Archiv Kultur und Soziale Bewegung

Kulturelles Kapital

Hannover, September 2005

The archive hosted by the „We Can Do It Otherwise! Visions and Models for a Future Society“ event week at the Pavillon Cultural Center in Hannover, September 2-10, 2005

What would »another« society look like—one characterized by social justice, solidarity, freedom, and democracy?

Sybille Weingart und Susanne Müller-Jantsch of Hannover´s Pavillon Cultural Center sought to address this question from several different social perspectives and fields of activity. The result was the We Can Do It Otherwise! Visions and Models for a Future Society project-week, which was held from 2-10 September 2005.

First, they developed the orientation of the program in concertation with "people who are active in political, social, and sociocultural networks." The result was a multifaceted one-week event calendar, which attempted to positively channel dissatisfaction with the present state-of-affairs, and to work on alternatives. Analysis and discussion of the economic situation in the midst of neoliberalism were juxtaposed with reports about the political situation in Cameroun or Venezuela. Excursions, film screenings, and a podium-discussion provided information about alternative living, trade, and school models. A poster & comic workshop prompted youths to try an aesthetic and practical interpretation of their own political utopias—and in the course of the week, Pavillon got a face-lift. The current applicability of communist and participatory economic- and thought-models were addressed and discussed in lectures whose approaches ranged from the literary to the theoretical. Against this backdrop, the Culture and Social Movement Archive set out to serve as an indicator of already available and tested answers and practices. In addition, it also hoped to challenge visitors to let themselves get excited or consternated by the amount of material relating to the past and present, or to get informed about specific debates in theory, art-production, political practice, etc…

Furthermore, the space was also a general meeting and networking room for the project-week. Workshop organizers, speakers, and participants were all invited to meet in the archive every evening and to recap the day´s events or have informal talks. We had not planned a special "application" for Hannover so, and this was a difference from Erfurt, there was ample opportunity for individual visitors to make use of the room: rummage about, hang out, discover something interesting, or start up a conversation. We soon realised that "applications" are in fact a central concept of our archive, and considering that our location was somewhat off the beaten path (being on the second floor), we spontaneously worked out the following one.

Application 06
Masses, Media, Alternatives

4PM, September 8, 2005, with Stephanie Lohaus, Rahel Puffert

The idea of a "Masses, Media, Alternatives" film program was a spontaneous result of going through the Archive´s material on location. The first feature, excerpts from the video Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, provided a portrait of the theorist and activist, with a strong focus on his critical analysis of how mass media function. Against this backdrop, we went on to present two examples of alternative media in the making: The Case Against Lincoln Center, by the non-profit film and distribution group Newsreel, focuses on gentrification and the eviction of the poor from a New York neighborhood. Zones de Convergence, by the artist and activist Cicero Egli, deals with events which unfolded during the G8 summit in Evian/Geneva in 2003.

The Case Against Lincoln Center (1968), describes the eviction of 20, 000 Latino families from the Upper West Side in order to erect a new complex for classical high-culture which is to house both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Symphony. The film shows proponents of the construction project, public figures and members of the upper class, and contrasts them to the living street culture of the Latinos. In retrospect, it´s possible to see this event a forerunner of Upper West Side Manhattan gentrification.

The point of departure for Zones de Convergence is a colloquium, the Summit of Interventionist Art, held in an independent Geneva cultural center. The center is raided and participants unwittingly become the targets of police violence. We see how the police become less sure of themselves when it becomes clear that Indymedia reporters are feeding images to the outside world via livestream. The film is an important document of the events, and it operates on two levels—inside is juxtaposed with outside, discussions between colloquium participants with the state of alert on Geneva streets, destroyed buildings, tear gas, and police repression. The record of the situation after the raid shows how alternative media not only provide alternative information, but can also provide temporary protection for activists and others in the line of fire. The closing discussion tries to locate possibilities and limits of alternative media and new technology for alternative reporting.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

Newsreel: The Case against Lincoln Center

Cicero Egli: Zones de Convergence