In Search of Europe, meeting modern visionaries

hi my name is Lukas the man and I’m in Belgian artist working in Amsterdam 2015 was a troubled year for Europe and especially for the Europeans living in it we had a refugee crisis financial crisis social crisis all kinds of crises you name it we’ve got it so I was wondering what can we do and by we I mean the people and by the people I mean actually my generation because we are supposed to be the next leaders of Europe you know do we have a vision and what is that vision or is it everybody for themselves and where are the creators and by creators I mean people who have a vision for this world and who act upon that vision I was wondering is there a generation of young creators in Europe that share a vision so I collected my team we have Kimberly who is a drama Turk we have Tomas who’s a journalist we have a cameraman tongue no papain I mean tongue no I mean the pain and we have our director root and with this amazing team I went in 30 days to eight countries 17 cities and now I’m back and I’m gonna tell you it was one hell of a trip we met more than 25 amazing creators it’s always more easy to to imagine the end of the world than a different world there’s something boiling in Europe that I do not even dare to do name it make it a lot better huh leave that to God we can win the battle yeah there is hope I found a generation Europe working hard today which is neither cynical nor idealistic my generation is caught up in a dilemma between on one hand it does not make a difference what you do on the other hand it does make a difference what you do this is our dilemma on one hand we learned from history you know it will always repeat itself inequality will always be you know this on the other hand it’s up to us we have to do something how do you deal with this the key for this I found in Belgium the Belgian artist C Mon at Emmaus he said this it’s not about making it a better world but you the first the first step is just to make it into a sort of the world into a sort of society it’s not about improving society just about creating society it sounds very simple what he says but for me it was a main insight on this journey first I am part of a generation secondly it’s not about making a better society it’s about making a society so it’s not about striving for always more more more afraid to fail burnout stress no it’s about creating society step by step whether it’s better or not you don’t know and that creating a society always is what happening everywhere with my generation how well on many different ways for example storytelling Simon who you just met he believes in the importance of a storyteller in these days in 2009 a friend of mine which is very important it was a friend of mine there’s no organization it was no theater a friend of mine is me a man at my home and he was at that moment working as a social worker in three large social apartment buildings hearing games that are just outside the city center of Ghent and he told me that these buildings will be torn down and that the people who were still living there that they were afraid to live in and it was the word that he used in a sarcophagus in empty building and he asked me to do something but knowing that there was no money no organization no plan so I really didn’t know what to do and then I simply thought they are I have this other projects that I do I need a workspace why shouldn’t I just organize my Atelier my workspace in one of the empty apartments at aim here the

condom itself plots in a minute a hill an inverter officially you have three buildings with economically passive people or they are retired or the earth in health care or they are have psychological problems and then that’s what it won’t work and so on so my workspace started to function as a social place at one time you’re just a place where 40 people come to eat and a lot of them come to eat because they have no other food to eat just because of the poverty is really we not used to it in Belgium to see this sort of poverty and on the other end when someone dies suddenly you are the coffee table after the funeral because the family has no means to pay for another space officially the earthly existed for 26 months so I think after four years we had the performance I was talking with someone who lives in Rabat with whom we worked a lot and after the performance he said and I think he said thank you for the performance and I said yeah but thanks to you as well because I couldn’t have done this better you are the expert about living there so I needed you they helped me it was known you have not the other way around and then he said yeah we can say whatever we want and we can tell everything we know but still we need someone to make the make the montage of it so yeah it is my it is my ability to do this it’s my ability I borrow the words from someone else but it’s my ability to voice someone who is voiceless the donors felt about Harvard well who’s it earns from our kabocha world this is not a new LP your boy I’m really pleased with it with small moments that it works and that you discovered that someone his head is just like a few centimeters higher because there’s a story behind him we live in a society where where the narratives the narratives of identity for instance have become so intricate and so difficult to explain and on the other hand our media and I mean media I mean not only newspapers are but how we look and how we communicate with the world have become so narrow and so quick we really need time and good storytelling to to get it to to understand what is happening just storytelling creates identity and identity is a fluid concept we know that my generation realizes that but at the same time we need our identity so we recreated everyday again to all kinds of media for example nikos in greece he has a project specifically about identity over the last few years thousands of Greeks have decided to move abroad my name is Nicolas and I’m one of them hi Nicholas at least 300,000 Greek people have left the country over the last five six years a large number of them are people who are educated well educated and multilingual so there’s a a totally different kind of migration wave than what we knew before I set up will together with some friends we set up a platform which is like a digital storytelling platform and it’s focusing on the personal stories mainly of Greeks living abroad during the time of crisis of the new generation of Greeks and that’s why we call it in the Diaspora it’s about time we tell our own part of the story apart from telling the story it’s a way to form a community it’s a way to through content which is also user-generated content people become aware of new diaspora and they join it as a community we’re planning to make offline vents and other ways of getting all these people to network with each other to support each other some of our stories are republished in large online media and we’re also trying to influence the two to spread the word to spread the seeds basically because it’s another reason of why you diaspora exists that

we’re desperately looking for a collective identity we will find a way to stand up on our feet again to set up this economy from scratch because it’s a devastated economy and to also reveal this collective identity and find who we are and you know make our children and grandchildren proud what we have achieved through this difficult times we don’t really have an option I mean the other option is to gloomy to talk about the other options is all you need to do is look at history Nicholas uses an online platform for his project about identity you know technology for identity if there’s one word which defines my generation it’s technology but engine from Istanbul says you cannot fetishize the technology it’s just a tool it’s not the purpose so the purpose is always changing offline engine is the co-founder of the Institute for creative minds in Istanbul and his company does an interesting combination of both commercial work and social projects here is how he uses technology hi I’m Lucas while for the Junos is all kind of activist site it’s a project to understand Turkey it’s a crowd-sourced Network for communication we’ve got like hundreds of people across country who contributes to this news network David what is 100 agenda it’s only Twitter right no no it’s now everywhere like web Plus Facebook Twitter SoundCloud wine periscope snapchat Turkish leading social media extras like bobbi large all these crosswords humor sites so we are now leaking into the platforms that no conventional news outlets would think as a medium to pass on their messages now you cannot protest on the street that easily please is challenging you you don’t spring pepper gas using water cannons to disperse but on the internet your fear fear not the freest but your fear so we have to enable this digital public space for serious discussions – that was the initial idea but if you only do it on digital platform then you lose touch with the actual ground so we said let’s combine the physical public space and digital public space I’ll give you one example from the project that we did three years ago 2012 the first nuclear plant in Turkey is being built by these days who wants a nuclear plant right next to the house in garage in Turkey turkey Turkish are clumsy we were not super against nuclear plant because we didn’t know anything about it you know what’s the security measures but we said let’s discuss it with professionals and with everyday people there is this famous tower in Istanbul called the galata tower it is very significant monument in the city everybody likes it and we said you know this tower kind of looks like the Twitter timeline it’s vertical overnight we came with projectors we map the tower we kind of make a PR before it with vol 4 and we said this is our hashtag can you please participate to the discussion we don’t know about nuclear energy better is still good it’s still old or it’s its name security measures maybe help I don’t know we have to discuss it you know so we released all these hashtags the celebrities parliamentarians even the constructor of the nuclear plant the company who won the bidding a Russian company participated to the discussion with the PR team and we made a kind of survey public survey you know we reach to eight million people without spending one dime I would say all the best with all the project and hopefully we meet again in Europe or anywhere on the world connecting people whether it’s online or offline has always and will always be essential you can have everything you

want but you need a sense of belonging otherwise people they just die I found many creators who are experimenting with ways to reestablish meaningful connections between people for example the social muscle club in Berlin they are creating communities by practicing giving and receiving social muscle club is a group of people who makes events and practices and performances that train our social muscles what are social muscles you also do like this are they here no I don’t know I always do this but of course they’re everywhere social muscles are kind of like social skills interpersonal skills so like interests communication giving and receiving and all those kind of soft skills bought a game or you can call it an exercise where we would give write down a piece of paper something you would like to give and something you’d like to receive put it in a bowl and draw it out but we also always had to have performances amazing when somebody shares some their wish could just be like I want someone to help me with my website but that’s equally as important as what I really need is for someone to help me care for my grandfather or whatever I mean everybody’s wishes are in or I have a really great talent at playing the piano that’s just as important as I don’t know I can bake a cake feels like a movement in a way I mean it really does because actually simply because these connections between the cities that are slowly happening because we did this Club in Basel they’re gonna do four and now there’s a whole Basel team who are working with and now we want to have some of these artists and Basel come to Berlin or we’re gonna go to mom see France and we went oh is that why don’t we just ask the brilliant people no let’s ask someone from Basel and and vice-versa and then you start to have these little connections creating communities is very important and and it’s happening all over Europe but there’s one big danger what if your community only exists out of people that think like you somebody says I do not like it it’s a boring conversation somebody else says well change it it’s up to you the essence of society is that you stay and engage with people that don’t think like you lot of on the back she goes back to the essence of society conversation and she creates spaces where people can really meet each other so if we want to think how do we connect how do we take responsibility how do we stop being only consumers how do we engage ourselves really now then you have to also really do it in a way you could say I offer an empty stage for people to step on and to take action I saw it happening around me within the feelings of the Arts of course also in other fields in society in politics everywhere this word came up like participation we have to participate but what what does it mean so we thought it would be good to investigate on this and therefore we did the public brainstorm a lot of people said that actually wow we don’t have to build anything nah maybe we don’t have to create anything but this what we do now know the talk itself has is of value and this is what made us more and more interested in what is that what is actually a conversation in what ways could we offer that or bring that or give this opportunity so we started to be interested in the form of conversations and we started to explore all different kind of conversations and to explore techniques from all over the world I knew it from only from quantum physics scientists theory also from Chantal move and more and more different techniques also pointed out to me that in a way a conversation is a space if it’s it’s good where conflict can exist people don’t like to look for conflicts and they say no we do not really have a conflict but of course we have lots of conflicts now how do we deal with the refugees how do we deal with this with

digital revolution how do we deal with changing democracies so there is lots of things happening but with we all in a way learn not to look at it so what happens if we do if you really have a talk with somebody it’s actually super scary why because there is the potential of change so you you you engage in the other the other engages in you you share your position everything you are and and and and there is the possibility that this meeting changes you if we can share our disagreements and look at them together if we can stay with them with them then that’s the common ground we we actually have so far I said with you five insights I found on my journey on how my generation is forming society today storytelling identity community technology and stay we are now halfway our journey and there’s more to come when I met professor Dakota in Belgium he pointed out to me that there is a huge struggle that we are fighting today the struggle against enclosure of the Commons and the professor said that it all started 500 years ago become as most utopia so people focus on utopia on the wrong and very tedious we have to admit it’s very boring it’s one of the most boring books I have ever read in fact because he describes at length the life in utopia but they forget that Morris wrote against his time and this is the eternal beauty of his book and in fact in the one page where he says sheep are such nice animals but now they’re eating people and buildings and but wait wait wait sheep eating people people don’t understand let me explain what was happening in those days is that you had a nobleman who owned all the land and the common people who had nothing they land the land from the nobleman you know so they’re living on that land suddenly the nobleman thought you know how we can make more money if we chase of all the common people burn down their houses put some grass more have more sheep so we have more to sell we are richer common people thrown out and around all that land they put a big fence up and they claim now it’s ours so they were claiming the land putting a fence around what belongs to everyone and that is enclosing of the Commons Thomas Moore was the first who saw this but these days it’s still happening more than ever everywhere you go because what happens today is a massive subsidizing of the rich and a massive punishment of the poor and you can prove it prove it I could give you examples and examples and examples till you’re bored and and your whole documentary is spoiled but it is – it is it is saying it’s rock bottom in the statistics believe it the oil companies are enclosing the Commons in in a way which is 20,000 times more horrendous than in Morris times they do fracking they do tar sands oils they do deep-sea oil and I could go on it’s the same for knowledge it’s the same for the pharma industries they enclose the Commons in a in a way that we should not tolerate anymore everywhere I went on my journey I saw this enclosing of the comments happening and it’s not only on the level of nature or water or even air it’s also on the level of information big data or social housing or healthcare or education or nuclear energy or public space you name it luckily I met a lot of people who are fighting against this enclosing of the Commons for example Valerio he and his crew in Rome squirted the theater for more than three years and they introduced the system of the Commons to run it nice to meetcha children Wow this was it

yeah that is the door of the of the theater we start in 14 June of 2011 and we will knock and we enter in 15 inside the 50/50 who are those 50 people were was a group of workers of of theater the major decide to privatize the plan was about occupy just symbolically for three days the theater three days three years after three days we realized that was a lot of ways of people a lot of artists that come to support this idea about not cut money for culture no privity this this theater the model of the occupation was a based on the Commons that means a group of people a community of people manage theater in this case but could happen even for for a park for I don’t know for a land for a lot of things Valley you explained me the key ideas on which they base their model of the Commons first circular formation that means that everybody has a position but you can only keep that position for a few years then you change it if you’re an artistic director after few years to become a technician or an actor and hope you changed audience can always come in and watch every step of the process secondly funding they have all kinds of funding not just subsidies or private funding but crowdsourcing subsidies private all together three assembly they have every week a meeting to make decisions on how to run the theater everybody can come but they don’t make the decisions based on voting they make decisions based on consensus for time bank system so you can pay for your ticket with money or you pay for you take it with time so instead of money you give a few hours working at the bar or cleaning up afterwards unfortunately they didn’t have the chance to develop their ideas further politics don’t want a dialogue with us because this model was too dangerous was too strange to impossible I don’t know I I can’t say a lot of things like they want they don’t accept didn’t accept didn’t talk with us about this model and how do you feel about that angry very yes with a lot of sadness with a lot of in this moment we lose this battle let’s talk politics or now let’s talk about democracy officially in Europe we live in representative democracies now we elect people and they should represent us but there is a big problem what exactly is democracy like for example is democracy the right to vote is democracy the it’s democracy freedom of speech there is no political party that represents us as a whole or individually we have even of the name they need to go over the the category left and right everywhere I went I saw the same thing people feel that they are not heard or not seen they vote but they don’t have influence and that should change actually it is changing citizens are taking over everywhere in Europe they’re introducing a new kind of democracy representative democracy with direct democracy a good example of this is happening in Spain and it started in 2011 with the m15 demonstrations here’s Rowell I had this kind of emergent stuff which which was mainly formed by the junk junk of people very enraged very angry very indignant by the broken promises and and this was very people that started to self-organize through the networks and they created something which is called democracia real ya real Democracy Now say in May 15 next May 15 we are taking

to the streets everybody on his or her own town city village etc and that’s how it work myself and my Congress had as activists we were like saying who are these people if nobody nobody knew them it was a total novelty that very day we saw that it was something very powerful because we had 60 different demos self-organized demos in in all Spain not only Madrid like concentrated by you know in the small village they had their own he started dissing for the people in portals all decided to come there we are staying this is not enough etc so they were clever enough to have their laptop and do a streaming of everything so those thousands of people there that went back to their homes they still were checking these crazy people what are they gonna do so they could see that the cops came and and and yeah victim from the from the square which enacted real indignant reaction chain reaction so the following day there were more they were again evicted so in four days we had 30,000 people in portable sole and then a wave of occupations of Camping’s of cloth ahsoka palace in the holy spirit that was the beginning in a week because it was a quake between May 15 and the municipal elections trying to influence on on that elections in terms of a critique of the political system but it turned into something more it turned into us a new kind of civic insurrection claiming reapplication of politics in the sense of politics in order to get out of this mass of corruption very issue in Spain of politicians sold out to business excetera doing nothing about the the fate of a whole generation of people of a whole country and behind me there’s a few street party going on because today a new mayor manuera has been chosen c71 Caesar church and the most important thing she does not belong to any political party she’s chosen by the people she had no money to do a campaign so the people by crowd funding by helping paid to get her in power and the hope now is that the social movements the people themselves can become part of the power in the city not just politicians civilians but working together on the program of hora Madrid this plan to have a like juntas eggwin gobierno which would be like citizens committees on the neighborhood basis who periodically would have you know accountability meetings with with with the City Council because they also decided on something because we propose they can sort of Beto they can propose like this is very I don’t know polemic we should have a referendum it’s not about a nutopia of everybody doing politics all the time it’s just about you know that democracy is a comment I don’t know if his pain was doomed to have a May 15 or something but anyway it’s been great you know it’s been like sort of a secular miracle because otherwise we would be in a situation even worse than Greece No in Poland I met Slava milk he’s the co-founder and editor-in-chief of political critique which is a Central European platform for citizen journalism he is trying to increase democracy not by starting a political party but by starting a social movement yeah academically to kefka’s execution gentlemen says pasa cetera says just from classic Rodney social characteristics Nauticus and epigenomic original as territory television if you look what Polish government you

know did to us you know they stole all I would you know correct books what we create is we create togetherness we create the social glue in the in the world which is so individualistic so you know atomized and that people really don’t want to live together anymore but to do it you really have to involve people and don’t count that you can do it by Facebook or you can do it on the mass scale immediately no today it’s very hard to go from social protest to social movement this is why in dinero’s or Occupy Wall Street they never turn to social movement no argument will organize people no emotion emotion can organize social protest but not social the last thing the last order the last mean is common experience doing something together all right we were always opponents of all the governments so no one really loves us look before politics was about going to Agora going you know to the public then showing your idea narration program vision your aim agenda values and then convincing people the more you convinced the more support you’re gonna get look how it go looks now you go to a gota only to check what the people already think by giving them surveys or something yeah then you write your narration alright by the from PR you know I cannot understand why this PR sections are not in the present but at the universities because it’s about cheating people isn’t it you’re gonna tell me that this party politics makes any sensation for these last eight years they only approved two real social reforms like the significant the rest is administration more or less those two changes were about pensions in these two changes and in other smaller the opponent of the government was not our position was mostly NGOs we organized coalition of NGOs we published first a guide on it then we published many books we organized thousands conferences we taught many and peace we you know taught many journalists we organized campaigns in there for two years and then we changed it okay and all that five biggest things were changed in the axis between certain ministries and NGOs not on the axis between coalition and opposition okay and it’s more and more popular like this so don’t tell me that I can’t do anything by Kritika I can do probably more than most of the parties we are also larger than most of the parties you it’s not only citizens and NGOs that can affect politics so can art Yona style showed me that art can make politics more political than is possible in real life I’m the founder of an artistic and political organization called the New World Summit that develops in the spaces of theater and arts what we call alternative Parliament’s new political spaces for organizations stateless blacklisted organizations that today find themselves excluded from democracy specifically in the context of the so-called war on terror so groups that are considered to be a threat to the so called stability of the state and as such are placed outside of the framework of day-to-day politics so we as the new world summit explore at what level the space of art in the space of theater can function as an alternative space of political representation there where politics fails well I think in essence all art is propaganda meaning that artists always serves dominant forces whether that is church or states and and tries to engage what tries to create a space of possible criticality but always within the structures that she’s embedded in in the sense that art is

always the product of its time but artists are also a product of their time so for example today we are in the heart of empire of capitalist democracy and here the task of art is to show our capacity to be as free as liberal democracy as capitalist democracy has promised us to be so it’s not so much what the artist makes no one cares about what artist makes it’s about the idea that there are artists and the artists are free I’m an artist who decided to work together with directly with social movements and political parties to try to change the conditions of my own practice to try to change the question who it is exactly that I’m serving what we see in the context of Europe when it comes to the rise of different new political parties and I mentioned already put them associate set but also social movements from m15 was indignados in Spain to the Occupy movement to gassy Park in Turkey what we see are the articulation of the new common political project and mass movements that strat fights for mass democratization and my question is what can be the role of our to contribute to death process to death imaginary I think one aspect is about when it comes to the role of artists is how do we imagine how do we visualize in your politics and in our case we do it by developing new political structures alternative Parliament’s and that try to redefine what is the practice of democracy so what you see is a is an architectural construction circular construction and in that construction are flags that all belong to organizations that today are considered terrorist groups so they are placed on international designated list of terrorist organizations which means that they are considered to be a threat to the stability of the state which results in freezing of their bank account retrieval of their passport so they cannot travel and it means they’re effectively isolated place outside of the confines of so-called democracies and what they cannot travel they are not part of the summit itself as well well that’s why we that’s why we try to make an intervention in the space of Arts of course has always been a political and juridical exceptional space so within art on the leg on a legal level also it is possible to organize forms of politics it might not be possible to organize anywhere else I mean what does the artwork here that’s I think is the real question like is the artwork that you creates this architectural construction or is the artwork that you bring in voices that would otherwise not be hurt or is the artwork something else and I think the artwork is something else is lies in the people that are organized in this space and the social relations that are being created through dead space because that I think is what an emancipatory art essentially does it’s not about making an object and placing it in the world it’s about how making a structure in the world can change our social relationships in that world and this is the artwork here we are now at the end of our journey part of a generation that is working so hard not on creating a better society but on creating a society in all kinds of ways storytelling identity technology community stay comments new democracy social movement role of art all these different people that I met there are so many of them every day step by step piece by piece we are making our society some of us with huge project some of us with small ones but everybody is contributing their own to society and now this would be the point in documentary where I would say thank you so much for watching now go on and make your own piece of society but before you do that I wanted to show you I couldn’t leave it I wanted to show you a project that touched me so much on my journey in which all of these elements come together and that is the project metropolis by Georgia in home metropolis says it’s out you guys they’re they’re so cool with so projeto post-trauma hissy gamma mus held allall to develop a drop elite came to see el primo Musharraf matado del T

Anita Tara the persona given a metropolis ownership card which ain’t or a baton T so no me grantee apricot II somewhat identikit bein a then lost ways Church candle see wound of Italy where sack windy yank italiani which CAPTCHA so no time to dally any given aqua okay Sano lost a so the shaman Nelligan did sooner they don’t put their pagará no feet I mean the leader sent of its own I guess one or about a dog who bury waste or elite or bono Khurana fábrica de salami this Mesa who haven’t in Adana Paris ready go sweet hwacha kilo meter opposite fair analogy DeLeon equipped Remy ABBA Linda’s religion will Mezzogiorno the Sharma one of art over Dodson tato Moussaoui rbirtle public o2t somebody then you know it’s a bottle of permit emod sharma come quello this is already entrare Pinacoteca domestic a diffuser shabbiha mommy so Leo buried intrapartum NT pay for sorry le persone abou sorry dear bon giorno buona sera VAR AV dreg well Quadro elephan a Megerian k Brenda’s UN cafe no porque los Cobos known s so Darrell art a Yankee Kabira chosen occupation abided even contrary persona Katy Seminole Liberty regalo ceviche forsenw che bolado sono persona monkey boy stranger d’Ancona relatio neck I was a projector see elementa here at Saldana dishes school individual assume the lease ports it is just school in the middle and Kagan Amish it with Kenya Tisa see paga we probably mother really paga Lagasse deserve a Nobel Farnum Christos who very hilarious woman to Buddha Metro bullets Christa soma permit the rallied Sara Quattrocento buried are to entry Anna Chris Taub quillery Sam Rasheeda Farah Willy Adegoke a sustainable savasana very grand ego success – or 210 cm this is a piece by Michelangelo pistol at toe and he is one of the most famous artists they have here this piece alone is worth two million euros frequently what that probably food – ready whistle or gamma or do agrandi possibly doubt ultra líderes I gave Ogawa bream I guess simply she meant she stank yama duty a bit on t imprimis the best o jogo Dissidia models made terima the chamalla grande alternative a so on or k crystal Bostock bangers Goomba righto pre-k l the Shamu le’me naturally was Cumbre continually j el momento dish case suppose Goomer are ever KML no spot so Koopa the legal men take windey K 2 tow Phoenicia abdomen telegram the presents the lartique we far afar and a brutta figura keifa requests you know the Shamu Avadi a provider is here nan reports a lost odd oke obtained Rakesh Upendra carry go dear but Reagan Leroux’s Quattrocento braids are no Adele a truffle again no yo [ __ ] T so there K in questa Mendoza too catchy douche end of its own and the gooey Santa Minori a limit a major straddle journal title entre filete Oh bunny foo God al re ad LAX future Kumasi chief Australia – TD gonna Aurora now said to booty jus Quattrocento Rodarte two teens organ Oh Alice can the road agenda cannot to be carob a bar you know you can have everything you want but you need a sense of belonging otherwise people they just die s amazement theory optimism and practice and which is a very short and I hope powerful reply to all your questions either will work together or we perish it’s not about improving society and just about creating society there is no society if you do nothing now we could be whatever we want to be but we have to be that collectively we have to want it collectively because in fact we don’t have answers nobody has answers like this game has to continue with our rules somebody says I do not like it it’s a boring conversation somebody else says well changes it’s up to you

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