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Cultures of the Left: Manifestations and Performances

Project Summary

'I have no nostalgic longing. I have never been communist in the electoral sense of the word. I call "communism" the possibility of proposing to the global youth anything but the wrong choice between a resigned inclusion in the existing consumer device and wild nihilistic breakaways', says philosopher Alain Badiou reflecting on the place of the Left in the contemporary global political moment. His distinction between the ideas of the Left and the history of attempts to realise it illustrates both the urgency and the conceptual parameters within which this project is set to explore the notion, legacy and possibilities of the Cultural Left as embodied political, social and art practice.

Using an interdisciplinary research framework and a unique cross-cultural and comparativist approach, the project asks:

• What is the legacy and current potential of the Cultural Left to perform the possibility ‘that the world can be otherwise’ (Buck-Morss)?

• How do manifestations and performances of the Cultural Left negotiate and adapt to various ideological frameworks?

• How has the cultural repertoire of the Left enabled cross-cultural influences and mutations in the performances of activism?

News and Events

Looking For the Left in San Francisco - blog now available

Janelle Reinelt's blog, in which she explores the political content of the de Young 'Summer of Love' exhibition, 2017, is now available to read here. The is the first in a series of three 'dispatches' reporting on California locations that are shaping up to be major political flash points in the Trump era.

Cultures of the Left at PSi (Performance Studies international), Hamburg June 7-11

Our partnership project was featured in two curated panels: Cultures of the Left: Aesthetics and Politics and Political Theatres and Performances of Resistance.

Cultures of the Left: Manifestations and Performances Colloquium June 5th and 6th (Supported by British Academy and Connecting Cultures GRP)

On the anniversary of the October Revolution, questions of the Left have been re-emerging as timely and urgent. This colloquium explores how to live and do Leftist politics in response to injustices of our own time.

British Academy

Man at the crossroads