Videos from Ruth Beale’s Agencies of Real Fig 2 show at ICA

Yesterday I presented a series videos as a part of Ruth Beale’s show which is part of Fig.2 at the ICA. These were mostly taken from Doc Next Network’s Media Collection and its Radical Democracy Media Challenge. It was supposed to fit into three parts looking first at the idea of sortition (replacing elections with a lottery based system), second at the rise of political parties in Spain that refuse to identify with left or right but express a clear desire to reclaim democracy and finally to point to the rise of Poland’s ‘Urban Movement’ which had been successful in demanding participatory budgeting in cities across Poland.

This is David van Reybrouck talking about his book ‘Against Elections’, which as far as I can tell isn’t available in English at the moment – maybe because his publishers would rather you buy his book about the Congo. Here is an article by Ahmed R. Teleb on Open Democracy which talks a bit about the thirst for sortition in Belgium – especially in the youth parliament.

If it doesn’t play – you should be able to view it here.

This is a film about the Paris version of Occupy – nothing like the sound of impassioned French people arguing about democracy! I also showed this video which shows impromptu citizen assemblies at work during the ‘Bosnian spring last year. The point of these two films was to introduce a recent film made by these people from Spain which shows candidates from mini-Podemos municipalist parties discussing various dilemmas, thoughts and fears. These parties have deep roots in Spanish culture – but surely they must draw much of their energy from the Indignados. Barcelona en Comu (who feature in the film) and their housing activist leader Ada Colau have a real chance of winning the election in Barcelona next weekend.

Finally here is a film about a Polish artist and her struggle with local bureaucrats for permission to do some planting. I chose her as a sort of symbol of the Polish Urban Movement and its demand for more of a say in the towns and cities across Poland.


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