February 26, 2017
Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
New Unions is an artistic and political campaign that departs from the current political, economic, humanitarian, and environmental crisis of Europe with the aim of assembling representatives of transdemocratic movements and organizations to propose scenarios for new future unions.
New Unions considers the crisis of Europe simultaneously as a crisis of the imagination, and as such rejects both ultranationalist parties that demand separation from the European Union and seek to return to a mythical notion of the nation-state, as well as the political-economical functionary elite that has used the EU for its austerity politics. Instead, New Unions argues for the need for third, fourth, fifth options in the form of alternative scenarios for transnational unionization.
The ongoing collaboration with the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), initiated by economist Yanis Varoufakis, is aimed at conceiving new assemblist designs for the movement’s pan-European politics. New Unions: DiEM25, Athens departs from the stars of the EU flag, no longer placed in a circle but changing constellation. As such, the stars represent both the crisis of Europe and the process of emerging new alliances. In and around these stars are the red wedges of the DiEM25 logo designed by Brian Eno, which re-constructing the stars – in the spirit of El Lissitzky’s Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (1919) – into symbols of a new union in the making.
Situated in Paradiso Amsterdam, a center for culture, music and politics, the installation proposes a new language for a popular emancipatory politics. As these stars re-assemble, so do the participants to the event. Together – body and star – define the assemblist space within which DiEM25 representatives and their allies, as well as artists and performers, propose a series of alternative scenarios for new unions to come.
With contributions by Ayaan Abukar (political scientist/migration expert Vice Versa), Kathalijne Buitenweg (GroenLinks), Susan Curvers (DiEM25 the Netherlands), Srećko Horvat (philosopher, DiEM25), Niels Jongerius (Trans National Institute), Alexander Rinnooij Kan (D66), Renske Leijten (SP), Marit Maij (PvdA), Lorenzo Marsili (European Alternatives, DiEM25), Josien Pieterse (Network Democracy), and Yanis Varoufakis (DiEM25), Agnieszka Wiśniewska (Krytyka Polityczna, DiEM25) . Moderated by Chris Keulemans (writer)
Studio Jonas Staal
In Collaboration With:
Jonas Staal (artist), Paul Kuipers (architect), Remco van Bladel (graphic designer), Younes Bouadi (producer), Ernie Buts (photographer), Ruben Hamelink (film maker)
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (NL), State of Concept, Athens (GR), DiEM Voice