School of Resistance

Politik und Kunst auf dem Weg in eine postkapitalistische Ära ökonomischer und sozialer Alternativen.

Livestream der aktuellen Veranstaltung

Donnerstag, 14. Januar, Live Online um 18:00 MEZ

Politics of Interdependence
Ein Gespräch mit Lynne Segal (England), Edna Bonhomme (Haiti, USA, Germany) und Anne Jung (Germany)


Die School of Resistance ist eine Serie von livestream-Debatten, die in einem zweiwöchentlichen Rhythmus stattfinden. Die Debatten sollen uns beim Sprung aus der Pandemie in eine „postkapitalistische Ära ökonomischer und sozialer Alternativen“ helfen.

Das Projekt des IIPM und Milo Rau sowie des NTGent, in Zusammenarbeit mit der Akademie der Künste Berlin, medico international & Merve Verlag, wird gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

Der Theatermacher Milo Rau und medico international beteiligen sich seit längerem schon an einer Gratwanderung zwischen Politik und Kunst. medico-Partner*innen spielten eine maßgebliche Rolle bei der Gründung der General Assembly, einem politisch-künstlerischem Vorgriff auf ein längst überfälliges menschenrechtsrevolutionäres Weltparlament. Im vergangenen Jahr unterstützten wir die „Revolte der Würde“, in der Rau mit migrantischen Arbeiter*innen im süditalienischen Matera eine Re-Inszenierung von Christus‘ Einzug in Jerusalem vornahm.

In diesem Jahr wollten Aktivist*innen des brasilianischen MST – seit langem ebenfalls eine medico-Partnerorganisation – mit der Unterstützung Milo Raus eine Aktualisierung der Antigone-Tragödie wagen, die dann auch in Berlin zu sehen gewesen wäre – von Debatten begleitet, an denen sich auch medico beteiligt hätte. Die Corona-Pandemie hat diesen Plan vorerst vereitelt. Doch mit der School of Resistance demonstrieren wir, dass wir uns dadurch vom Sprung in die „postkapitalistische Ära“ nicht abhalten lassen, an dem wir weiterarbeiten werden – Tag für Tag, auch und nicht zuletzt in der Kommunikation von Kunst und Politik. Korrespondenzen zur Veranstaltungsserie des „Utopischen Raums“ sind nicht zufällig, sondern beabsichtigt.

Episode 12: Politics of Interdependence

Ein Gespräch mit Lynne Segal (England), Edna Bonhomme (Haiti, USA, Germany) und Anne Jung (Germany)

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Our world is ruled by carelessness. Even if the migration crisis and the climate crisis had already tried to bring the truth to light, it is the corona pandemic who made us face that reality. To end the corona crisis and thus save lives, it would require a global solidarity. But with nations fighting over patents and vaccines, the access to health care is a privilege in a world shaped by economic inequality. The dignity of human life is at the centre of our democracy, but are we truly taking care to protect it?

In the twelfth episode of School of Resistance we bring together the academic and co-author of the essay The Care Manifesto Lynne Segal, the historian with an interest in the history of epidemics Edna Bonhomme and the political scientist calling for a global health care Anne Jung to discuss a politics of interdependence. What would a truly caring world look like?

Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor in Psychosocial Studies at Birkeck, London. She has published many books, the most recent Out of Time: The Pleasures & Perils of Ageing and Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy. She is currently working on the politics of care, and disavowals of dependency.

Edna Bonhomme is a writer, historian of science, and interdisciplinary artist. She holds a PhD in the History of Science from Princeton University and a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. As a researcher, Edna’s work interrogates the archaeology of (post)colonial science, embodiment, and surveillance. A central question of her work asks: What makes people sick?

Anne Jung is a political scientist, head of the communications department and has worked for many years as a global health officer at the socio-medical development and human rights organisation medico international. medico promotes the human right to access best possible access to health.

Episode 11: Reproduction, Family and the Body

Ein Gespräch mit Aleksandra Sidoruk (Polen) und Sophie Lewis (USA)

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The eleventh episode of School of Resistance brings together the feminist theoretician and author of the book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family Sophie Lewis and the Polish activist and member of the feminist organisation Gals4Gals Lodz Aleksandra Siroduk. Tackling themes such as gestational work, motherhood and ownership, they will call for an international feminist future.

When on October 22nd, the Constitutional Court decided to impose a near-total ban on abortion in Poland, it sparked a nationwide anti-government protest movement, commonly known as the Women’s Strike. But this isn’t about abortion rights alone. Just like China’s one-child policy that provoked numerous of forced abortions, the Polish situation illustrates how authoritarian regimes are eager to appropriate female bodies as an ideological weapon in implementing national identities. But how can me make sure women’s struggles are finally put at the centre of the political agenda?

Aleksandra Sidoruk is a third-year student of International Relations at the University of Lodz, an activist passionate about foreign politics, human rights, and democracy and board member of the feminist organisation Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom (Gals4Gals Lodz).

Sophie Lewis is a writer living in Philadelphia and a part-time faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Sophie's interdisciplinary work tends to blend feminist theory and cultural criticism, interrogating work, nature, and reproduction in a queer utopian mode. Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family is her first book.

Episode 10: Speaking the Truth is not Crime

Ein Gespräch mit Ece Temelkuran (Türkei), Renata Ávila (Guatemala) und Cian Westmoreland (USA)

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In the tenth episode of School of Resistance, the Turkish author and ex-journalist Ece Temelkuran will discuss together with the former drone program technician and whistle-blower Cian Westmoreland the right of free speech and its responsibility in an age of disinformation.

On January 4th, court will announce its judgement in the extradition trial of Julian Assange, journalist and founder of the media organisation Wikileaks that revealed among others several war crimes committed by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Being charged with 17 criminal counts under the US Espionage Act and facing 175 years of jailtime, not only Assange, but the whole of press freedom and free speech is at risk. But what does free speech mean today? Is it a necessary right for the powerless and a tool to expose wrongdoings and bring the truth to light? Or a weapon of the powerful to silence critical voices and a threat to our democracy?

Ece Temelkuran is one of Turkey’s best-known novelists and political commentators, appearing in the Guardian, New York Times, New Statesman and Der Spiegel. Her recent novel Women Who Blow on Knots won the 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. In 2019, she received “Honorary Citizenship” from the city of Palermo for her work on behalf of oppressed voices.

Cian Westmoreland, drone engineer and Whistleblower. He worked at the Ramstein Air Base and helped develop the communications structures which the drone program in Afghanistan is based on. In 2010 he decided to publically speak about his work.

Renata Ávila is an international human rights lawyer. She is a 2020 Stanford Race and Technology Fellow at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She is a Board member for Creative Commons, the Common Action Forum, Cities for Digital Rights, Article 19 Mexico & Central America, and a Global Trustee of Digital Future Society. She also serves as a member of the Coordinating Collective of DiEM25.

Episode 9: A Global Jurisdiction for a Global Economy

Ein Gespräch mit Miriam Saage-Maaß (Deutschland) und Sylvestre Bisimwa (D. R. Kongo)

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The global economy is out of control. All over the world, multinational companies are violating human rights, disregarding labour rights, relocating people and destroying habitats without being held accountable. Often, states depend on corporate investments, or a few corrupt politicians earn enough from them to accept the damage to the population. With complicated and dynamic networks of subcontractors and the outsourcing of risky business, responsibility becomes diffuse. In addition, sophisticated strategies of tax avoidance and tax havens are used. The results are devastating. The overexploitation of the planet's resources for the production of cheap products is driving the collapse of the global ecosystem. Enourmous global economic inequalities fuel social conflicts and force people to flee. What can civil society, what can states do to hold globally operating companies accountable again? Do we need a global justice system to get the economy back under control?

The ninth episode of School of Resistance will host the lawyer and vice legal director of the European Center of Constitutional and Huma Rights (ECCHR) Miriam Saage-Maaß and the lawyer and chief investigator of “The Congo Tribunal” Sylvestre Bisimwa to speak about global justice und die “Kolwezi Hearings”, investigating the activities of the Swiss company Glencore in the D.R. Congo.

Miriam Saage-Maaß is a lawyer and vice legal director at European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), where she coordinates the Business and Human Rights program. She has worked on various cases against corporations, including proceedings against Lidl relating to the exploitation of workers in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and against companies trading in cotton picked by forced child labor in Uzbekistan.

Sylvstre Bisimwa regularly practices as a lawyer at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and was also a lawyer in the trial against the mass rapes perpetrated by the Congolese military in the city of Minova, the only trial of its kind to date. He is the chief investigator of the “Congo Tribunal”, a global economic tribunal of civil society, created in 2015 by Milo Rau and about which an award-winning documentary film was released in 2017.

Episode 8: The Paranoia of the Western Mind

Warum ist es so schwierig, einen nichteuropäischen Universalismus anzuerkennen? Ein Gespräch mit Achille Mbembe (Cameroon)

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Recently, Achille Mbembe, one of the most important African thinkers of our age, provoked a complex debate because of a comparison of the Israeli policy of occupation with South African apartheid. Once again, the so-called postcolonial perspective (known for its transhistorical comparison of political and especially colonial violence) clashed with a perspective centred on the “incomparability” of the inner-European genocide (the Holocaust), elevated to a moral imperative. Even if the writings of Mbembe were misread: the longer the debate lasted, the more irreconcilable the two perspectives became.

What lies behind the obvious incapacity of the Western mind to recognize non-European comparisons or even universals? What are the historic, political, and topical sources of this paranoia? Starting from such questions, the discussion will focus on Mbembe’s intellectual work about statehood, violence, death, slavery, capital, sexuality, urbanity, and political economies of brutality, which are imagined and objectified by race, racism, and colonialism.

Achille Mbembe (1957, Otélé, Cameroon), is a philosopher, political theorist, and public intellectual. He is one of the most important living authors on the aftereffects of colonialism. He coined the term “necropolitics” to describe the management of death and destruction associated with colonial dominance and genocide. He lives in Johannesburg.

Episode 7: Environmental Repercussions

Leben in einer kompromittierten Welt. Ein Gespräch mit Gail Bradbrook (UK), Alexis Shotwell (Kanada) und Alice Swift (UK)

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When a recent UN report noted that the 4-7% CO2 emission drop caused by the Corona virus would have to be replicated every year until 2030 in order to control the climate crisis, it seems like the modern world opened Pandora’s box. From predictions of mass flooding and water-borne disease to uninhabitable temperatures and irreparable destruction to biodiversity, visions of the future are bleak. With such a dark, but very real message, how do we find hope? How do we resist in a way that can build a future, rather than just preserve the present? And how do these new ecological hopes shape our methods of resistance; should we be occupying coal fields and rainforests in order to push for renewable energy or reject modern consumption altogether and move closer to nature?

In the seventh episode of the School of Resistance series, NTGent and the IIPM bring together some of the leading fighters in the environmental movement as well as thinkers and theorists, such as the co-founder of the movement Extinction rebellion Gail Bradbrook, the Canadian philosopher Alexis Shotwell and the climate justice activist Alice Swift, to discuss their strategies of resistance and environmental visions, hoping to find where they converge. This will be a discussion about the diversity of ecological thinking, and what ‘resisting’ might well entail.

Dr Gail Bradbrook is a co-founder of the social movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) which rapidly spread internationally since its launch in October 2018. Having been researching, planning and training for mass civil disobedience since 2010 and having been arrested four times for acts of civil disobedience, Gail Bradbrook is a pivotal figure in the world of climate activism.

Alexis Shotwell is a professor at Carleton University, on unceded Algonquin territory. She is the co-investigator for the AIDS Activist History Project, and author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding and Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times.

Alice Swift is a British climate justice activist and academic based in the North of England. She is working on a PhD at the University of Manchester on 'social reproduction in the European climate camp movement' mainly focusing on Ende Gelände and the UK equivalent; Reclaim the Power. She is interested in how autonomous left infrastructure feeds into protest camps and how strategies, tactics and ideology develop and travel between national boundaries. She is a co-founder of the UK Fossil Free divestment movement and a member of the anti-capitalist organisation Plan C.

Episode 6: Our human rights are on fire

Hin zu einer humanen Migrationspolitik. Ein Gespräch mit Muhammad Al-Kashef (Ägypten) und Efi Latsoudi (Griechenland)

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When on March 26th, reports uncovered the first Covid-19 cases along the Greek-Turkish border, several NGO’s and human rights activists demanded the immediate evacuation of the refugee camps. Yet, Europe remained silent. When a fire broke out during the night of September 8th and destroyed the overcrowded refugee camp Moria on the Greek island Lesbos, the same NGO’s and human rights activists demanded the immediate accommodation of refugees by the European member states. Once more, Europe remains silent.

While the pandemic forces people around the world to stay at home, another large group of people is looking for a new home. In the sixth episode, School of Resistance takes the current crisis in Greece as a starting point to discuss the European migration policy. Together with the human rights lawyer Muhammad al-Kashef and psychologist and human rights activist Efi Latsoudi, moderator Lara Staal will discuss Europe’s inadequacy and unwillingness in addressing the migration crisis.

Muhammad al-Kashef is a human rights lawyer and researcher on refugee rights and migrant movements. He is also a consultant and advocate with WatchTheMed Alarm Phone, a hotline support service for refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Efi Latsoudi is a psychologist, human rights activist and the driving force behind PIKPA-camp, an independent, open refugee camp aiming to be a community-based space drawing on the principles of solidarity, empowerment and active participation. In 2016, she received the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Awared for her longstanding commitment to helping refugees on the Aegean Sea.

Episode 5: Beyond Europe

Transnationale Zukünfte. Ein Dialog mit Ulrike Guérot (Deutschland) und Srećko Horvat (Kroatien)

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The idea of Europe is in a state of emergency. Confronted with right-wing extremism, a severe economic crisis and humanitarian disasters at its borders, Europe as a concept of unity and peace is disintegrating. For years, the call for a deeper democratization has been voiced by progressive forces. A European Green New Deal, sea-rescue missions coordinated by transnational civil organizations, pan-European citizens assemblies: the catalogue of hope for new ways of structuring our post-nation society is manifold. But facing the catastrophe of climate change and an out-of-control economic order, time is running out: What may a truly transnational demos look like? What can be the role of the state? And what about its people, is a global citizen’s identity worth pursuing, let alone achievable?

The fifth episode of School of Resistance will host the co-founder of DiEM25 and philosopher Srećko Horvat and the political scientist and founder of the European Democracy Lab Ulrike Guérot to speak about possibilities beyond the nation-state.

Ulrike Guérot is a political scientist and publicist. She is a professor in her own department of European Politics and Democracy Research (DED) at the Donau University Krems, founder of the European Democracy Lab (EuDemLab) in Berlin and is concerned with the future of the European integration process.

Srećko Horvat is a philosopher, author and political activist. The German weekly Der Freitag called him as "one of the most exciting voices of his generation" and he has been described as a "fiery voice of dissent in the Post-Yugoslav landscape". He is co-founder of the progressive movement DiEM25 and council member of the Progressive International.

Episode 4: Why theatre?

Theater im Ausnahmezustand. Ein Dialog mit Nora Chipaumire (USA) und Chantal Mouffe (UK)

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Confronted with the question ‘Why theatre?’, 100 activists, artists and intellectuals worldwide reflect on the current state of theatre and performance. Covering the genres of the utopian manifesto, the invented dialogue and the memoir, the book Why Theatre?, a project initiated by the city theatre of Ghent NTGent and the Berlin publisher Verbrecher Verlag, spans the rich diversity of the performing arts. Why is this art form so unique? So indispensable? Why theatre?

The fourth episode of School of Resistancestarts off with the opening speech of the Dutch Theatre Festival by theatre director Milo Rau. Drawing from the 100 contributions that comprise the book Why Theatre?, Rau composes a global polyphony of voices and makes a strong case for theatre in emergency. Following the speech, the performance artist Nora Chipaumire and the political theorist Chantal Mouffe engage in a dialogue about their personal reflections on the state of the performing arts in 2020.

Nora Chipaumire is a choreographer and performer born in Zimbabwe and currently based in New York. With her work she challenges and embraces stereotypes of Africa and the black performing body. She is a Guggenheim fellow (2018) and three-time Bessie Award winner.

Chantal Mouffe is a Belgian political philosopher, especially known for her agonistic theory of democracy, currently teaching at the University of Westminster in London. She has held research positions at Harvard, Cornell, The New School, Princeton, the University of California at Irvine, the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the College International de Philosophie in Paris. Her last book, For a Left Populism, was published by Verso in 2018.

Episode 3: Distributing Dignity

Die pakistanischen Gewerkschafter*innen Zehra Khan und Nasir Mansoor erörtern die aktuelle Lebens- und Arbeitssituation der Textilarbeiterinnen und -arbeiter in Pakistan und die globalen Produktions- und Lieferketten dessen, was wir „globale Wirtschaft“ nennen: Wie funktioniert sie wirklich? Und wie kann sie verändert werden?

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During the Covid-19 outbreak, our patterns of globalised production and consumption became undeniably visible: the halt of the global economy shows how co-dependent the lives of our global society have become. In the case of textile workers in Pakistan and Bangladesh, these interdependencies have brutal consequences: due to a stop in garment production, workers lost their jobs, without any compensation. Trade unions are distributing relief supplies to thousands of workers' families to fight hunger and provide first aid in case of illness for at least the next month. This situation is one of the symptoms of the current human rights crisis in global capitalism.

In the third episode of School of Resistance, realised with the support of medico international, the Pakistani trade unionists Zehra Khan and Nasir Mansoor will discuss the current living and working situation of textile workers in Pakistan and the global production and supply chains of what we call “global economy”: how is it really functioning? And how can it be changed?

Zehra Khan is a political activist and committed feminist. She is General Secretary of the Home Based Women’s Workers Federation (HBWWF). Her union organises women who work either as homeworkers or in informal employment in textile companies, the packaging industry, weaving mills, carpet and jewellery production and the manufacture of footballs.

Nasir Mansoor is a political activist since his student days at Karachi University, where he participated in the resistance against the long-time military dictator Zial ul-Haq. As the Deputy General Secretary of the National Trade Union Federation, Pakistan (NTUF), he mainly defends the rights of Pakistani textile workers.

Episode 2: Make the world habitable again

Die indische Wissenschaftlerin und Umweltschützerin Vandana Shiva spricht mit der Gründerin von Fridays For Future Uganda, Vanessa Nakate, über die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels im globalen Süden und plädiert für eine inklusivere Form des Klimaaktivismus.

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With the world’s biggest polluters shutting down most of their industries and cutting back their use of fossil fuels, our carbon footprint has rapidly dropped by a significant amount. But whether or not the environment will eventually benefit from today’s crisis is anything but a certainty. Crucial climate conferences and negotiations that were to take place in the next coming months are being cancelled and the mantra of ‘economy first’ might replace climate concerns in the minds of the public and those in power. And what about these countries that benefit least from our fossil-fuel economies, but are already being affected by the disastrous effects of climate change today?

In the second episode of School of Resistance the Indian scholar and environmentalist Vandana Shiva will address together with Fridays For Future Uganda founder Vanessa Nakate the effects of climate change in the Global South and plead for an inclusive form of climate activism.

Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, anti-globalization author and environmental activist advocating for organic and ecological farming and the protection of biodiversity, seed sovereignty and social justice. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, investigating sustainable methods of agriculture.

Being the first Fridays For Future activist in Uganda and the founder of the Rise up Climate Movement, Vanessa Nakate seeks to amplify the voices of climate activists from across Africa. She also spearheaded a campaign to save Congo’s rain forest and is currently working on a project to install solar panels and stoves in schools.

Episode 1: This madness has to stop

Eine Rede der brasilianischen Aktivistin Kay Sara, der ein Gespräch zwischen der kubanischen Performancekünstlerin Tania Bruguera, der holländischen Kuratorin Lara Staal und dem Theatermacher Milo Rau folgt, dem Initiator der School of Resistance.

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On 20 April 2020, the oil price dipped below zero for the first time in history. It wasn’t the only world record caused by COVID-19. In no more than a few months, a nasty virus was able to pull off what worldwide protest marches and general strikes couldn’t do: slowing down our planet. Correction: slowing down all human activities on this planet.

Suddenly, as a society, we remember the meaning of ‘economy’ as a way to support life and not to make profit at whatever cost. But how can we shape the future of our planet, without falling back into old damaging patterns? To solve the problems we are facing today and to come up with valuable alternatives for the future, the biweekly livestream School of Resistance creates a platform of experts of change around the world: artists, activists, politics and philosophers

The first episode This madness has to stop is realized in the context of and with the support of the Wiener Festwochen. With a speech by Kay Sara (Brazil), followed by a discussion with Tania Bruguera (Cuba) and Milo Rau (Belgium), moderated by Lara Staal (Netherlands)

The online series School of Resistance starts off with a speech by the indigenous artist and activist Kay Sara. Her speech should have opened the Wiener Festwochen live on the stage of the Burgtheater Vienna. But COVID-19 decided differently and Kay Sara sends a video from the Amazon. Her message is clear: today’s turbo-capitalist system poses an irreversible threat to the Amazon, the planet’s green lung, and therefore has to be stopped. An accusation, an outcry, a wake-up call.

Following the speech, the Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera, the Swiss director Milo Rau, and the Dutch curator and moderator of the talk Lara Staal engage in a dialogue about forms of activism in the arts today. Another meeting that should have happened live during the Wiener Festwochen, but inevitably takes place from the artists’ homes instead.

Kay Sara, an indigenous artist and activist, grew up in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and is committed to the adequate representation of indigenous people and the preservation of their environment against the threat of mining companies and the agribusiness. She will play the role of Antigone in Milo Rau’s production of Sophocles’ Antigone in the Amazon.

Tania Bruguera is a Cuban performance artist and activist and uses her artistic work to examine political power structures and their effect on society's most vulnerable people. Her work has been represented in leading collections of MoMA and Tate Modern among other places.

Milo Rau is director, author and the artistic director of NTGent (Belgium). Since 2002, he has created and published more than 50 stage plays, films, books and political interventions and has been rewarded with several honours and prices such as the European Theatre Prize in 2018.

Veröffentlicht am 14. Mai 2020

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