IMPROVISATIONAL MANIFESTO

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MANUFACTURING DISSENT

Public forum with Vanessa Place, Stewart Home, Louis Armand, Magdaléna Platzová, Andrew Hodgson, Teréza Stejskalová, Jan Běliček, Benjamin Tallis, 25 May 2018, Prague

Benjamin Tallis: Today we’re discussing the manufacture of dissent & the future of resistance, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Paris student uprising & the Prague Spring. I’d like to begin by quoting Antonin Artaud, who said “the duty of the poet is not to cowardly shut himself away in a text, a book, a magazine from which he will never emerge, but on the contrary to emerge, to go outside, to shake, to attack the mind of the public, if not what use is he?” This is a question many of us pose to ourselves: how do we actually make a critical impact on the world? But what might we mean “to emerge,” “to go outside,” are we not always already part of this “outside” to which we seek to go? Are we not already “emerged”? How do we manage to separate ourselves, to actually hide ourselves away, & not partake in the world? These are questions we should bear in mind. How can we “attack the mind of the public” when we are also that public? But moreover, as Louis Armand has written, when we’re in a situation of the appropriation & normalisation of dissent, rampant commodification, the criminalization of protest & the bold resurgence of neo-fascism, what form can active resistance take? This is one of our key questions: how do we go beyond resistance? And how do we stomach the idea of proscribing a “positive vision” for how people should live, given what we’ve learned from the twentieth century? Continue reading “MANUFACTURING DISSENT”

2 OCTOBER 1968

A social movement comprised by professors, housewives, workers, students, professionals, in other words the entire crossection of civil society, with the support of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Colegio de México, Escuela de Agricultura de Chapingo, Universidad Iberoamericana, La Salle, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, & under the direction of the CNH (National Council of Strike). Their list of demands included, among others, the release of political prisoners & the end of autoritarism. The movement tried to achieve democratic change, political & civil freedom, social equality, & the end of PRI’s (Revolutionary Institutional Party) rule.

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