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08/06 - 28/06/2015

photo Marcin Oliva Soto
Galleryphoto Marcin Oliva Soto

People | City | Culture

Generator Malta is a social project developed by Malta Festival Poznań since 2013 with the local community in mind. It invites people to participate in common activities, to be together and pose questions about the surrounding reality by taking part in art projects, entertainment and public debate. This year it will also be a meeting place for Latin America and Poznań. Where these two worlds meet, an idea was born, generating energy on Plac Wolności and in a several districts of the city.

At its roots lies one of the notions associated with Latin America – that of the guerrilla. Most often it evokes an image of violence, of a powerful objection to the state, the struggle against imperialism, of revolution. We are interested in the essence of this phenomenon – a refusal to accept the existing reality, which gives rise to individual involvement and willingness to undertake collective action in order to change the world. It is the radical fight for freedom symbolized by Che Guevara. However, reality underwent a transformation. In countries where citizens can speak their mind freely and go to the effort of introducing changes without using violence, attacks on legal authority have no justification. So, does the term guerrilla make sense in democratic times?

The perversity of democracy is that it does not allow you to practise politics outside the system. It is characterised by a cynicism which makes you think: if you intend to change the system, enter the contest, let the rest of the citizens evaluate your political agenda. How can this be opposed?

Today, low-profile resistance can be a strategy for coping with a reality which we are unable to change. It is a form which allows us to rescue that which has been distorted by the media spectacle and as a result of subordinating activities to the criterion of technological usefulness - our everyday ethics, curiosity and interest in other human beings. But it also means interest in other creatures, because only we, humans, realise what is wrong with the world we co-create. It is a peculiar kind of guerrilla, because it is fleeting, private, low-profile, neither media-like nor mass, addressed to the outside world. It is the most private struggle to develop ourselves in line with the values that matter to us and with an awareness that no one exists in isolation. We depend on other people and share the world with other creatures, not only humans, which are unlike us.

In a world without a backstage area, where we don’t know who is controlling our privacy – is it us, Google, Facebook, the government? – subtle social and artistic actions can bring very different people together and build mutual trust. Are we ready to support a joint action, together, in low-profile resistance to everyday activities?

An idea popular with alter-globalization movements in Latin America is the concept of a “world that can hold many worlds”. How many worlds can be held in Poznań? Let’s find out together on Plac Wolności! After all, we are all a mixture of cultures, beliefs, habits and ideas.

Joanna Pańczak, curator of Generator Malta