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Chto delat/What is to be done? Lecture

November 24, 2009

Marxism in Culture and the Micropolitics Research Group host:

Dmitry Vilensky & Alexei Penzin from
Chto delat/What is to be done
Lecture: Tuesday December 1st at 6.00pm
Small Hall / Cinema (to the side of Loafers)
Richard Hoggart Building
Goldsmiths College, New Cross, London SE14 6NW

Make art/knowledge politically: The case of platform Chto Delat or self-organization as method

The main idea of self-organized structures is to keep under their control the full tasks of the creation, production and distribution of the art and critical knowledge. They realize its activity in the form of “Art Soviets” that are able to politicize cultural production through a process of collective subjectivization. The main goal of this structure is to cultivate political awareness, raise class consciousness of the oppressed, and provoke a democratic, emancipatory activity in the spheres of labor, politics and aesthetics based on research and conceptualization of post-socialist world.

The discussion will be about anti-capitalist practices and collective emancipation in Post-Soviet political and cultural situation, radical poverty, publishing a newspaper in precarious conditions, debate concerning the common, how to combine “entrism” and exodus, non-alienated relations, the public as co-creator, social impact of micro-political interventions, local optic, search for the solidarity, and how art and theory do not just reflect or interpret the world, but takes risk to change it.

Chto delat/What is to be done? was founded in 2003 in Petersburg by a group of artists, critics, philosophers and writers from Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Since then, Chto delat has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper on issues central to engaged culture, with a special focus on the relationship between a repoliticization of Russian intellectual culture and its broader international context. Their last major exhibition was seen as part of the Istanbul Biennale.

Alexei Penzin is researcher at Institute of Philosophy (Moscow) and member of the group “Chto Delat / What is to be done?”. Penzin is contributing author to journals on philosophy and the humanities, published in Russia and internationally. His major fields of interest are critically re-evaluated philosophical anthropology, contemporary interpretations of Marxist thought, interconnections of art and political praxis.

Dmitry Vilensky – artist and researcher, recent publication – at magazine Afterall, Third Text, Print Project and many other.
Organised by Marxism in Culture and the Micropolitics Research Group, Goldsmiths. Supported by the Open University.


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