IT’S (ABOUT) POLITICS

Performing
the emancipatory
potential of
cultural practice

TEH Meeting 81
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WUK, Vienna

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Resisting austerity

Mobilisation and solidarity today

Lecture and discussion with Katerina Anastasiou, Melissa Garcia, and Lisa Mittendrein


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Staircase 5, Initiative space

Austerity has wreaked havoc throughout Europe. While ‘too big to fail’ banks were rescued with billions, the people pay for it with brutal cuts to social services, healthcare, and education. Spain and Greece are two of the countries that have undergone the harshest austerity policies. Millions are unemployed and experience severe poverty, while hundreds of thousands have emigrated. But these two countries have also seen firm and broad resistance as well as strong solidarity amongst the people.

Together with activists from Greece and Spain, we will discuss the conditions and strategies of resistance against austerity today. In Spain the 15M-movement has mobilised millions of people and completely unsettled the political landscape. One of the strongest movements today is the PAH, Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca/Platform for People affected by Mortgages, which fights against evictions and for the right to housing. In Greece the solidarity movement is one of the main pillars of resistance against austerity. Initiatives like solidarity clinics and pharmacies, community gardens and food distributions, social centres and collectives make their practical solidarity highly political.

Based on the practical examples from Greece and Spain, the experiences of the participants and various materials, we will discuss the following questions: What are the economic conditions under which we mobilise today? How do we resist austerity? Who are ‘we’ and who are our enemies? How do we make our resistance matter? What is political solidarity?