Tag Archives: Giorgio Agamben

Chto Delat Summer School (Visby, Sweden)



The Russian collective Chto Delat has been invited to realise a project within the framework of the Production-in-Residence programme at BAC. This programme aims to support any aspect of an artistic process, to experiment with how to understand artistic production, and to reflect on the conditions for producing art.

Chto Delat has chosen to use this invitation to realise an alternative summer school in Visby hosted by BAC with a number of invited international participants. The summer school takes place August 8 – 12, and hereby coincides with The Medieval Week on Gotland. During this week a large-scale re-enactment of the medieval times takes place on the island with Visby, being a well-preserved medieval town and a Unesco World Heritage Site, as the epicentre. In this context, the Chto Delat summer school will pose the question, “What Is Our Contemporary?” – a question that constitutes the guiding line for all seminars, lectures and talks throughout the week. The outset for the project is a text by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, “What is the Contemporary?”, in which he contends that to be properly of one’s time means to acknowledge the element in the present that will always evade us.

The summer school is an opportunity to share knowledge and explore the potentials for collective learning. Chto Delat describes the motivation for the project as follows:

How should we grasp this contemporary moment, marked by the crisis of neoliberal capitalism and, at the same time, by the uncertainty of an alternative? As the recent Mediterranean revolutions and the European revival of students and precarious workers’ struggles have demonstrated, we are, perhaps, at the threshold of different times, when the crisis will be resolved in a new cycle of contestations of the global neoliberal regime and its final decomposition. We need to think through this ‘contemporariness’ in order to get a strategic orientation in our struggles.”

Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a group of artists, philosophers and writers from St. Petersburg and Moscow. The platform Chto Delat was founded with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism in early 2003 in St. Petersburg and Moscow.


The Production-in-Residence programme is kindly supported by Stiftelsen Framtidens Kultur.

Baltic Art Center     Visby, Sweden   +46 498 20 03 35   contact@balticartcenter.com

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Free the Tarnac 9! (Petition)

Petition: Free the Tarnac 9

The following petition was published under the title “No to the New Order” in the November 27th edition of Le Monde. To add your name to the petition go to this site (in French).

A recent operation by the French police, intensively covered by the media, ended in the arrest and indictment of nine people under anti-terrorist laws. The nature of this operation has already undergone a change: after the revelation of inconsistency in the accusation of sabotaging French railway lines, the affair took a manifestly political turn. According to the public prosecutor: “the goal of their activity is to attack the institutions of the state, and to upset by violence – I emphasize violence, and not contestation which is permitted – the political, economic and social order.”

The target of this operation is larger than the group of people who have been charged, against which there exists no material evidence, nor anything precise which they can be accused of. The charge of “criminal association for the purposes of terrorist activity” is exceptionally vague: what exactly is an association, and how are we to understand the reference to “purposes” other than as a criminalization of intention? As for the qualification “terrorist”, the definition in force is so broad that it could apply to practically anything – and to possess such and such a text or to go to such and such demonstration is enough to fall under this exceptional legislation.
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Giorgio Agamben: Terrorism or Tragicomedy

Terrorism or Tragicomedy
Giorgio Agamben
Free the Tarnac Nine

On the morning of November 11, 150 police officers, most of which belonged to the anti-terrorist brigades, surrounded a village of 350 inhabitants on the Millevaches plateau, before raiding a farm in order to arrest nine young people (who ran the local grocery store and tried to revive the cultural life of the village). Four days later, these nine people were sent before an anti-terrorist judge and “accused of criminal conspiracy with terrorist intentions.” The newspapers reported that the Ministry of the Interior and the Secretary of State “had congratulated local and state police for their diligence.” Everything is in order, or so it would appear. But let’s try to examine the facts a little more closely and grasp the reasons and the results of this “diligence.” Continue reading

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