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Livestreaming on this page Tuesday 12 November and Thursday 14 November 2019.

Cluj, Romania
Tuesday 12 November & Thursday 14 November 2019

RESHAPE Intensive Cluj

A meeting of art practitioners interested in creating alternative organizational models for the arts

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Produced By
Tuesday 12 November & Thursday 14 November 2019

RESHAPE presented the Intensive Cluj meeting livestreaming from Cluj, Romania on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Tuesday 12 November and Thursday 14 November 2019.

Intensive Cluj is a meeting of art practitioners interested in creating alternative organizational models for the arts.

It takes place in the framework of RESHAPE, a research and development project that brings together artists and art workers from Europe and the South Mediterranean to jointly imagine how arts will be created, accessed and experienced in the future. RESHAPE relies on the collective intelligence and creativity of the cultural workers on the ground. A bottom-up process, it gathers artists and activists who already have experience and expertise in imagining alternative practices and transforming them into concrete actions and policy recommendations.

Intensive Cluj is the first occasion when art workers who, until now, have been working in smaller groups and specific topics, come together to cross and share their findings, reflections, ideas and inspirations. It will provide a first glimpse of where this research might lead us to.

Moreover, Intensive Cluj connects the RESHAPE research to the Romanian artist and activist initiatives, sparkling new conversations and ideas.

Intensive Cluj is also an opportunity to infuse the reflection on alternative models in the arts sector with ideas and practices from broader societal debates, movements and tendencies.

Finally, Intensive Cluj is an open invitation for sharing and reflecting: how can we make sure that future artistic practices are better adjusted to the values of the sector and the evolution of society? There are no ready-made solutions and the future is ours to imagine!

Livestream Schedule and Video Archive

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Performing the under-performed. Performing arts spaces in Romania

10:00 EET (Cluj, UTC +2) / 09:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 08:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 3 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

A brief radiography of the performing arts scene in Romania, with a focus on the independent art scene: its fragile structures, their restless struggle to establish and maintain spaces for creation and production and their taste for socially and politically engaged practice.

Miki Braniște is a cultural manager and curator for interdisciplinary projects, she was the director of the TEMPS D'IMAGES festival in Cluj from 2008 to 2017. She actively participated in the development of the contemporary art space The Paintbrush Factory and is currently curator for the performing arts program for this space. In November 2015 she received the title of `Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres` from the French Ministry of Culture for her activity to support the independent performing arts sector in Romania.

Kinga Kelemen is a cultural manager with expertise in performing arts management, both in state theatre structures and independent companies in Romania. She worked as a dramaturg, literary advisor, marketing manager, PR manager, she coordinated international theatre festivals and produced independent theatre/dance productions which toured widely nationally and internationally. She is a founding partner of GroundFloor Group, an NGO from Cluj and organized tours both nationally and internationally responding to invitations of theatre and dance festivals across Europe and Romania.

Petro Ionescu is a Romanian playwright. At Reactor de Creație și Experiment in Cluj-Napoca she works as an artist, but also as a staff member, being involved in project coordination and other administrative tasks. As an artist, the theater performances that she works for focus on social issues like: unemployment, social invisibility, forced evictions and homelessness, gender inequality or political context.

Vava Ștefănescu is a Romanian choreographer with a rich artistic career. Since 2000, she has been involved in cultural management either as an initiator and director of the MAD Center (2000-2003) or as artistic director of the National Dance Center of Bucharest (2006-2013). From 2014 until now he is the manager of the latter public institution.

State of the Arts? Working in the cultural sector in Romania

A conversation about the socio-economic conditions of cultural work and the policies and support structures for culture in Romania. We analyse the main challenges that artists and organisations face and explore the models and practices that enable their resilience.

Corina Bucea is a cultural worker, one of the founding members of the contemporary art space The Paintbrush Factory, where she worked as an executive manager and project coordinator in projects from visual to performing arts, education and training. She collaborated with local and international organisations - festivals, support programmes for artists, audience development projects and arts production. She worked as a project manager at different editions at the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and is currently working at Cluj Cultural Centre. Currently, the main focus of her work is arts education and mediation.

Iulia Popovici is a performing arts critic and curator based in Bucharest. She has published extensively about the alternative performing arts scene, collectives and artists in Romania and Eastern Europe, the social challenges of contemporary arts and the shifting in working practices. She is one of the founders of ATIC (Association of Trans-sectorial Independent Cultural Workers), an advocacy organisation for self-employed cultural workers.

Raluca Iacob is a cultural manager and public policy specialist, president of Asociatia MetruCub (based in Bucharest). Since 2007 she was involved in cultural planning at local and national level, has done research about the misuse of European funds, the evolution of the independent cultural sector and the local public administration’s competences in culture, and has developed communities of practice integrating the arts in education.

Rariţa Zbranca is director and cofounder of AltArt Foundation. Her work experience include cultural management, programming, research and policymaking. She is also Programme Director at Cluj Cultural Centre and co-founder of Fabrica de Pensule an independent collective space for contemporary arts in Cluj-Napoca. Her areas of focus include culture and urban development, culture and well-being and working in culture. She is a member of the Strategy Group of the “A Soul for Europe” initiative, member of the European House for Culture, and a board member of the Balkan Express network.

Soraya Bahgat: Learning On The Go — on women's rights and activism

14:00 EET (Cluj, UTC +2) / 13:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 12 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 7 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

Soraya Bahgat will share her journey as an “accidental activist” and social entrepreneur. While working as Head of HR for a leading Egyptian real estate developer, she founded a volunteer movement to combat the pandemic mob sexual assaults that had plagued Tahrir Square during the 2011 revolution. The movement intervened in over 100 cases and brought the pandemic to local and international media attention. This contributed to Egypt passing a landmark sexual harassment law in 2014.

After protests in Tahrir Square have ended, she shifted her attention to other forms of violence and discrimination against women including female genital mutilation and is a committed and passionate advocate for women and girls.

In her talk, she will share what she has learned about launching grassroots movements, leadership and issues pertaining to gender equality. She will give a briefing on women’s rights in Egypt and the Arab World and will share insights on women in the workplace. She will also share what she has learned from pursuing less productive activism, setbacks and failure.

Soraya Bahgat is a career woman, consultant, advocate for women’s rights, and campaigner for tolerance in Egypt. She has a passion for championing causes that contribute to society and empower individuals to achieve their goals. Of particular interest to her are the areas of culture, education, capacity building, and employability as catalysts for change in society. Soraya strongly believes in the power of individuals to stand together in the face of adversity and in the power of civil society and grassroots movements to bring about change. It was this belief that prompted her to start Tahrir Bodyguard, a movement of uniformed volunteers intervening to stop the brutal mob sexual assaults on women in Tahrir Square in the wake of Egypt’s 2011 revolution. Soraya has been chosen as one of the Women Future Leaders of the Mediterranean by Sciences Po University and one of the Young Social Leaders by the Singapore Summit in 2015 and 2017 respectively. In 2018, she was awarded the Inspire Egypt Award in the gender equality category by the British Embassy in Cairo. She is a graduate of the American University in Cairo.

Igor Štiks: Activist aesthetics

Igor Štiks will present cases of activist aesthetics in the artistic acts, practices and works related to contemporary political and social activism of progressive and left-wing movements and groups in the post-Yugoslav region.

In order to understand the variety of activist aesthetics, as well as the specific influence of Yugoslav socialist heritage, Štiks builds upon Hans-Thies Lehmann’s distinction between the aesthetics of resistance and the aesthetics of rebellion. The aesthetics of resistance is characteristic of the works exploring the actuality of past resistances, their memories and their (realised and non-realised) potentialities. The aesthetics of rebellion, on the other hand, remains in service of the movements and their actions in the context of the contemporary post-socialist crisis. In addition, he will show what happens when two aesthetics are combined and how engaged artistic practices influence the acts of activist citizenship we can observe over the last decade in occupations, protests and new social movements in the Balkans.

Igor Stiks is a writer and scholar. Earning his PhD at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and Northwestern University, he worked for years at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a professor of politics at the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade. His recent publications include Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury) and, together with Srećko Horvat, Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism (Verso). His award-winning novels The Judgment of Richard Richter and A Castle in Romagna have been translated into 15 languages.

Oxana Timofeeva in conversation with Joris Janssens: Solidarity on the Planetary Scale

17:00 EET (Cluj, UTC +2) / 16:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 15:00 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 10 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5)

A critical engagement of theory and arts in a dialogue with natural and technical sciences is characteristic for the materialist turn in contemporary culture. It rethinks historical processes from the perspective of the posthuman turn: the history of humans has to be inscribed into the history of things and the history of the World – into the history of the Earth. Nonhuman forms of living and nonliving matter are included into the historical process, which has to be conceived not as a succession of stages of development of human societies, but as geological eras, whose definition is now a subject of debate. This brings us to a new understanding of politics. It must be not only international, but interspecies, including all subjects and matters – animals, plants, mountains, people, sounds, viruses, AI, etc. These cultural shifts transform traditional modes of the political – republic, democracy, socialism, communism, etc. Oxana Timofeeva will discuss a few concepts that can accompany this transformation, as well as the crucial role of contemporary art in reinventing these concepts.

Oxana Timofeeva is a Professor at the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at the European University in St. Petersburg, member of the artistic collective "Chto Delat?" ("What is to be done?"), a deputy editor of the journal "Stasis", and the author of books History of Animals (Maastricht: Jan van Eyck, 2012; Moscow, 2017; London: Bloomsbury, 2018), and Introduction to the “Erotic Philosophy” of Georges Bataille (Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2009).

Thursday 14 November 2019

Đorđe Balmazović / Škart: Pits and falls of group work


Marcell Mars: Memory of the World / Public Library

10:30 EET (Cluj, UTC +2) / 9:30 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 8:30 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 3:30 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5)

Đorđe will shortly present Škart activities: starting from the first decade, the 90's, and street actions, following 2000 – 2013 which were the years of forming new collectives, bigger than Škart itself, changing the focus from visual art to other disciplines. The main focus will be on work in and with the collective and why it is important to work in collective despite all the problems it might cause.

Škart was founded 1990 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. First decade, from 1990 till 2000 collective was mainly engaged doing little samizdat objects and giving them away in street actions. From 2000 collective was engaged founding other collectives, working in bigger groups, using visual art, poetry and music. Meanwhile, group members were engaged doing workshops with children and elderly people.

Marcell Mars presents Memory of the World/Public Library which is the synergy of two efforts. First, it makes the case for the institution of public library and its principle of universal access to knowledge. Second, it is an exploration and development of distributed internet infrastructure for amateur librarians.

A public library is one of those almost invisible infrastructures that we start to notice only once they go extinct. A place where all people can get access to all knowledge that can be collected seemed for a long time a dream beyond reach – until the egalitarian impetus of social revolutions, the Enlightenment idea of universality of knowledge, and the exceptional suspension of the commercial barriers of copyright made it possible.

The Internet has, as in many other situations, completely changed our expectations and imagination about what is possible. The dream of a catalogue of the world – a universal access to all available knowledge for every member of society – became realizable. A question merely of the meeting of curves on a graph: the point at which the line of global distribution of personal computers meets that of the critical mass of people with access to the Internet. Today nobody lacks the imagination necessary to see public libraries as part of a global infrastructure of universal access to knowledge for literally every member of society. However, the emergence and development of the Internet is taking place precisely at the point at which an institutional crisis — one with traumatic and inconceivable consequences — has also begun.

Nenad Romić (aka Marcell Mars), advanced internet user, http://ki.ber.kom.uni.st. Marcell is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute - mi2 (1999) and club MaMa in Zagreb (2000). He initiated GNU GPL publishing label EGOBOO.bits (2000); started Skill sharing (2004) informal meetings of technical enthusiasts in MaMa and regional hacker gatherings ‘Nothing will happen’ (2007).

Mars started his research “Ruling Class Studies” at Jan van Eyck (2011-12), continued at Akademie Schloss Solitude (2013) and since spring 2015, he is a PhD student at Leuphana University in DCRL (Digital Cultures Research Lab). “Ruling Class Studies” is a research of corporate state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence. It looks closely at the Google, Amazon, Facebook and eBay. Since 2018 he joined the Centre for Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University as a Research Fellow.

Laura Roth: Feminisation of politics and activism

Feminism seems to be gaining momentum in many countries, but most organisations and groups are still working based on patriarchal standards. The "feminization of politics" includes different kinds of elements, but mainly changing the way activism and politics (in a broad sense) are done. A feminist way of organising includes things like gender balance, building power through cooperation, collective leadership, democratic decision-making, care (for peers, for dependent beings and for oneself), intersectional understanding of issues, and non-violence.

This talk will share some practical experiences of the municipalist movement in order to contribute to the discussion about how feminism can (and should) shape our work. How we do things is as important as what we are doing!

Laura Roth lives in Barcelona and has a PhD in political philosophy, in addition to two small children. She is obsessed with the promotion of a political culture based on democracy and care, from a feminist perspective. In order to do this, she is trying to connect her activism with her research and to make these compatible with life and care. She has recently been focusing on the relationship between the feminization of politics, democracy and municipalism.

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected], or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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