DY0968 19DEC 20:10 BGO-CPO

THE THING IS THAT WE CAN’T AFFORD PESSIMISM ANYMORE

”In 2013 I was lucky enough to meet Timotheus Vermeulen for a lenghty cup of coffee, and there was one thing he said that really resonated in me: ”The thing is we can’t afford pessimism anymore”.

This quote is taken from a semester report by one of our students at Bergen Academy of Art & Design, Henning Klungtvedt. It has been resonating in me too – resonating all thru the days since he showed it to me on wednesday. Timotheus Vermeulen is one of the main figures in a movement of thought called Meta Modernism. As a kind of answer to the post-modern condition MetaModernism installs the 4 terms hope, engagement, irony and melancholy as the main pillars in an aesthetic and political critique. Henning uses these pillars to investigate ’the correlation between optimism and resistance’.

How are we to revolt against what seems an overwhelming state of rapidly spreading neo-liberal greed and a correlated and coalescing cluster of crises? Political, cultural, financial, environmental and social crises. Is our basic human instinct so stint and demoralised that there is actually no way out? Or can we muster a basic social collectivity that is able to re-install political optimism and hope? Not as naive longing for a wellfare state already long gone, but as an ’instinctual need for freedom’. An urgent urge for justice and equal access to basic necesseties of life: food, housing and a minimum income.

Tahrir Square 2011, Los Indignados in Placa del Sol in Madrid, The Occupy Movement, Gezi Park in Istanbul and the recent wave of riots in Mexico. This is how to judge the re-occuring waves of political unrest; not for the obvious lack of direct and fast political results, but for the ability to resonate hope and political optimism, for the abibilty to re-install a basic belief in our common goals .

Henning Klungtvedt is handing out cobble-stones as a symbolic gesture to empower each of us: Resitance is possible, resistance is needed and resitance will make things change.

THE THING IS THAT WE CAN’T AFFORD PESSIMISM ANYMORE

inflatable cobblestone at general strike 29.03.2012
Inflatable cobblestone, action of Eclectic Electric Collective in cooperation with Enmedio collective during the General Strike in Barcelona 2012.

Note
More on the inflatable cobblestone: http://www.toolsforaction.net/reflecto-cubo-on-spanish-television-inflatables-as-a-secret-weapon-of-tactical-frivolity/

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