Disobedience means change

If culture is a set of invisible customs, rules and regulations pertaining to our society, can we view art as a way to question, break and reinvent them? Should artists be a force of disobedience, calling out for changes in the existing order of things? Can an artwork invite its audience to a space of shared concern, and function as an act of disobedience?

These questions were the starting point for the discussion of The Art of Disobedience, held as part of the final conference of the RESHAPE project. The panel moderated by Teja Reba was opened by prominent author and professor Svetlana Slapšak, who found inspiration for examining the relationship between disobedience and democracy in ancient Greek, in the figure of Sophocles' Antigone. Valeria Graziano, organizer and one of the founders of the Pirate Care project, used the historical perspective to analyze the possibilities of disobedience in the context of cultural institutions, recalling the model of peoples’ houses as an example of organizing rooted in community life and struggles rather than isolated from them. Cultural worker and activist Tjaša Pureber challenged the concept of civil disobedience in opposition to the direct actions of those whose civil rights were taken away or endangered, while Chilean-Mexican artist Amanda Piña opened the topic of epistemic disobedience as a precondition for the decolonization of the art world.


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