While social movements often alter reality by implementing more radical models of democracy, within the arts theatre in particular has become a democratic arena of collective imagination. It is a forum in which society is played out, performed, re-imagined, or reinvented. But after months of a state of emergency in which any form of physical interaction has become precarious, what sort of future do assemblies and gatherings actually have? The Art of Assembly series brings together protagonists from the arts, politics and theory to speculate on the future of assemblies. In this exceptional edition, philosopher and sociologist Didier Eribon and political scientist Chantal Mouffe are joined by dramaturge Florian Malzacher to discuss how much agonism social movements are in fact able to withstand. Even if the movements of recent years have often been laboratories of non-hierarchical structures and consensus models, Chantal Mouffe stresses the necessity of dissent and agonistic pluralism. Didier Eribon for his part reflects on the conditions and limitations of social mobilisation and insists on the necessary diversity of movements like the gilets jaunes or the anti-racism protests.
The Art of Assembly – Gesellschaftsspiele is a series by Florian Malzacher and brut Wien in cooperation with Wiener Festwochen, Münchner Kammerspiele and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (Berlin)