Prague Microfestival 2023 Critical Encounter

Decolonizations: art and emancipation

The term ‘decolonization’ has, in recent years, become used beyond its habituated political and geopolitical context – such decolonizations of individual psychologies, communities, institutional frames and discourses all serve to offer a transversal view of the diverse conditions of colonization and point towards methods and practices which might be used to reverse, devolve or resign from coloniality at various levels. If, to paraphrase media theorist Irit Rogoff, contemporary culture is moving towards an active engagement with the lived conditions of the present, how is such an engagement reflected in the very conditions of cultural and aesthetic production? Considering the recent socio-political challenges, from the Russian Federation’s criminal war on the continent to the socio-economic precarity brought about by advancing climate change, the struggle of decolonization is furthermore developing within an increasingly accelerated world in which volatility may engender a pervasive zeitgeist of entropy and cultural crisis.

How imperative is it for culture and art production to actively engage with politics and its own colonization or, conversely, what are the potential strategies of its exit? Is it desirable for cultural and aesthetic production to facilitate its own decolonization, and to what ends?

The panel encounter will take the form of video lectures by Irmgard Emmelheinz and Svitlana Matviyenko, and live responses by Louis Armand and Milan Kroulík. Moderated by Vít Bohal.