pic : From a #fridaysforfuture protest somewhere ( quick search )
( 25,000 people out today – #m15 – in Btropolis for the school strikes begun by Greta Thunberg, foto by PM Cheung )
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- early Spring – XLt Radar – v.3
Upcoming Actions + Events
< 14.3 > Money Talk #7: CIRCLES – A Universal Basic Income, with Julio Linares + Sara Friend at Supermarkt – More info + FB invite
< 15.3 > Fridays For Future / School Strike, in nearly 100 countries, check your local listings: #fridaysforfuture
< 6.4 > #MietenWahnsinn Demo, Alexanderplatz 12h
Cultures of Resistance
< 11.–17.3.2019 > “Comrades, I Am Not Ashamed of My Communist Past”* – 30 years after the fall of the wall – a mixed program at Hau Theater
< 4-7. 4 >ADM ( former squat + cultural free-haven in NL ) – Benefit Party – Multi-Subcultural Art Fair, Urban Spree – more info
< 4.11 > CiTiZEN KiNO #78: Work of Art In the Age Of Auto-Erotic Aspyhxia, at Club Der P. Versager, doors 20:ooh, show 20:30h
more coming soooon !
( fotos: those historic territories of the Palast: the completely devastated city center after WW2, the DDR HQ / the Palast Der Republik and the new billion+ euro Berliner Stadtschloss project about to reopen )
( the closing panel on New Alliances: Margarita Tsomou, Prashad, Varoufakis, et al – more speaker names to be added )
The Political + Cultural + Academic + Social Theater(s)
We think we went to too many events this weekend… our heads hurt, our bodies hurt… but it’s a good kind of hurt , like when your muscles are all sore the next day from that climb up the mountain. And the views were INCREDIBLE!
We’re going to have to jot down some Kiez Notes in this Schaufenster (window display ) journal. Knowing that this is our little transparent public web platform ( for all to see and/or be surveilled ) this will necessarily require some delicate handling.
To begin, we unfortunately didn’t list a fantastic event on our XLT Radar, and we wish we had. Thanks to a comrade from DIEM25, we got word that there was an impressive panel at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele’s “Palast Der Republik – Kunst, Diskurs & Parliament – the finale of a dense 3-day program.
As much as we like chocolate mousse desserts, we thought on first impressions that this fest was a little too Charlottenberg for us, ATM… a little “too conceptually rich” to attempt re-animating the DDR ghosts + still very alive OST spirits so close to all that Ku-damm couture-ing. Was this going to turn into a “Former West” colonial-capturing of our united and internationalist complaints ? Yet another cultural show with little praxis ?
But luckily we did not pass up the invite to see the last day, and a session called “There is An Alternative – Neue Allianzen Für ein anderes Europa“, with a range of guests that provided a true culture-hacking depth !
And in fact, revisiting the whole DDR Palast story ( as the new Berliner Stadtschloss nears completion ) IS re-opening up a can of worms that IS a juicy and unique Btropolis mess to revisit. And if you weren’t around during its various phases of the last 3 decades since the fall of the wall, it is a poignant bit of still unfolding local history, that is so easily swept under the new red carpets of the rebuilt palace(s) and wild self-indulgent city expenditures, at a time when everything – from political party machinations to cultural spectacle to our city being sold to all the neoliberal bidders – looks headed for a mesmerizing high-speed disaster !
We won’t be able to give a complete analysis of all these great speakers who are experimenting with daring new political platforms for another possible European configuration + Demos. But let’s just say, if Brussels could be reclaimed tomorrow, this group wouldn’t be such a bad interim steering committee for an EU Parliament to get more real… inclusive… transparent … and caring !
But it even went beyond rescuing this dysfunctional EU family, by pushing for a transnational interventionist party of sorts. To begin our analysis ( as we did with Transmediale article in Feb. a few weeks ago ) we look at the closing round to cut to the chase. It was Vijay Prashad, rebel historian and journalist, who provided a fierce condemnation of EU considering itself the central steering committee of ANYTHING… In a short paraphrase : When the rest of the planet’s nations and peoples think of EU governance, they immediately start to worry about bombs falling on their heads and colonialist agendas up-the-whazooo and all the vested interests ! And if a new EU party/demos is being re-imagined and forming ( i.e. as in DIEM25 ), it had better have anti-imperialism and a serious plan for global equality and financial equity ( i.e. ending the tax havens ) at the front of its agenda ! BOOM!…
THis could have ripped the whole theater + theme apart, but in fact it was precisely because this was all taking place in THE THEATER… ( and Prashad has an art of making you laugh, and THen chopping off any of your lazy right-arm allegiances, if required ) it reminded us that the world of politics IS a frickin THEATER !
And we might as well start making our own in parallel, and as wildly revolutionary as we all can dream together… and from there have a horizon to aim for as we set out upon establishing a new social organism that functions for ALL !
So, Politics in the Theater ! Yes ! … Something the XLterrestrials, with all its roots in deconstructing and scaling-down from the entertainment complex in these challenging and terrifying times, had begun to see as a hopelessly dis-engaged playspace with little impact on the where the actual power lies. But we are now forced to look at it with a new appreciation and potentials for a tactical approach ! We took this as a reminder: that this IS a broad + deep cultural hacklab, and an embody-able territory, that provides us the room + space to speak loudly, and which cannot be so easily denied to us, nor shut down ! And it CAN even make use of the fat pockets of city cultural funds to wildly outdo and “show up” the pathetic narratives of that tired and dismal old theater of fear, control and domination at the other end of the political spectrum. We will certainly need more of creative manifestations, and in a variety of forms, to have a foundation for another competing reality on the ground.
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The Anthropocene Theater
In another extraordinary theater the next night we participated in the School of Disobedience at the Volkbühne, which is currently hosting seminars on the topic of the Anthropocene. In a similar fashion as the Palast episode above, this also revealed a THEATER of science, academia and the technological industries, while at the same time providing us with some very hard facts of what an urgent crisis we are all up-to-our-necks in today. We will try and provide a map and sketch of what happened there.
Wilko Graf von Hardenberg from Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Berlin is hosting 3 seminar sessions in the Grüner Salon, the last of which is on March 25 at noon. In addition to the registered seminars there is one public evening, which featured guest Prof. Dr. Mark Lawrence who is the Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. Many useful facts were given to illuminate the urgent crisis of climate change…or climate breakdown ( as Monbiot prefers to call it out more radically ). Mostly focused on the dilemma of CO2 emissions, and the challenge to keep this below a 1.5 degree rise as the Paris agreement attempts to achieve. But what is lacking in this frame of the issue is any analysis of the science departments framing of the issues !
If you have been following the so-named Anthropocene issues – the favorite term for academic institutions to handle a looming catastrophe for humanity and our diverse societies – you may already be aware that the Paris agreement has many failings, and is currently nowhere near being on any functional track to be implemented. While they did highlight the science communities massively confounding efforts to paint the picture to a lay public, it does little to address the political entanglements and nightmares that prevent our abilities to properly ACT in meaningful ways in response to one of the most, if not THe most pressing crisis of our times.
We are not going to take time to rewrite a comprehensive summary of the messy stories, nor even all that was discussed by these scientists. But what was useful in listening to them speak is the PROBLEM of how the institutions of science FRAME the Anthropocene from a very western-centric focus, and avoiding any clarification regarding the primary actors who have brought civilization and our habitat to the brink of ecocide and self-annihilation. Hint: It’s the political and economic operating system. And it should more appropriately be called Capitalocene, or as The XLterrestrials have previously written ( in response to HKW seminars, which also pushed these flawed approaches ), to be even more precise: The Corporacene, which we might say is even more hostile, more difficult to regulate, and more out of control, than krapitalism itself.
( Additional Note: It is a pretty clear sign of the political import of this terminology, when one examines the ongoing scientific debates revolving around WHEN the “anthropocene” era begins. Whether when puts the marker at industrial agriculture, fossil fuels extraction, nuclear industries or absurdly “chicken bones” will reveal where the instutions themselves will point the blame. And they don’t seem to be in any rush to inadvertently shoot themselves in any of their own feet. We suspect they will eventually choose something that obfuscates the systems at the root and their own complicities. )
We do not wish to get hung up on debates around the names. But important to be aware of how naming exerts a definite power and direction upon the problem. “Anthropocene” is highly flawed, because it is riddled with agendas. Anthropocene assumes that the trajectory of the planet and the fate of our species is in an inevitable morphosis/transformation into a human-made earth a “2nd Nature” or “Technosphere” as it is sometimes evoked. A next level of ( inhuman + unsustainable ) industrialization!? … This reveals that is not on the plate of tasks for governments, institutions and/or ( fossil fuel era ) corporations to CLEAN UP what technotopian 1st world nations have so recklessly and viciously produced for its colonized subjects, the next generations, and all other species.
This is an entirely unacceptable position… because 1. It lets off the hook all the powerful actors who have done the damage and 2. These actors are precisely those who wield the re$ources, and who can in so many ways implement technologies-of-scale to begin repairing the nature they are primarily responsible for having fucked up !
This is The Anthropocene Theater – which in many respects – is a ploy to deal with the accelerating problems only in the ways which do not incur losses or responsibilities on the business elites who profited, and continue to profit, off the krapitalist game of resource extraction and plunder ! And in fact, the solutions they will attempt to advocate are those which will they will put themselves into the driving seat again to reap the businesses that will be generated out of their strategies for managing and controlling the next stages ! Meanwhile the tragic-comedy may push us all off the cliff toward The Uninhabitable Earth ( a new book by David Wallace Wells, a journalist in NYC).
Volksbühne, fortunately has been a friendly place to challenge the discourse… but one definitely needed to remind this group that if one wants to establish A School Of Rebellion… to rebel, one needs to put some actions on the table… or it’s just more theory and talk… power-points and data dumping… another school exercise in debating.
There are a number of anecdotes we would like to come back and share because this approach needs challenging …
But in the meantime, have a look at what the kids are up to these days …
To be cont. (?)