JUNE 22-26, 2 0 1 0  

A field trip to the US Social Forum and an invite to consider the role of art and culure in contemporary social and political movements.

Initiated by 16beaver group
at the invitation of AND AND AND, as a part of dOCUMENTA (13)

Participating in Detroit
Participating Elsewhere
About the 2010 US Social Forum
Useful Links

Participating in Detroit

The conversation will take place at 1 Washington Blvd, Cobo Hall room DO-02A on Thursday June 24, 1:00 - 5:00 pm.

For the Social Forum, we provide below a long and a short description:

Short: An open debate about the role of art in the development of diverse social movements and the relation between cultural and artistic work, institutions, and political struggle.

Long: Creativity is important to all vital social movements. With arts and humanities funding cuts in schools and universities, culture is an important site of struggle. The perception among many is that "artist" is not an inclusive category, but one that maintains gender, class, and racial divisions. Gentrification and urban revitalization schemes geared toward the 'creative class' have introduced confusion about the role of engaged art and artists in the city. This has elevated the profile of cultural producers while debilitating artists from picturing their potential role in contemporary struggles. This workshop will seek to answer the questions:

What is and can be the role of culture and art within a context of mounting political, social, and ecological challenges?
When and how do cultural practices enter, inform, and conjoin social or political movements?
How can research and creative work that emerges from within, in relation to, or alongside struggles retain its pertinence or even militance?
What tactics and strategies will conjoin disparate efforts?
How can we incorporate and connect the various scales of living?
What is the relation of cultural and artistic production to contemporary modes of governmentality?
How does cultural production factor into building and bridging divisions between people?
If we accept that political struggle unfolds on many fronts, where can we locate those struggles for artists or cultural producers today?
And most importantly, what is the relation between art, various social institutions, and ways of understanding and doing politics?

Individuals from artistic, academic, activist, and community organizing groups will be invited to give responses to these questions. This will ground an open dialogue and debate about the role of art and creativity in the development of diverse social movements.

This part of our participation will depend on the contributions of all of those who wish to join us virtually and literally. More discussion of this event will develop as those who are interested in our project contact us-- we have some ideas for how to frame our discussion but want to leave it open to the contributions of our various collaborators on the day of the event.

For those who would like to participate in this conversation, but not able to come to Detroit, please see the next section.

For those who would like to watch the event, we will be participating in "detroit expanded" which is an attempt to bring this year's Social Forum to thousands of people who cannot come. For updates on how you might be able the conversation live online, please check: