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Art making at the time of emergencies. The short history of Chto Delat collective.

 

In our talk we reflect the long history of Chto Delat collective and connect it with many events which have influenced our practice.
We discuss how to create a real state of emergency in art and how to criticize while still caring, and to care critically.

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism.

The artistic activity is realizing across a range of media—from video and theater plays, to radio programs and murals—it includes art projects, seminars and public campaigns. The works of the collective are characterized by the use of alienation effect, surreal scenery and always case based analyses of a concrete social and political struggles.

In 2013, Chto Delat initiated an educational platform—School of Engaged Art in Petersburg and also runs a social center called Rosa’s House of Culture. From its inception, the collective has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper focused on the politicisation of Russian cultural production, in dialogue with the international context.

Both the School of Engaged Art and Rosa House of Culture have stopped its activity in May 2022 and after police pressure most of the participants of the program had to leave Russia.

Since September 2022 Chto Delat has initiated The School of Emergencies. It is a transdisciplinary roaming educational initiative for artists, writers, researchers and activists. The urgency of the school was created by the wars in Ukraine and waves of political refugees after growing fascisization of Russian politics and escalation of the war crimes. The school fellows together with mentors and invited teachers are dealing with these issues in the broader context of climate crisis, fossil fascism, austerity measures, crisis of meanings, growing nationalistic tendencies, haunting spirits from the past, dehumanization and urgent demands for decolonization and demilitarization.

See more at www.chtodelat.org

In our talk we reflect the long history of Chto Delat collective and connect it with many events which have influenced our practice.
We discuss how to create a real state of emergency in art and how to criticize while still caring, and to care critically.

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism.

The artistic activity is realizing across a range of media—from video and theater plays, to radio programs and murals—it includes art projects, seminars and public campaigns. The works of the collective are characterized by the use of alienation effect, surreal scenery and always case based analyses of a concrete social and political struggles.

In 2013, Chto Delat initiated an educational platform—School of Engaged Art in Petersburg and also runs a social center called Rosa’s House of Culture. From its inception, the collective has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper focused on the politicisation of Russian cultural production, in dialogue with the international context.

Both the School of Engaged Art and Rosa House of Culture have stopped its activity in May 2022 and after police pressure most of the participants of the program had to leave Russia.

Since September 2022 Chto Delat has initiated The School of Emergencies. It is a transdisciplinary roaming educational initiative for artists, writers, researchers and activists. The urgency of the school was created by the wars in Ukraine and waves of political refugees after growing fascisization of Russian politics and escalation of the war crimes. The school fellows together with mentors and invited teachers are dealing with these issues in the broader context of climate crisis, fossil fascism, austerity measures, crisis of meanings, growing nationalistic tendencies, haunting spirits from the past, dehumanization and urgent demands for decolonization and demilitarization.

See more at www.chtodelat.org

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