What can be seen beyond the valley?

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My review at Czas Kultury of the second and unfortunately the last edition of the Biennale Warszawa :

“After a very intensive programme of one and a half months, the second and unfortunately final edition of the Warsaw Biennale, entitled Seeing Stones and Spaces Beyond the Valley, will come to an end on 17 July 2022. The Warsaw Biennale is a para-institution that is (or rather: was) concerned with creating a place at the intersection of visual arts, activism, education and research work. It was established by Paweł Wodziński and Bartek Frąckowiak – theatre directors, writers and curators. Over the four years of its presence, the Biennale has built its programme on two parallel lines of inquiry: the first was the co-creation of grassroots, realistically democratic structures of organisation and self-management; the second was the analysis of authoritarianism and its relationship to global capitalism, religion, nature and technology. During this time, nine thematic series consisting of exhibitions, meetings and events were organised in which the word ‘democracy’ was repeated like an incantation – including: “Democratic Metropolis”; “Democratic Education”; “Direct Democracy”… If I am reading the Biennale team’s intentions correctly, the idea was to create a place that uses culture as a tool to analyse the world, to build transdisciplinary and transnational networks of solidarity, and to educate towards a society in which we would like to live, rather than one in which we learn to survive. I am writing this text as a participant, listener and reader of the knowledge produced by the Biennale. At the same time, I feel sad that an important, interdisciplinary, intellectually lively and politically engaged institution will soon cease to exist. It will be very difficult to replace it.” (…)

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