We are delighted to announce our partnership with the inaugural Democracy Rising World Conference, organised by the Global Center for Arts and Studies (GCAS). The conference takes place in Athens on July 16-19. An impressive list of speakers has been announced, including French philosopher Alain Badiou; the English Pakistani writer, journalist, and filmmaker, Tariq Ali; Channel 4 journalist, Paul Mason; Podemos MEP, Lola Sanchez; Canadian-American documentary filmmaker, Astra Taylor and Speaker of the Greek Parliament, Zoi Konstantopoulou, to name but a few.
Watch out for European Alternatives in and around the conference. We will run an exciting experimental project involving cameras, great minds and great ideas, as we work to bring alternative ideas and approaches to a larger audience.
We asked GCAS’ founder, Creston Davis, to tell us a bit about the work of both GCAS and the goals of the upcoming Democracy Rising World Conference.
What is the Global Center for Arts and Studies?
GCAS is a school founded in response to the neoliberalisation of education, which has been turned into a profit-making venture at the expense of not only the students and faculty, but also at the expense of culture, knowledge and democracy. Our mission is to educate everyone in the world for free as we form a transnational community committed to the principles and struggle for democracy.
What are the goals of the Democracy Rising World Conference 2015?
We have organized “Democracy Rising” a conference that brings together academics, politicians, novelists, activists, workers, and journalists in order to strategize a passage beyond the neoliberal mantra, “There is no alternative” (TINA).
What do you see as the way forward for European activists?
It is a question, above all, about organisation. We know that the voices and desires of an overwhelming majority of people on this planet, and in Europe, are in an absolute state of repression. Repression can only last so long, so it is a question of timing. The Irish have an expression, Tiocfaidh ar la, that means “our time will come”. And our time is close to reinvigorate democracy on a large scale both locally and transnationally. So the way forward is first organisation and networks. But I would add another step to this: education and knowledge. We are in desperate need for more educational spaces in which to train people in the art of communicating, understanding power-relations, history, and to learn what it means to build something together.