C.R.I.S.I: is the abbreviation of COMMUNE OF RESEARCH FOR INCLUSIVE SOCIAL IMAGINATION. We use this acronym in order to synthesize by a simple word/concept the general definition of the whole project. We propose “crisis” because we understand that’s the most contemporary and urgent issue to aboard, debate and work in the Italian -and European- context, and on this case with the specifies of Bologna. The roots of the greek word krisi coming from krinein which means “to decide, to separate, judge”.
By definition “it is a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something, in a sequence of events or a disease. Also it could be an unstable period of extreme trouble or danger in politics, economics, etc.” We think that today it’s a concrete key-word which involves the 99% of the people worries around the world, highlighted in all the media, social networks and streets. Therefore this project tittle and contents will help to call the attention of a big percent of the population.
COMMUNE: We use the term ‘commune’ in respect of the ‘common’, with the intension of producing a space for social communication, in a dialogue through contemporary art and media-communicational devices. In this specific case the idea of ‘commune’, seeks to incentivize the collective participation not only in the artistic and creative way, but also creating a collective planning for the distribution of the resources and the economy of the project itself. At the same time looking for the dissolution of the authorship in a collective participatory art experience, sharing the protagonism and visibility with diverse social actors.
SOCIAL READYMADE: We use the concept of social ready-made as an artistic practice which is the result of a contextual displacement and the signalization of those existing situations, tensions and conflicts in order to give them visibility. It’s a contextual operation which intervenes in the current social scene through semantic elements taken from already existing realities to giving them a new meaning to activate critical reflection.
INCLUSIVE SOCIAL IMAGINATION: The current stage of neoliberal capitalism has deeply deteriorated the social imagination. Today seems difficult even imagine other possible representational systems. Therefore SOCIAL INCLUSIVE IMAGINATION refers to the rescue of the ability of imagine other possible social structures and relationships for new conceptions of the public space, cultural and economic models of social life.
ANOMIE, DEGRADATION, CRISIS OF REPRESENTATION
DEGRADATION is a term of Latin origin degradatĭo. The concept is associated with the verb degrade, which refers to the act of removing a person from their titles, rights, honors and privileges, minimize the faculties or properties of a subject (the young people) or something (the city). In everyday language, the notion of degradation is often used synonymously with dishonor, disgrace or humiliation. The violent meaning is used by some adults and the mass media for defining the young people who meet at night in the historical center of the city in public spaces near the university, to play music, drink, to talk and enjoy together. Young people are frustrated by their current situation and are angry about the use of that categorization for their generation. They feel no confidence in them, in their projects, their images and words. Many times, as in the case of cultural events, they are treated just as consumers of their own degradation, increasing the feeling of stigmatization that produces resentment, rejection of the past, pain and paralysis. “DEGRADE” as a metaphor has also a geographical location in the city of bologna: Piazza Verdi. This historic place relates two meanings in the memory of the city: the “autonomist” experiences of the ’70 generation, and the today’s youth phenomena of “degradation”, both social experiences share the same urban stage.
As a mirror of the crisis of political representation, this phenomenon could be introduced as a symptomatic social and linguistic ANOMIE. ‘Anomie’ is for psychology and sociology, a condition that arises when social rules have been degraded or directly have been removed and are no longer respected by the members of a community. It is also a language disorder that makes it impossible for a person to call the things by their name. The simple description given for this disorder is the sensation of constantly having words on the tip of the tongue, but cannot pronounce. The anomie appears when this difficulty becomes chronic and the speech cannot be recovered, it is common during the aging process. For sociology, the anomie appears when the goals of a culture or some population and its ability to access to necessary means are dissociated. Therefore the association between means and ends begins to weaken until the breakdown of the social framework. The anomie grows by the alienation of young people and their difficulty for explaining themselves and to say to the rest of world what is going on, and what they want for their future.
We can see how the higher social pressure is deposited on young people unemployed and lower socioeconomic groups, those who are under the level of the standard, and those who depend on the economy of their families. As a result of such social pressure, anomie can produce risky behaviors like alcoholism, drug addiction, violence, mental disorders and suicide.
CRISIS OF REPRESENTATION. The crisis of representation can be evidenced when it is perceived as a deep unbelief in the institutions and the classic representational models are insufficient. DEGRADE and ANOMIE are two symptomologies which may result in a potential CRISIS OF REPRESENTATION. Our experience during the 2001 crisis in Argentina could be a leading case to interpret the current situation in Italy. That crisis, which exploded in 2001, started from the economic policies implemented during the time of the military dictatorship in the seventies under the influence of the international credit agencies. After return to democracy, this latent crisis increased with the entry of new neoliberal policies during the nineties: the free market, the state deregulation and the privatizations. From the accumulation of corrupt governments who constantly has abused their power by the pretext of having been voted democratically, the skepticism has grown up together with the unemployment and precarization. The crisis of representation deepened to the point of total unbelief of the institutions and their representatives.
Young people from our same generation, like the young people of Italy today, we’re frustrated, negated and not taken into consideration. Those who were twenty years old in that moment were the protagonists of those revolts and during the subsequent normalization step pos-crisis (which extends to the present) took an active role as a new social subject, re appropriating politics as practice by reformulating new proposals and cultural experiences. Based on the similarities and differences in both contexts, we would like to contribute to this project by sharing experiences for common tools that help to overcome crossed certain symptoms the present crisis.