Subversive Festival, Zagreb – 13.5.14. and 15.5.14

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  1. The 7th Subversive Festival — Power and freedom in the time of control: network – ideology – alternatives

    The 7th Subversive Festival under the title Power and freedom in the age of control: network – ideology – alternatives, taking place from May 3 to May 17 in Zagreb, brings together the world’s leading intellectuals, scientists, artists, filmmakers, activists and socially engaged citizens. The most diverse program so far – with the film, forum and conference program sections, the Fair of Engaged Literature and School of Contemporary Humanities – will focus on answering the question of how bureaucratization and social fragmentation bring about the intrusive networking of the powers of control which lie beneath the threshold of social visibility.

    Among more than a hundred lecturers, the Festival will also host the consistent Marxist and sociology professor at Cambridge Göran Therborn, the film director, musician, feminist and postcolonial theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha, the cultural theorist and initiator of The Nationwide Project David Morley, Catherine Malabou, whose theory intersects neuroscience, psychoanalysis, political philosophy and feminism, the professor at the University of London and author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class Guy Standing, the Slovenian sociologist, literary theorist, translator, political activist and co-founder – together with Slavoj Žižek and Mladen Dolar – of the Ljubljana school of psychoanalysis Josip Rastko Močnik, François Laruelle, who, according to Gilles Deleuze and Pierre-Félix Guattari, is “the most important unknown philosopher working in Europe today“, John Hutnyk, Evgeniya Chirikova and many others. All lectures held in Europa Cinema will be simultaneously translated into English.

    The School of Contemporary Humanities is intended for MA students of humanities from the broader region. It is organized as a series of lectures in different disciplines focusing on a specific issue. Its aim is to set up a space for interdisciplinary approach to the issues of neoliberal capitalism, positioned between the civil sector and public educational institutions. University education programs will deal with contemporary issues through the lens of theoretical production of the second half of the twentieth century, while the extra-institutional cooperation between the civil and public sectors enables opening up the space for new theories and forms of interdisciplinary research, which cannot be achieved within the structures of disciplined university.

    The film program offers various approaches to the artificiality of space and theatre, ranging from Alain Resnais (Love, Drink and Sing) to Cocteau’s erotic games (Meetings After Midnight), which demonstrates that Eric Cantona’s acting transformations can be more frantic than his football transfers. There will also be some kidnapping, from not at all serious (The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq), to very serious ones (Sangue). David Wnendt’s Wetlands, based on Charlotte Roche’s erotic novel of the same name which at the last year’s Locarno provoked a huge scandal, will also be screened. There’s also the Berlinale’s Forum newest discovery, Ayumi Sakamoto’s Forma, who, besides being a director herself, is the assistant to the cult director Shinya Tsukamoto; and an atypical musical take on the Greek crisis in the sounds of rebetiko (Indebito). We are hosting the famous feminist theorist and cineaste Trinh T. Minh-ha, to whom we dedicate a large retrospective and Max Linz, the author of the film Ich will mich nicht künstlich aufregen, who’s currently one of the most radical authors of the New German Cinema. At the end of the film program section, which runs from May 3 to May 10, an expert jury will give the WILD DREAMER awards for best feature film, best documentary, the audience choice and the lifetime achievement awards.

    Zagreb Subversive Forum continues its work as a dynamic platform which brings together different actors and initiatives. This year’s program, which will be held from May 12 to May 16 at ZKM (Zagreb Youth Theatre) and KIC (Cultural Informative Centre), brings together engaged citizens, researchers, activists and artists who will analyze the issues of migration policies, feminist theory and practice, as well as the alternative forms of energy production and consumption. All three programs will attempt to explore the emancipatory potential and cooperative scope of these fields.

    The Fair of Engaged Literature, which has never before so rich in content, will open in Europa Cinema on May 6 with three round table discussions on the destructive topics of violence, prison and the body, with writers, judges, prison wardens and activists as participators, while Aleksandar Stanković and Neven Vulić will moderate the discussions. Ece Temelkuran, the Turkish activist and writer, will introduce a number of book launches via live video link, and later on new translations of the IT pioneer Jaron Lanier, the influential theorist David Harvey, the award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (on the WikiLeaks whistleblower Edward Snowden) and the brilliant Virginia Wolf, encompassing her biography, will be presented. The new anthology issues of Poetry and Relations journal, alongside the new edition of Libra Libera are not the only local strong suits. The anthology Democracy in the 21st century? by the Faculty of Political Sciences examines what, in the age of waning enthusiasm for democracy, are the real possibilities of democracy. Sublit Café brings together regional poets and songwriters in the centenary celebration of the beginning of the First World War, and the seventy-fifth one of the Second World War. The Croatian PEN center brings us extraordinary guests, including Jack Hirschman, the legendary American poet who was expelled from UCLA for encouraging his students to resist the draft and to refuse to go to Vietnam. A documentary about him will be screened in the Müller hall.
    The ticket price for a Conference lecture is 30 kn, 20 kn for films screened in Europa Cinema, and 10 kn for films in Tuškanac. Admission to all other programs is free of charge.

    More information can be found at and in our Up & Underground Critical Theory Dossier publications, in the catalogues in Croatian and English, and other printed materials.

    The accompanying music program includes the big concert of the music star, activist and charismatic musician – RACHID TAHA. The Subversive Festival, in collaboration with Žedno uho, brings Taha to Zagreb for the first time. This Frenchman with Algerian roots, visiting Croatia with his 8-member band within his European tour, caught the nickname “the king of rock’n’rai” due to his exquisite fusion of western and oriental music – rock, punk, and electro mixed with oriental rhythms, like chaabi and rai.
    The concert takes place on 11 May 2014 in Culture Factory, and the following day (12 May), we will have a unique opportunity to hear Taha’s conference lecture at Europa Cinema, on the topics of migrations, the Arab Spring, protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the role of art in the sociality devastated by crisis and recession, violence in Ukraine etc.

    The tickets can be purchased at the Culture Factory, Šubićeva 2, as well as at all Entrio outlets ( and Eventim outlets (, at the price of 130 kn for tickets bought in advance and 150 kn at the door. The price for students is 90 kn with student cards or student Index. The door opens at 8 p.m.

    More information can be found on the following links:
    Subversive Festival:
    Facebook – SF:
    Europa Cinema:
    Žedno uho:
    Facebook – event:
    Rachid Taha – official page:

    YouTube for Rachid Taha:


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