In this world where our energy can get exhausted talking about ignorance and oppression, why not take a break and look around to which things do bloom and please our hearts? In networks of support, friend circles, activist groups, artistic projects as well as in bars, streets, homes, train stations and parks, one may indeed find rainbows and palm trees, unicorns and sunshine.
Utopia or not, with or without abracadabra, crystal ball or other oracle, join an exploration and practice of connection, love and friendship! Use whatever skills you have or donâ€™t have, and contribute with your work or non-work groups, politics or â€œapoliticsâ€.
Do you have stories to tell? Love stories even? Do you have letters to share or do you want to write? Do you have beautiful songs to sing? Are you looking for lovers, someone to marry, or friends for forever? Have you ever experienced friendship although you thought you had no friends?
Do you want to perform, dance in the street, create a piece of art, or something else, and actively contest the politics of disconnection? Or maybe you can tell the future, want to try, or you know somebody who can but in a manner that will make us trust in life and encourage living here in Vienna or elsewhere?
Intensive encounters can also become sites of complexity and ambivalence. Without a doubt: there will be conflicts, too. In addition to seventh heaven, there is also social injury, exclusion, rejection generated by various social structures and exploitative economic mechanisms. But the question now is how do we still survive?
Join Forever Together, where the politics of connection, love and friendship form the basis for acting in solidarity.
The slogan â€œrefugees welcomeâ€ is often repeated these days and yet we see that in society some build fences, others break through, organize convoys, concerts, clown troupes in train stations, actions in parks and much much more. Drawing from our experiences of feminism, the critique of capitalism, anti-war activism and migration, and inviting others to share and contribute their own stories, we aspire for WIENWOCHE 2016 to create a platform which will focus on â€œordinaryâ€ accounts of connection, love and friendship that we want to celebrate as extraordinary. Why? Because these acts are something that many of us can relate to; by sharing them we expect to stimulate them even more. Exposing insights into what enables connectedness encourages living and loving here. These affective relations are often seen as hidden, private, background stories and conditions which are belittled as belonging to the â€œemotionalâ€ register. We believe that they are the ground for political action and struggle. Focusing on the politics of connection, love and friendship can serve as a counterbalance to inner fragmentation in our society in general and in political and critical communities which are sometimes limited by their own identity politics. This desire for de-fragmentation, however, doesnâ€™t mean that identity politics are wrong or even unnecessary. Rather, it is a proposal to look at what exists beyond or underneath these belief systems and how this idea makes lives liveable.
We are continuing the work which our colleagues started and intend to further develop WIENWOCHE as a space of enthusiasm, affective connectedness, and social approximation, by practicing collectivity, imagining an alternative world and celebrating this as a possibility. This we wish to do freely and joyfully, in an experimental, humorous and entertaining way. LetÂ´s work together to create more caring social relations.
(NataÅ¡a Mackuljak and Ivana MarjanoviÄ‡)
The festival WIENWOCHE will take place for the fifth time in September (16.09.2016-25.09.2016).
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