Author Archives: driff

Perestroika Songspiel

Perestroika Songspiel is a new video work directed and written by Olga Egorova, Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya, Nikolai Oleinikov and Dmitry Vilensky, with music by Mikhail Krutikov. It was shown at U-TURN Copenhagen at the Kalmar Konstmuseum (“Frictions and Conflicts”) and at the 49th October Salon in Belgrade, where it received the prize of the festival. See it at www.chtodelat.org.

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New Special Issue: Knowledge in Action

Knowledge in Action, a special joint issue of Chto Delat and the Petersburg Street University is now online!

This issue presents a critical selection of activists today who are consciously continuing the tradition of autodidactic initiatives in direct actions. We would like to place this new local experience of today into the international context of independent educational structures and their history.

The issue features articles by and about the Street University, the War Group, DSPA, the New SDS, Copenhagen Free University, and Universidad Nomada, and inspiring graphics by Max Neroda and R.E.P.

Read it online or download it here.

In the coming week, we’ll also be posting articles from the new issue in this blog.

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Upcoming Activities, Publications and Related Events

In September 2008, members of Chto Delat will be in Copenhagen, Vienna, Amsterdam, Belgrade, and Tapei, as well as other locations. Read on for a complete list of upcoming events and activities.

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New Issue of Chto Delat Confiscated and Under Investigation

PETERSBURG, August 29, 2008. On the evening of August 27, the new issue of the newspaper Chto Delat (No. 19: What Does It Mean to Lose? The Experience of Perestroika) was confiscated during a police raid at the printers in Petersburg.

The raid on the printer’s workshop was connected to an earlier incident, when a Petersburg activist was arrested by Petersburg police at the gates of the Petersburg sea port for handing out a flyer to workers. The flyer aroused suspicion because it contained material critical of the Russian-Georgian conflict, and the police raided the printer’s workshop at which the flyer had been produced, where they discovered the most recent edition of Chto Delat. They confiscated the entire edition of 3,000 newspapers and detained Chto Delat editor Dmitry Vilensky for questioning.

“The situation really did look pretty absurd,” says Vilensky. “We produced this issue for the U-Turn Quadriennial in Copenhagen, and it’s one of the most artsy issues we’ve made so far; it contains almost no references to the current political situation.” Instead, the issue is dedicated to the problematic of perestroika, whose hopes and outcome the authors subject to critical enquiry. The security officials’ suspicion was aroused by the “political look” of the paper and, in particular, by the libretto of a film-opera by the Chto Delat work group, to be premiered at U-Turn later next week, in which a nationalist, a democrat, a revolutionary, and a businessman debate the fate of the Soviet Union and its present outcome. The full text of the screenplay can be found here.

Yesterday, Vilensky was informed by the Petersburg police that the case had been handed over to the Kirov district attorney’s office to investigate whether the newspaper is in violation of the Russian constitution, which contains paragraphs against extremism and the incitement of ethnic and religious hatred. “The militia – who told me that they ‘didn’t want blood’ – were quite surprised by this move,” Vilensky says. “They told me that the signal came from the FSB official who was coordinating the raid on the printers.” The entire edition is still in custody, and will not be distributed at U-Turn, where it was meant to be part of a video-installation.

The printer’s workshop Polyarnaya Zvezda [Pole Star] has since been cordoned off as a crime scene, and all its employees questioned. It was one of the only remaining places in Petersburg to print opposition leaflets of a wide range, including the Petersburg issue of National Bolshevik organ Limonka. Its closure – and the seizure of what is perhaps Chto Delat‘s most politically innocent issue – is symptomatic of the new atmosphere of suspicion and fear that has arisen in Russia.

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Rethinking Marxism’s Russian symposium

The American journal “Rethinking Marxism” is celebrating the anniversary of its foundation with a special issue that focuses on the revival of Marxism in Russia. This “symposium” was edited by Yulia Tikhonova and contains texts by Vlad Sofronov, Chto delat (with Jacques Ranciere), David Riff, Alexei Penzin, Evgeny Fiks, and Olga Kopenkina, as well as an editorial by Yulia Tikhonova.

We have posted this issue in the library of our site. You can access it here.

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Museum conference at MACBA

Chto delat’s Dmitry Vilensky is taking part in a big conference on museums at the MACBA in Barcelona. Find the program of this conference below.

Musée d’art ancien, Département d’art moderne.

Rethinking cultural organizations in the new cultural economy

Symposium

June 12 & 13 2008

6pm to 9pm Macba auditorium

Led by George Yudice, with the participation of Ana Carla Fonseca Reis, Maurizio Lazzarato, Stephen Wright and Gerardo Mosquera

MACBA Independent Studies Program (in the context of the course Economy and Culture taught by George Yudice)

Within the framework of Transform and Translate Culture 2000

By analyzing the factors that constitute the new “cultural economy,” defined by the replacement of industrial production by the production of immaterial goods and services as the base of economic growth, this symposium proposes a critical reflection about the effects of this “new era in capitalist development.” We will analyze the effects of this new era on the privatization of culture in the cultural and creative industries, on urban renewal, in the workplace, on intellectual copyright and in the realm of art. We will examine how the cultural economy interacts with the public sector and how the concept of cultural public service itself has evolved.

The structure of the symposium will be that of an open discussion departing from the short statements of the invited speakers; we hope to have an active debate as opposed to formal lectures.

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Ranciere’s Ignorant Schoolmaster online

Jacques Ranciere’s The Ignorant Schoolmaster, an important book in recent years, is now online. I promptly downloaded it onto the Chto Delat site. Grab a copy in the Library section here.

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New Issue Online: Critique and Truth


Chto Delat has published a new issue of its newspaper entitled Critique and Truth. It could be seen as a set of theoretical texts regarding Basta, and concerns the “critical class” and its conditions of production. In how far can this class and its criticality claim to produce the truth?

After a series of special issues, this issue returns to Chto Delat‘s discussion of the theories and practices of resistance in cultural production. Authors include Prelom kolektiv (Belgrade), Oxana Timofeeva, David Riff, Artemy Magun, Igor Chubarov, Keti Chukhrov, Alexander Bikbov, and Dmitry Vilensky.

You can find it here.

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How It All Began (YouTube)

On the occasion of the Russian elections, a short YouTube KVN video with an alternate soundtrack for a Soviet comedy classic. Great to watch if you’ve seen the original. Too bad there’s no subtitled version…

Thanks to AP for this link from platform chto delat.

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David Ruccio, editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism, March 2-6, IFA, RAN Moscow

David Ruccio, Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA) and editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism, will visit Moscow from 2 to 6 March 2008.
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