-The New World Summit

New World Academy

15 November–22 December 2013

Established by Jonas Staal in collaboration with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht


In establishing New World Academy (NWA), artist Jonas Staal and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst conjoin their efforts to launch a new academy that invites political organizations invested in the progressive political project to share with artists and students their views on the role of art and culture in political struggles. Together, they engage in critical thinking through concrete examples of transformative politics and develop collaborative projects that question and challenge the various frameworks of justice and existing models of representation. NWA proposes new critical alliances between art and progressive politics, as a way to confront the democratic deficit in our current politics, economy, and culture.

The first three sessions of NWA are organized at BAK in collaboration with the cultural workers of the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, the collective of refugees We Are Here, and the open-source advocates of the Pirate Parties International. Each session is followed by collective public presentations, performances, campaigns, and exhibitions.

The curriculum of NWA develops from concrete case studies—models of cultural activism as both an imaginative and practical force in shaping the democratic project—ranging from the educative “protest puppetry” of the Maoist National Democratic Movement in the Philippines and the cultural protests organized in the Netherlands by the refugee group We Are Here, to the attempts by the international Pirate Parties to advance open-source models in favor of free, digital distribution of knowledge.  These examples propose an alternative collective infrastructure to confront what Staal calls “democratism,” that is, “the disastrous present of the world dominated by the condition of capitalist democracy.” In recognizing the commonalities in the entangled discontents and massive civil uprisings across the globe, NWA actively engages the role of art within movements that challenge the maddeningly complex network of contemporary power relations.

With contributions by among others: Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin (artists, Nantes); Matthijs de Bruijne (artist & union organizer, Amsterdam); Heath Bunting (artist, net activist, co-founder of www.irational.org, Bristol); Jef Carnay (artist, Manila); Communist Party of the Philippines (PH/NL); Concerned Artists of the Philippines (artist collective, Manila); Rey Paz Contreras (sculptor, Manila); Emily Fahlén (curator and representative of The Silent University, Stockholm); Brenda Fajardo (artist and curator, Quezon City); design collective Foundland (Ghalia Elsrakbi & Lauren Alexander, Amsterdam); Vincent W. J. van Gerven Oei (philosopher and publisher, Tirana); Gerjanne van Gink(designer, Utrecht); Ernst van den Hemel (theologian, philosopher, and activist, Amsterdam); Hans van Houwelingen (artist, Amsterdam); artivist platform Immigrant Movement International (Tania Bruguera, artist, New York); Manette van Ingenegeren (photographer, NL); Lisa Ito (member of Concerned Artist of the Philippines, Quezon City); Luis Jalandoni (chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Utrecht); Savannah Koolen (coordinator, We Are Here, Amsterdam); Linangan Art and Culture Network (artist collective, NL); Romel Linatoc (singer and stage director, Quezon City); Bienvenido Lumbera (poet, critic, and dramatist, Quezon City); design studio Metahaven (Vinca Kruk & Daniel van der Velden, Amsterdam); Walkie Mirãna (member of Concerned Artist of the Philippines, Manila); Alexander Nieuwenhuis (theater maker, Amsterdam); Yoonis Osman Nuur (member of We Are Here, Amsterdam); Wouter Osterholt (artist, Amsterdam); Edward Perez (musician, Manila); Dirk Poot (spokesperson of the Pirate Party of the Netherlands, The Hague); knowledge exchange platform The Silent University (Ahmet Öğüt, artist, Istanbul, Amsterdam, and London); Jose Maria Sison (founder Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army, Utrecht); Suitcase Cinema (Jaron de Paauw & Joris Hoebe, Amsterdam); Thomas (member of We Are Here, Amsterdam); Elke Uitentuis (artist, We Are Here, Amsterdam); and We Are Here (refugee collective, Amsterdam).

Participants in NWA include artists as well as students from ArtEZ Academy Of Fine Arts, Design Department, Arnhem; Dutch Art Institute (DAI), Arnhem; Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam; de Theaterschool, Amsterdam; Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design (MaHKU), and Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam.

Structured as concentrated three-day-long assemblies of students, artists, theorists, activists, and artworks, followed by a an exhibition and a public forum hosted by BAK, the participants work together towards realizing collective projects in the form of campaigns and various public projects hosted by Centraal Museum, Utrecht and De Balie, Amsterdam. For each session, a reader with a compendium of key texts related to the invited movements and the respective roles of art within them is published.

NWA is established by artist Jonas Staal in collaboration with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. As a department of Staal’s artistic and political organization New World Summit, NWA is a long-term project and its future iterations take place in various cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

This project has been made financially possible by Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds, Utrecht; K.F. Hein Fonds, Utrecht; and Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdam