Propaganda is not merely about sending and manipulating a single message, but aims to construct new realities as such. Propagandists are not interested in operating within an existing reality, but they want to create new worlds. And propaganda can as such be understood as a “performance of power”: the performance of infrastructures of mass communication combined with the visual, narrative, performative and theatrical means needed to “stage” a new reality.
Following these principles of propaganda analysis, Propaganda Theater showcases a hybrid collection of examples of propaganda’s staging of new realities: from Vladislav Surkov, a dramaturg, that became a central ideologue to script Vladimir Putin’s doctrine of “sovereign democracy,” to the massive theatrical pre-staging of wars by the US military in Fort Irwin. The video shows how artists, filmmakers, game designers, architects, literary writers, theater makers and other cultural workers, form an essential part to make the scripts, stages and mass performance of contemporary propaganda theaters a reality.
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
FILM EDITING AND SOUNDSCAPE
Ruben Hamelink and Jonas Staal
VOICEOVER RECORDING AND EDIT
Remco van Bladel
PRODUCTION AND COORDINATION ASSISTANCE
Jindřich Chalupecký Society, Prague
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Faculty of Things That Can’t Be Learned (FR~U), Bitola, Macedonia (Ivana Vaseva and Filip Jovanovski), MoCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Macedonia and MSU Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia (Zdenka Badovinac).
Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, Netherlands; co-funded by the European Union within the scope of the international project Islands of Kinship, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the City of Ostrava, and the State Cultural Fund of the Czech Republic.