Tag: Chto Delat

OPEN LETTER ON THE WITHDRAWAL FROM THE TEACH-IN ON UKRAINE | by Dmitry Vilensky

IRI shares the Declaration by Dmitry Vilensky published on Chto Delat website with the idea to open a space of critical thinking on the complex present situation that art and cultural institutions are called to face.

“With great sadness, Daria Serenko (Feminist Anti-war resistance)  and I have decided not to participate in the discussion organized by Creative Time and Vera List Center “Teach-in on Ukraine for Artists and Activists”. We want to thank Larissa Babji, Nikita Kadan, and Mykola Ridnyi for their willingness to take part in this event together with us.

After spreading information about the event on social media, Daria and I both received a lot of angry messages. The accusation was that Western experts and Russian activists would have nothing to teach about the war in Ukraine, and that especially the Russians should give their places to Ukrainian speakers in light of the current situation.

Of course, neither Daria nor I can teach anybody anything about Ukraine – just opposite, we were invited modestly to talk about the situation around anti-war protests in Russia and to show solidarity with the Ukrainian struggle.  We totally respect and understand the anger of anyone who is demanding a total and undifferentiated boycott of Russian voices in any context. There are no nuances in class war, as we used to say.

Those in Russia who have resisted the local fascist regime from the very beginning and have not received anything from it except repression, we do not need to be celebrated.

It is our privilege that we never had to speak from the position of nation, force, militarization, and violent struggle. This has never been our language of resistance. We have always spoken from the position of weakness, vulnerability and care that today is shared by all protesters in Russia and Belarus, facing draconic wartime legislation  We will continue our anti-war campaigns in all possible forms.

Today’s growing movement against the war and the fascist regime continues an age-old struggle in Russia against autocracy and colonialism. We are proud to belong to this tradition which the current regime is trying to silence and erase.

There is an old Polish slogan: For our freedom and yours (Za naszą i waszą wolność). It was first seen in 1831 at a patriotic demonstration in Warsaw, held to commemorate the Russian Decembrists. In partitioned Poland, it meant that a Polish victory would also mean liberty for the peoples of Russia–fellow inmates in that “prison house of the peoples.” The slogan made it clear: the Polish struggle for self-determination and nationhood was aimed not at the Russian people but at tsarist despotism. It was also a call to action. To be freed from serfdom at the arbitrary hands of oligarchs and bureaucrats, Russians would have to topple the regime that expands into other countries and colonizes them. This common history of struggle against Russian imperial autocracy has a colossal meaning to all “real” Russian culture–and not the one we are now “learning” about from Putin and his cronies.

Today, what we need most are discussions based on mutual respect and solidarity. We cannot participate in discussions where all Russians and everything Russian is considered as a culture of oppression and colonization. We respect this view of Ukrainian patriots at a time of fascist war, in light of all the regime’s atrocities. But we cannot agree. Silencing our common history and our emancipatory heritage is exactly what Putin is doing. Please do not help him.

Nevertheless, we support your fight; it is our fight as well. We still believe that this war is not Russia’s war, but that of PutinZ and his regime and we are grateful to you for this chance to formulate and advocate this position.

Glory to Ukraine, glory to the people of Belarus and Russia who resist, glory to anyone who does their best to stop the war and care about life not death!”

Dmitry Vilensky, 12.03.2022

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PEOPLE OF FLOUR WATER AND SALT by Chto Delat

photo courtesy of Free Home University

Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche exhibition – Open / Abierto 15 – 30 September 2021, Mo-Sun / L-D 10:00 – 22:00 Location / Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala, Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares Calle de Carlos Arniches, 3, Madrid

The learning film People of Flour, Salt and Water realized by the Russian art collective during the 2019 session of Free Home University result of A long-term militant and artistic research started in 2015 with A Slow Orientation in Zapatism, exploring the influence of Zapatista’s politics and poetics, beyond the original context of their struggle in Chiapas, Mexico. A collective study of some early texts of Subcomandante Marcos with a group of refugees and asylum seekers, artists and activists will result into an investigation in the form of a learning-film. Through somatic, dance and vocal exercises, living together, and filmmaking, the group will resonate with aspects of Zapatismo, -re-imagining a politics of the everyday, and forms of autonomy and solidarity to undo the neoliberal pervasiveness in every sphere of life.  

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ABOUT THE FOOTPRINTS, WHAT WE HIDE IN POCKETS AND OTHER SHADOWS OF HOPE by Chto Delat

image: Still from the film

Somos fragmentos de la luz que impide que todo sea noche exhibition – Open / Abierto 15 – 30 September 2021, Mo-Sun / L-D 10:00 – 22:00 Location / Lugar Centro Cultural La Corrala, Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares Calle de Carlos Arniches, 3, Madrid

A film in seven portraits / Una película en siete retratos

This public performance and the film were realized in collaboration with participants of the Solidarity school in Pireus and its teachers. It comes as a result of the process of integration of few key texts of Subcommandante Markos into educational process of learning Greek language. This texts and meeting with Stavros Stavrides who run a seminar about long relations between Zapatista movement and political activists in Greece have created a new situation of learning in between many real and imaginary situations.  In the performance we integrate two narratives – one comes from the Zapatista texts where Durito – the fictional beetle character explains in metaphorical way some basic ideas of Zapatistas movement and personal stories from the life of the performance participants – the refuges from different countries who arrived to live in Greece. These narratives are represented in the form of shadow theater. It was realized as a result of the workshop under direction of Stathis Markopoulos who introduces the participants into basic methods and organization of shadow theater. In this film we see how reality intertwine with the fiction and our imagination is overcoming the cruel limitation of our world and creates a shadow of hope. The film also reflects a production situation during pandemic and how we are able to deal with limitation brutally imposed on our lives. 

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IRI MEETING #3 ATHENS | SOLIDARITY SCHOOLS

With the collaboration of the Solidarity School Mesopotamia and the Open School Piraeus, the Institute of Radical Imagination created a space to reflect on practices of radical pedagogy and set up together with solidarity schools for social activation and political prefiguration of education in the commons.

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SUMMER SCHOOL OF SLOW ORIENTATION IN ZAPATISM by CHTO DELAT

Thursday 31st 20:00 – 21:30: Summer School of Slow Orientation in Zapatism, 2017. In the framework of IRI Madrid Meeting May 2018 an artists talk by Olga Egorova and Smitry Vilensky, collective Chto DelatFilmoteca popular de la Ingobernable, 3rd floor.

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IRI MEETING #2 MADRID | URBAN COMMONS

The second gathering of the Institute of Radical Imagination takes place from 28th of May to 2nd of June 2018 at the Ingobernable, Madrid.

The five-days event in Madrid will consist in two parallel sets of events: a MASTER in Urban Commons, organized by La Ingobernable in collaboration with IRI and involving various Spanish urban commons and social centres and a three-day workshop about the Institute of Radical Imagination’s forms of governance, sustainability, future projects and potential collaborations with social centres and urban commons across Europe’s south, the Mediterranean and the global South.

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