It’s hard not to see that blind adherence to a neoliberal agenda has brought representative democracy to the edge of legitimacy in the European Union. In the past decade, there has been a surge in right-wing nationalism and reactionary violence against migrants and refugees, alongside policies of harsh austerity and mass privatization. At the same time, people have been taking to the streets to express dissent and demand accountability from the governments and corporations responsible. The “Hope and Activism in a Digital Age” panel examines various forms of protest, grass roots initiatives and other possibilities of restoring hope in political action. The participants consider the means necessary to build strong and enduring networks of solidarity and mutual exchange.
Moderated by Aleksandra Lakić, Lukas Stolz, Birkan Taş and Nine Yamamoto-Masson will discuss existing practices of protest and social movement within and beyond Europe, while rethinking the meaning of ‘hope’ in times of political uncertainty. Researcher Taş, who holds a PhD in Cultural Analysis, discusses Kurdish resistance in Turkey and Northern Syria. Community organizer and co-director of Artists Without a Cause Yamamoto-Masson shares her experience in bringing art and activism together, while researcher, curator and activist Stolz brings his “Urban Alternatives” online map to a new audience to explore its potential for practical political strategy rather than unrealistic utopian visions.