To Be Real, the performative-musical program of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, examines club culture and its emancipatory potential, and explores the relationship between politics, nightlife, and contemporary art, from the queer roots of electronic dance music in the 1970s to the recent techno-protests on the streets of global metropolises. What is ‘dance for freedom’ and why do we now need it more than ever?
For To Be Real 3, Michał Grzegorzek and Mateusz Szymanówka have invited Lou Drago to present the lecture, Radical Sociability: Enacting Intersectional Affinity
Bogomir Doringer (University of Applied Arts, Vienna), Lou Drago (Transience, XenoEntities Network), Sonia Fernández Pan, Wanda Gaimes (Lecken), Frédéric Gies, HOLIDAY INN (legetebe / non-heteronormative music), Katarzyna Kwiatkowska / ISNT (Oramics), Pedro Marum (mina, suspension, XenoEntities Network), Ania Nowak, ania r., Rrrkrta (Brutaż), Paweł Sakowicz, Tosia Ulatowska (FLAUTA)
Michał Grzegorzek, Mateusz Szymanówka
Pogłos, Radio Kapitał
To Be Real 3, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, PL
Conversation: Cancelling the toxicity in cancel culture — October 7, 2020
What started out as a vigilante strategy for bringing justice and accountability to powerful people who previously had been immune to any consequences for their action, is increasingly becoming an unreflective method for bullying within various communities. For several decades, socio-political observers have been discussing the exacerbation of a “fracturing of the Left”. This panel will investigate identity politics’ role in perpetuating this fracturing, and investigate cancel-culture’s role in deepening identitarian divides. Lou Drago will introduce briefly their strategy to enact intersectional affinities through a process called Radical Sociability, before diving into a discussion with philosopher and writer Ben Burgis, artist and experimental composer Richard Kennedy, and Natalie Wynn, known from her Youtube channel ContraPoints, where she explores the topics of politics, gender, race and philosophy. Together they will share experiences and ideas as to why the “Left” have so readily taken up the oppressors’ tools, and how we might combat this to encourage solidarity and empathy instead of doing capital’s divisive work for it.
During the #metoo movement we witnessed the rise of the call-out; a technique that used social media to amplify hitherto suppressed voices which in some cases lead to the toppling of sexually abusive men in power who couldn’t be held accountable any other way. However in recent years we’ve seen calling-out being co-opted to moralise within communities, and eventually become an unreflective method for bullying, dividing potential allies. As Jack Halberstam puts it: “as people ‘call each other out’ to a chorus of finger snapping, we seem to be rapidly losing all sense of perspective and instead of building alliances, we are dismantling hard fought for coalitions.” In Radical Sociability, Lou Drago, suggests that there’s importance in preserving the potency of this tool and introduces a new term, which imagines an alternative future where the Left is able to build resilient relationships and coalitions.
Drago first presented a version of these ideas in February 2020, before it was possible to anticipate the year’s upheavals or the urgency that we now face in uniting an ever more fractured Left and polarised society at large. As the super-weathly’s sole interest in exponential growth that relies on the exploitation of workers and the environment becomes increasingly exposed, we are presented with a unique opportunity to increase solidarity between all who suffer — knowingly or not — at the hands of capitalism. This talk during the programme, You got to get in to get out, will include the initial concept and expand upon the ways that this thinking has been shaped by the last year, and perhaps most importantly, some suggestions on how to mitigate the ills of call-out culture.
Curated by Sonia Fernández-Pan + Carolina Jiménez for You Got to Get in To Get Out at La Casa Encendida, Madrid, ES