Imagining Transnational Mobilization
Transeuropa Festival 2012
Image: Aldo Giannotti
'Be realistic. Demand the impossible!'
Nobody Expects… Imagining Transnational Mobilization is a call for ideas launched by the Transeuropa Network and European Alternatives for the 2012 edition of the Transeuropa Festival.
Nobody Expects…clearly refers to one of the first #hashtags invented during the Spanish mobilization in the spring of 2011 and that had the ability to communicate the intent of moving along a line of continuity with the Arab Spring while proposing a different understanding of the term 'revolution' and linking with other European movements. #Nobody expects the Spanish Revolution ironically appropriated the famous Monty Python catchphrase 'Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition' to turn it into an efficacious and appealing slogan that announced and presented the movement as something unpredictable and, as such, in the condition to challenge and question the present scenario.
The ongoing protests and demonstrations bursting all over the world made clear the intertwined relationship between communication and mobilization as well as made manifest the urgency of the protesters to search for shared body, verbal and visual languages to produce a sense of belonging independently from geographical coordinates. In this sense, exchanging experiences and best practices, testing reciprocally participatory and democratic models for taking decisions and produce new actions, go along side, and become themselves, forms of self-representation and exercises, for those who mobilized, to understand themselves as parts of the same collectivity.
Nobody expects…responds to this situation and is proposed in the form of a call for ideas to artists from different fields and nationality to propose possible or, even better, impossible forms of mobilization and modalities of acting, sharing and moving together beyond spatial (and temporal) limitations. The project intends to mirror the context where it will be presented, namely the Transeuropa Festival that takes place in 14 cities and is organized by as many groups of activists members of the Transeuropa Network. Therefore the festival is itself an alternative form of activist transnational mobilization around which a new collective subjectivity emerges and is constantly practiced.
The call will collect artists ideas in form of drawings, sketches, scores and choreographies to design both realizable and unrealisable transnational gestures so as to respond to the ways collective movements are usually perceived and depicted. Hence the call aims at going beyond the notion of mobilization understood as protest and demonstration but more as ways to enact forms of reciprocity and solidarity. By'demanding the impossible' the artists' plans will act as alternative forms of representation and will serve as exercises in imagining 'unexpected' ways for transnational subjectivities to produce themselves and move together.
Transeuropa Festival is a transnational festival of culture, art and politics happening
simultaneously in 14 cities throughout Europe: London, Paris, Bologna, Berlin, Cluj-Napoca,
Lublin, Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Amsterdam, Belgrade and Rome. It is not 14 different festivals happening at the same time, but one festival taking place throughout Europe.