Last weekend was a busy one for DiEM25 Germany – and especially for the DSC Berlin. In Frankfurt the german electoral wing of DiEM25 has been founded and four members of the DSC Berlin have been elected to its executive collective. Only one day later the DSC Berlin organised a six-hour session on Creative Resistance.
First of all, Lorenz Nolting from the Peng! Collective showed us how to catapult political activism into the wider public using intelligent and precisely planned actions. Here is an example how Peng! hacked a greenwashing campaign by the oil-corporation Shell.
Lorenz also explained the so-called Streisand effect . This is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. You simply use the PR machine of your political opponent to spread your message.
Before we proceeded with the lecture by Viki Alexander (DiEM25), subliminal_guy showed us a short clip about how video games can be used for progressive and critical interventions. The programming collective Molleindustria has developed a whole bunch of games under the slogan »Political Videogames against the Dictatorship of Entertainment«.
Viki’s main aim was to illustrate the resonance theory by Hartmut Rosa using some film clips. He started with a shocking snippet from Shaun Monson’s film Earthlings, which convinced a lot of people to become vegan. Furthermore he spoke about Plastic Paradise and showed us a campaign video by Bernie Sanders that has been hugely successful and effective as a viral video with approx. 50 million views.
Mr. Trump, listen to these Patriotic Millionaires who want their taxes raised, not cut. pic.twitter.com/heoPX7VWkV
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 4, 2018
According to Viki the question is how to present abstract political issues in a way that they are able to trigger strong physical reactions. This could be the crucial catalyst for many people to become politically active.
The final lecture was conducted by Johannes Hummler (DiEM25), who introduced the Theater of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal. Johannes was accompanied by our special guest the egyptian choreographer, dancer and writer Nora Amin who studied with Augusto Boal.
Johannes began by explaining the theoretical foundations and presented various forms of the »Theater of the Oppressed« (newspaper theater, invisible theater, forum theater and legislative theater).
After that Nora Amin told us about her work in Egypt. There she used the forum theater to confront members of the audience (SpectActors) with their oppressor in a playful way. As an example she gave us a situation in which a child has to face his violent father. Unfortunately the tremendous impact which the “Theater of the Oppressed” can have on conflict management and legislative processes can not be adequately adressed in this short report. If you like to learn more, please ask for the protocol through the channels mentioned below.
After so much input the participants were exhausted and so we continued with the second part – the search for a common working method / basis – after an extended lunch break.
We continued with an discussion about whether or not it limits the creative scope, if one puts artistic actions in the service of a political movement. I personally also see the danger of making superficial or flawed art, if one thinks too one-dimensionally about artistic activism. Nevertheless I believe that Creative Resistance – if you look at it as an extended media strategy – can be used as a clever tool for communicating beyond the activist bubble. We agreed that we would pick a common theme from the DiEM25 range of topics and then find an accompanying artistic strategy.
We will now begin to share ideas and concepts through our mailing list or via Mattermost, and we want to involve other DiEMers (and anyone else who is interested in Creative Resistance) in this process.
Do you have an idea or would you like to attend the next meeting? Do you want to join our mailing list? Write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on twitter. More information is also available in the Mattermost team of the DSC Berlin in the channel “art not art”.
Find more infos on our communication platform Mattermost here.
The calendar with information on our next meeting can be found here.