directory - Democracy

volXtheaterkarawane [publiXtheatre caravan]

In 2001, the volXtheaterkarawane was founded as a travelling project by members of the volXtheater XX Favoriten theater troupe and activists of the Platform for a World Without Racism; it existed as a project critiquing globalization until 2011. The goal was to raise awareness of the problematic immigration laws in Europe, the subliminal racism and sexism in the democratic countries, and the increasing state-run surveillance and control of citizens. With the support of different helpers and cooperation partners, from 2001 to 2006 the volXtheaterkarawane organized three large campaigns – NOBorder, NONation (2001), noborderZONE (2003), and noborderLAB (2004) – in the form of trips lasting several days to central locations of political events.

Visible Collective – Disappeared in America

Disappeared in America was a project of the Visible Collective, a group of thirteen members founded by Naeem Mohaiemen. It investigated the countless people, who – mostly migrants living in precarious circumstances – were arrested after September 11, 2001, and as they often were not registered anywhere, simply disappeared from view. The group built a database where the names and data of missing persons could be registered, and created an interactive map charting all the cases. Publications, videos, as well as many artworks, citing names, biographies, and displaying photographs sought to draw attention to this problem, and in galleries and in public spaces the texts of laws and documentations were exhibited to raise public awareness.

The June Democracy Movement

During the nation-wide June Democracy Movement from June 10 to 29, 1987, mass demonstrations were held in cities throughout South Korea, which called first and foremeost for more democracy and the holding of free elections. Although there had already been clashes between student activists and the regime for some time, these intensified considerably after the death of a student: on June 9, on Yonsei University campus Lee Han-yeol was hit in the head by a teargas grenade that penetrated his skull – he fell into a coma and died of his wounds a few weeks later.

The Influencers

The Influencers is an atypical festival devoted to non-conventional art and communication guerrilla. Since 2004 The Influencers has been an opportunity for extra-disciplinary research, discovery, and debate about inventions and adventures in the troubled waters where information society, everyday technology, and fragments of collective imagination mix and clash with each other. The purpose of the project is to show examples of practical intervention at the intersection of media and collective imagination, such as myth-making, contemporary grassroots adventures, new forms of political activism, digitally networked subcultures.

Surveillance Camera Players

The Surveillance Camera Players are not a professional theater troupe, nor are they producers of or actors in television shows; they are just a bunch of average Joes and Josephines who appreciate how boring it must be for law enforcement officers to watch the video images constantly being displayed on the closed-circuit television surveillance systems that perpetually monitor our behavior and appearances all over the city. The only time the officers have any fun watching these monitors is when something illegal is going on. But the crime rate is down and the subways – the metro transportation systems – (which are filled with surveillance cameras) are the safest they have been in thirty years.

SOSka group

Social and political issues are the main themes of SOSka projects that often place the group in between artistic and activist gestures. At the center of SOSka’s work there is a statement that the processes and problems of the contemporary art system are strongly connected with social environment and political context. SOSka explores problems of the binary nature of neoliberalism taking the example of relations between society and art: poverty of the people and the commercialization of art objects; street protests and the attractiveness of contemporary art exhibitions.

R.E.P.

When the R.E.P. group was founded in 2004, all of its members had already developed an artistic personality of their own. And they have continued in the same line ever since. Yet in all these years the artists have also engaged in collective art practices, thus maintaining their small art community. The political events of the Orange Revolution proved a key element in the group’s establishment. The first collective actions of the R.E.P. group took place in the crowd of protesters in the Kiev Maidan square: it was the unanimity of broad masses of society struggling for a common political cause that brought these Ukrainian artists to work together. Another reason for maintaining the group, which still counts today, is the weak infrastructure of the Kiev art scene.

Paolo Cirio – Loophole for all

This project investigated offshore jurisdictions and the idea of having a company “on paper” through a hack and leak of Cayman Islands financial information. At Loophole4All.com, the real identities of anonymous companies taking advantage of the tax havens are on sale at a low cost to democratize the privileges of offshore businesses. This performance generated local and international media attention, engaged an active audience, and drew outrage from authorities on the Cayman Islands, etc.

http://loophole4all.com

PAH (Mortgage Victims Platform)

The PAH was born in February 2009 in Barcelona as a citizen’s movement focused on the right to housing. The main aim of the PAH is to denounce the dramatic situation suffered by thousands of families who are unable to pay their mortgages, facing foreclosure processes and evictions. The PAH makes the violence of such processes visible, informs the public about the horrific nature of the perpetual debt which remains after losing your home according to Spanish mortgage law, and demands political solutions from public administrations. The PAH is a political movement (but does not belong to any party) in which both people directly affected and supporters fight together against this problem.

Otpor!

Otpor! (Resistance!) was a Serbian youth movement that existed from 1998 to 2003, which rebelled non-violently against the regime of Slobodan Milošević. The group was founded on October 10, 1998, as a reaction to the passing of two repressive university and media laws by the then Serbian government, in which especially the Prime minister and Milošević-confidant Mirko Marjanović was instrumental. Ideologically, Otpor! was oriented on The Politics of Nonviolent Action, one of Gene Sharp’s main works, which was partially translated into Serbian. The non-violent campaigns that took place in the following two years spread quickly across the whole of Serbia through the support of more than seventy thousand national supporters and the financial support of the American government.