The starting point for speculation and reflection on the future of Central and Eastern Europe are different levels of relationships: the relationship with oneself with regard to one’s own future (e. g. as a creator of culture), the relationship between East and West, interspersed with systemic, socio-economic structures, and the relationship of people with their environment and other forms of life. This multi-layered approach reflects the desire and attempt to take account of complexity; no development can be seen in isolation, but touches us on different levels. Unjust socio-ecological relationships run through all relations and ensure the continued existence of class, race, heteronormative and patriarchal privileges through the production of wasted people, beings and places.
The attack on Ukraine came just before the finalization of the program; the war cuts through all levels of relationships, while at the same time making the interconnections and connections even more apparent. In view of the current situation of a war in this region – and not only there – of a continuing pandemic and the threat of climate catastrophe, the question of how we can even think about the future / futures seems all the more urgent: How can we think about plans, wishes and visions for our personal future, with regard to social developments and the planet today?
In order to respond to this changed, unforeseeable situation, the programme is open-ended and should provide space for mutual doubt, reflection, reflection, discussion. Above all, the artistic, activist, academic and critical voices of all those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine are to be strengthened.
With the brutal military invasion of Ukraine, the world changed overnight – this war cuts across all current and future issues for CEE that we wanted to address. Shocked and at the same time puzzled, we ask ourselves not only from our role as cultural creators or from art institutions: “What now? How can we imagine any kind of future? How can we talk about the future now? An online impulse lecture dealing with these questions forms the kick-off of the program series “Inquiries into the Future.” Since ideas and projections of the future are all too often based on the same institutions and areas that caused the crises in the first place, artists, researchers, theorists, and activists will have their say in the series. who might be able to find a language to express the incomprehensible present, to comfort, to vent their own feelings and fears, and to imagine how to proceed from here and where to? What might possible/alternative futures look like after this war has influenced social, economic and ecological relationships and made it clear how intertwined they are?
07.06., 6 PM: Maria Hlavajova
The first on-site event at the Goethe-Institut in June takes a look at one’s personal constitution with regard to the near and far future. In joint conversations and openly staged situations and workshops, the invited artists and activists dedicate themselves to the state of mind in the context of increasing precarization, permanent availability and optimization pressure of today’s working and living conditions. While we live in a society where mental problems and illnesses have been privatized and where responsibility or “guilt” is attributed to the individual, the program explores the collective and political aspects of fear, disease and trauma. In doing so, we consider the effects and traumas of war in the immediate vicinity, as well as the navigation of media full of horror and false news or doom scrolling as supposed coping mechanisms. Our entire social and private life is permeated by fear, especially when we think about the future – how can we deal with it?
State of Mind
22.06., 6 PM: Peter Sit & BarborA Kleinhamplová (Institute of Anxiety)
23.06., 10 AM: Workshop: Barbora Kleinhamplová
This panel examines how (formal) relationships between people are often characterized by exploitative relationships. The artists, theorists, and activists investigate the ideological structures and power relations that keep the Eastern, post-communist space in the position of the (exploited) constructed “Other” even years after the end of the Cold War and which geo-political currents continue to exist due to the ongoing separation of East and West. The event looks at the new logistics centers of German/Western European e-shops in CEE, as well as the conditions for migrant workers in the care sector and seasonal workers in the asparagus harvesting and asks how this will develop further? What will it look like tomorrow? Who’s going to have what job? How does the war affect these relationships now and in the future? What does it mean when the granting of protection and asylum is linked to usability or proximity and “similarity? What is the role of (social) media as an apparatus involved in generating devaluation, polarization and violence?
29.9., 6 pm: Kateřina Frejlachová, Miroslav Pazdera, Marco Armiero, Katalin Erdődi
30.9., 10 AM: 30.09., 10 AM: Workshop + City Walk: Ivana Rumanova
The series ends with an online screening of the essayistic experimental documentary Stone Of Hell by Tekla Aslanishvili and Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze, which addresses our relationships on a planetary level. Against the backdrop of extractivism, climate catastrophe but also the current nuclear threat, the artists examine our relationship to the planet, to our environment and to non-human beings.
11. 11., 6:00 PM, STONE OF HELL
The starting point for Stone Of Hell is the small mining town of Chiatura in western Georgia. The film follows the raw material manganese, which is mined locally, through all phases of processing and distribution, establishing connections to other spaces and temporalities. The film shows manganese as the basis for different modes of production, linking cultural, extractive and defence industries and driving technological progress. These shared foundations connect this peripheral location to a vast network of things, places and processes around the world that feed into current forms of conflict.
In the Q&A afterwards, there will be the opportunity to discuss the themes of the film together with the artists and to learn more about the creative process in terms of artistic cooperation, filmmaking or storytelling techniques