slovakia. Using the processes of intuitive management, amateur banking, do-it-yourself dealership, hobbyist real-estate brokerage and enthusiastic editorship, Murin has spent seven years recreating an artist who had disappeared from public view for twenty years.