anti-fascism, Kuba Szreder

narrator Kuba Szreder
term anti-fascism
affiliated institution Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

My presentation will be based on a hypothesis that in many parts of the globe people are facing an imminent threat of resurgent fascism. I will not discuss at length whether we are dealing with neo- fascism, post-fascism or some other political form that should not be called fascism at all. Drawing from my daily experience of anti-authoritarian struggles in Poland, I will hypothesise that fascism exists, and focus on the implications of this political fact (or process - of instituting fascism) for the ways contemporary art is practiced, instituted, and globally circulated. In fact, I will ask a fundamental question - what role may contemporary art play in countering the resurgent fascism on both local and international scale? I will tackle this question by referring to an ongoing process of organising the Anti-fascist Year in Poland and the planned programmes of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Reflecting upon this practice, I will argue that faced with the resurgent fascism, we should rethink artistic idioms, subjectivitities, institutions, and their connections as potential contributors to an unfinished project of other, more just and equal globalisation to fend off a fascist threat. This rethinking should be radical, i.e. addressing the roots of a problem at hand, considering fascism not as a passing fashion or a temporary aberration, but rather as an apt expression of forces unleashed by the failed project of neoliberal globalisation. Faced with fascist conundrum, it would be futile to simply reiterate a globalist credo of contemporary art, in the period of long 1990s considered as an unquestionable modernising and liberalising force, a global connector and attractor of wealth and creativity. Unfortunately, after twenty years of witnessing an unprecedented expansion of global artistic networks, we are all challenged with the authoritarian backlash of an equal scale. However, I will not get fixated on analysing what went wrong. Instead, I will propose to discuss what can be done, and to collectively draw from the previous research of L’internationale into constituencies, commons, geopolitics, uses of art, and to expand on both theoretical underpinnings and practicalities of organising an international confederation of civic artistic institutions.