New Narratives 2: Thinking Economics Differently negotiates—in open seminars and workshops, lectures, discussions, performances, and films—sociopolitical fields of conflict. One such issue is the question of alternatives to a primarily economically shaped concept of growth, and how this might be realized through criteria of a social and cultural nature oriented to the common good.
In her keynote speech Economic Growth and Social Inclusion, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak questions, among other things, the equating of “development” and “state economic growth.” She identifies the accompanying opacity of a political and economic “culture” that, for example, enshrouds the effects of environmental destruction, war, and displacement and that is essentially responsible for inequality and social upheaval.
So as to provide a focus of program content, we invited the political scientists Athena Athanasiou & Elena Tzelepis, the artist and curator Boris Ondreička, the artist Katya Sander, and the author and curator Simon Sheikh, to each conceptualize a one-day topic and to then discuss it with international guests as well as local civil initiatives.
Pursuing the topic of What If We Don’t Make It? —The Economy of Doom, Boris Ondreička brainstorms, together with his guests, utopias and doomsday scenarios in order to speculate about ideas of family, community, and economics in relationship to laws and normative orders.
In Performing ‘Crisis’ as Critique: Acts and Arts of Remapping the Present beyond Economization, Athena Athanasiou & Elena Tzelepis view, with their guests, the limitations of the dominant expressions of the imaginary as engendered in Europe and globally through neoliberal forms of government, while at the same time forms of art/action as democratic participation emerge, opening up new possibilities for thinking and creating publicness.
In Narratives and counter-narratives of predictive modeling, Katya Sander & Simon Sheikh explore, with their guests, how given data is analyzed to predict future behaviours—in short: politics.
The additional open seminars and workshops, filmic and performative contributions, as well as the fourth edition of the Forum Civil Society Initiatives, which since New Narratives 1 has been established at the Kunstgebäude, along with all involved parties—including local and international participants—will address problems related to the counterreading of the seemingly firmly implemented discourses on governance.
All involved individuals are demanding other ways of anchoring in public consciousness new narratives on alternative forms of economics, life, and politics, and ways of applying these narratives both politically and systemically. Thinking economics differently also means thinking growth differently.—If not now, then when?