The name “Yomango” and the lifestyle it celebrates refers to mangar, a Spanish slang term meaning “to shoplift,” particularly from multinational corporations. The concept of ethical shoplifting has suddenly acquired public visibility. The Yomango brand is itself a reappropriation, or détournement, of the widely popular brand Mango. By adding a pronominal prefix (yo, means “I” in Spanish) to the clothing company’s name, the modified brand takes on a different meaning entirely: I swipe. Yomango disrupts the primary goal of the original brand, turning it into a new direct-action practice based on the widespread habit of shoplifting. At first glance, this may seem like a simple surrender to the greedy logic of capitalism, but nothing could be further from the truth.
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Since 1993 and at the invitation of various art institutions, the artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at small, but nevertheless effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention in society. WochenKlausur aims to improve the supporting structure before improving the surface. Art’s big chance lies in its ability to offer the community something that also achieves an effect. The motives for concrete intervention based on art should not be confused with an excess of moralistic fervor. As a potential basis for action, art has political capital at its disposal that should not be underestimated.
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.
The politically radical left-wing activist group DSPA (Resistance Movement named after Petr Alexeev) – one of the first revolutionaries of the workers’ movement in Russia – was initiated by journalist and political activist Dmitrij Žvanija in Saint Petersburg in 2004. Until it disbanded voluntarily on October 21, 2012, it was also active in other Russian cities. In their first appearance on the scene, the DSPA protested against the organized participation of Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia in the demonstration marking the international workers’ day on May 1, 2004 with a banner that stated “There is only one solution – resistance” and with leaflets and Bengal lights.
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.
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.
labournet.tv is a audiovisual archive of the labour movement. We consider ourselves part of a movement with the aim of fundamentally changing social relations. The Internet is our means to promote an exchange of experiences, a process of learning from past struggles, and solidarity. For this purpose, present-day and historical films from all continents are collected. Our focus is on the situation of the workers, their (self-) organization, labour disputes and working conditions, and ideas for social alternatives. labournet.tv also produces its own contributions concerning current events in order to make visible current struggles and the perspective of the working population.
Floating Lab Collective designs participatory research projects that explore the frontiers of individual agency and collective empowerment. Experimenting with the aesthetics of direct action, FLC crafts open-ended public projects that engage specific localities and identities, using visual arts, performance, new media, and publications to question the assumptions of global economy, political power, and social mobility and inclusion. FLC’s artists develop projects collaboratively with community members.
Eternal Tour is an association, which organized a nomadic festival held every year in a different city: Rome 2008; Neuchâtel 2009; Jerusalem and Ramallah 2010; Las Vegas 2011; Geneva and São Paulo 2012. Founded in Geneva in 2007, Eternal Tour brings together academics and artists who address issues such as cosmopolitism, tourism, migration, exile, but also creoleness, feminism, taxonomy, practice-based knowledge, and empirical thought. During each festival, including its preparation, the Eternal Tour team interacts with local partners: encounters, exchanges, reflections, research, and creations characterize this transdisciplinary think-tank. Is our world really globalized? What does cosmopolitanism represent in today’s world?
The 2011 England Riots were a quite radical uprising of underprivileged English youth between 6 and 10 August. In England, such riots are a not uncommon form of violent protest that goes back at least to the 1980s. The rioters are mostly boys and young men, whose socioeconomic situation and outlook is very poor. The 2011 riots began in Tottenham, a deprived area in north London with a multicultural population and a high crime rate, after 29-year-old Mark Duggan was shot by police during a regular stop-and-search under much-debated circumstances. The fact that a black male had died as a result of police intervention was handled by the authorities with a very questionable and inappropriate communication policy, which attracted much media attention.