Since 2013, the Russian Collective Chto Delat (www.chtodelat.org) has conceptualized and implemented an experimental educational platform – the School for Engaged Art in St. Petersburg, supported by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Moscow). The project has gained serious recognition in the Russian public sphere and among young professionals who use the school as a tool of political and civic empowerment. The school has also gained significant attention among the international scene as a unique attempt to reclaim and reconsider new forms of emancipatory education through art practice.
Chto Delat is well known for its utopian questioning and promoting the communist imaginary and desires. With the project of our School, we want to focus on a more pragmatic approach to the arts and scrutinize different artistic practices, which operate today in a hostile world of commodity fetishism but are structured in a fundamentally different way. We think that today it has become more urgent than ever, since we, the cultural workers, are challenged by developments of the new European left popular movements and parties which demonstrate the courage to claim the power and thus have to restructure not just urgent economic issues and fight against austerity but also to provide a new vision of cultural politics (as the case of Syriza or Podemos) providing a possibility of true socialist political change for a future.
There are a certain numbers of artistic positions in contemporary art which do not subjugate to the logic of capital and profit but try to establish a viable alternative to the current system. These practices will be discussed in the School with a team of tutors (4 artists from collective Chto Delat) and guest teachers who will help us to gain an overview of urgencies and traps of these issues. Among the guest teachers will be: Boris Buden, Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekman, Marina Naprushkina, Vincent van Gerven Oei, and Konstanze Schmitt.
At the end of the School the participants will present the results to a Berlin public in the form of a collective performance: a learning play.
a project initiated by Chto Delat collective and supported by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin