As a part of the upcoming Document 13 in Kassel, And And And has invited 16 Beaver Group to organize the first in a series of events and interventions that will unfold between now and June of 2012 when d13 will open.
Our contribution to this series will be a trip to the US Social Forum and an intervention in the form of a workshop there.
On June 22, 2010 thousands of activists, community organizers, artists, thinkers, engaged individuals, cooperatives, groups, and organizations will converge in Detroit to constitute the 2nd ever US Social Forum. By bringing together a multitude of individuals and meshworks of small organizations to engage in discussions and workshops, the social forum remains one of the most vibrant political forms to emerge over the last decade.
For this 2nd edition, 16 Beaver is inviting all artists, cultural workers, and anyone who might be interested in thinking through the relations between cultural practices and political movements today to join us. For those who will be unable to join us in Detroit, we would like to invite you to take part remotely, please see below.
Our official participation in the USSF will be a public conversation about the interrelations between art, cultural and intellectual work to social and political movements / struggles. As with most workshops in the US Social Forum, groups need to seek other organizations to build up conversations with. For our event, we will be organizing with Compass, the Brecht Forum as well as our friends in the Interference Archive.
As the USSF takes place between the 22nd and the 26th of June, we also plan to go to talks, meet up with comrades, engage in other conversations, conduct interviews, have fun, eat together, disagree, debate, dance, brainstorm and more: an extension of our past and current experiments in blurring perceived borders between life, work, thought, friendship, politics, and movement building. We as artists, writers, thinkers, filmmakers, musicians, theorists, activists, organizers want to consider together what it means to be working, living and thinking in the context of the current 'economic crisis,' the rise of militarism and privatization, the plundering of material and immaterial resources, the war on the poor and working people of the world.
It is not a coincidence that this year's Social Forum is in Detroit- a place with an important history of activism and militancy as well as the site of many urgent struggles. The city represents an intense site of contestation over space. The problems of gentrification, de-funding of public services, the high rate of unemployment as well as privatized re-investment are extreme. The recent failures of the auto-industry and its subsequent bailouts by the Federal government play out some of the major contradictions confronting everyone subjected to a neoliberal regime of economics.
Governments are expected to create a good business climate. Profits remain privatized, while losses are public responsibility. The welfare of corporations is not correlated with the welfare of the people and in many cases proves an inverse one. It is within this context that we look forward to Detroit. Not only to understand from the various groups that are in Detroit about how racism and questions of class and economics intersect today. But to understand more generally where might trace the points of struggle and the social experiments taking place? And what could be the role of artists and cultural practitioners within such processes?
We would like to take these and other questions into our contribution to the Social Forum in Detroite and are happy to contribute this question to the public that might be addressed by an event like Documenta 13.