Summer school: Our Many Easts

Summer school: Our Many Easts

Moderna galerija

Mladen Stilinović: It’s necessary, 1980. Pastel on paper. Courtesy of Moderna galerija.

February 2, 2024
Summer school: Our Many Easts
Application deadline: March 15
Program: August 24–30
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Our Many Easts summer school is organized by Moderna galerija in Ljubljana in partnership with ZRC SAZU (the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts) as part of L’Internationale project Museum of the Commons.

In the last week of August 2024, Moderna galerija in Ljubljana is organizing its third international summer school, this time entitled Our Many Easts. The first summer school, Constructing Utopia, took place in 2018, and the second, The Big Shift: The 1990s. Avant-gardes in Eastern Europe and Their Legacy, in 2019. Our Many Easts will be held at Moderna galerija’s two venues, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, as well as at ZRC SAZU, Krater, Stara elektrarna, and other locations in Ljubljana.

The 2024 summer school will continue to focus on themes related to Eastern Europe, with a special emphasis on the expanded notion and understanding of the East, its arts, artists, art collectives, and the social and political contexts that have defined the geopolitical-social-cultural East(s) over the last decade.

When the end of the Cold War was proclaimed in 1989, the victory of liberalism over communism was expected to bring “Western liberal democracy” and an “open society” to the countries of the former Eastern bloc and beyond. Consequently, the Non-Aligned Movement, founded in Belgrade in 1961 as a third way between the two blocs, lost its relevance. Then, in the 1990s, nationalisms and ethnic tensions led to war and the break-up of socialist Yugoslavia. Yet what we have seen over the last 30 years is not only the dissolution of the idea of liberal democracy that the East so eagerly embraced, but also, as Ivan Krastev put it, liberalism abandoning pluralism for hegemony. Recent years have seen constant tensions in the East, the emergence of new autocratic regimes, continuing refugee crises, persistent nationalist tendencies in the Balkans, the war in Ukraine, the unresolved “Palestinian question” and the genocide in Gaza. When the Berlin Wall came down there were 16 border fences in the world. Today there are 65, and the number is growing. To return to Krastev and Holmes: The future was better yesterday. From this perspective, we ask what tools can historical experiences, genealogies of knowledge, artistic practices from the East(s) provide us with in our present, bereft of future?

The summer school will offer many different perspectives on the idea of the East(s), starting with the question: What is left of the idea of Eastern Europe today? This broad theme will cover topics such as the legacy of the Eastern European avant-gardes, archives as tools of emancipation, the new “non-aligned” networks, art in times of conflict and war, ecology and the environment.

The summer school will be organized around five themes: The East and Beyond, The Yugoslav Socialist Project as a Source of Knowledge, The Non-Aligned Movement, Film-History-Archives, and Social Ecology.

Summer school participants will have a unique opportunity to experience Moderna galerija’s Arteast 2000+ collection up close, get an in-depth insight into the exhibitions at MG+MSUM together with the artists and curators, visit the archives, discuss the themes of the East(s) with experts in the field, experience the local art scene, meet artists and theoreticians, participate in the annual Mladi levi (Young Lions) festival, take a very different tour of Ljubljana, and much more.

The workshop facilitators and speakers include Ana Adamović, Zdenka Badovinac, David Crowley, Hana Ćurak, Sanja Horvatinčić, Urška Jurman & Mateja Kurir & Polonca Lovšin, Bojana Kunst & Ivana Müller, Krater collective (Gaja Mežnarić Osole, Danica Sretenović), Tevž Logar, Kumjana Novakova, Tanja Petrović, Bojana Piškur, Martin Pogačar, Dubravka Sekulić, Mabel Tapia, Mila Turajlić, Ala Younis.

Our Many Easts is aimed at postgraduate students and art professionals interested in the focal topics, and will offer courses on the interpretation and presentation of selected topics in the formats of workshops, lectures, performances, guided tours, and discussions.

The program of courses will be published on Moderna galerija’s website. All the courses will be held in English. The summer school will take place from August 24–30, 2024.

More information and application here. Application deadline is March 15, 2024.

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February 2, 2024

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