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A conversation between Matthew Collin and Katarina Serulus at C/O POP 2018
We went to Cologne in Germany for c/o pop to film the fourth episode of “New Activists of European Culture”. The series made in partnership with We are Europe gave us the opportunity to travel around the world and listen to a variety of artists and activists. In this episode the conversation focused on the relationship between clubbing and activism.
A conversation between Matthew Collin and Katarina Serulus
Have you heard about Georgia’s Rave Revolution? Can a protest based on thousands of young Georgians raving the streets bring positive consequences?
The conversation between Matthew Collin and Katarina Serulus is focused on clubbing, and the effects of bringing it outside as a form of activism. Matthew told us the story that happened in the beginning of 2018 in Georgia which showed the impact activism can have, even in a small country.
Somewhere in the center of Cologne, a journalist and an art curator discuss the Politics of Dancing.
With the police raiding the country's most popular LGBT friendly nightclubs in a demonstration of force, ten thousand young Georgians felt their freedom attacked and decided to rave in the streets in protest. The protest became known as Georgia’s Rave Revolution, and it was “the first mass youth movement of people who grew up with no memories of living under the communist regime” according to Matthew.
What were the effects of raving in the streets?
Some of the people there were connected to an activist movement against drug prohibition called White Noise, and as Matthew told us, a few weeks after the protest (and also after an apology for the raid by the Minister responsible for the police force), the keys to the club were given back, and coincidentally or not, the constitutional court ruled on decriminalising possession of marijuana.
I think it’s really important to also develop a discourse on the politics of dancing because it’s such a broad notion, that is important to talk with each other and with people from different backgrounds to know what it is and where do we want to go.
- Katarina Serulus
Matthew Collin is a journalist who has written for many newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, Observer, Wall Street Journal, etc. Matthew has worked as foreign correspondent for the BBC, Al Jazeera and Agence France-Presse, and is now an editor at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. He is also the author of some books, such as Rave On: Global Adventures in Electronic Dance Music, a book about electronic dance music around the world, and also The Time of the Rebels, This Is Serbia Calling and Altered State.
Katarina Serulus studied art history and design cultures at the KU Leuven and the VU Amsterdam. In 2016 she defended her PhD thesis at the University of Antwerp entitled Design & Politics: The Public Promotion of Industrial Design in Postwar Belgium (1950-1986). Since 2017 she is project manager at the Centrum Vlaamse Architectuurarchieven. Katarina has also curated several design exhibitions, including ADAM Brussels Design Museum’s Panorama: A history of modern design in Belgium and Night Fever.
The club can still be this forum for self-expression, specially in places which are not as free as in the Western Europe. Despite all this massive over-commercialization and this "LasVegaslization" of club culture, it still does have some kind of roll to play.
- Matthew Collin
“New Activists of European Culture” is a series by Canal180 that focuses on conversations between activists from Europe. Born from a partnership with We Are Europe, which promotes, creates and produces 8 major European events. Their main goal is to develop a prospective vision of electronic culture, technology and entrepreneurship, while contributing to new social and political developments through an interdisciplinary approach.
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The first episode has Elevate Festival (Graz, Austria) as background. Vasilis Tsartsanis and Ben Frost shared their life experiences in a snowy environment.
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HOW IMPORTANT IS ART IN TIMES OF CONFLICT?
The third episode of New Activists of European Culture, Invisible Borders, focuses on a conversation between Mohamed Jabaly and Alistair Alexander. Recorded in Barcelona, Spain during Sónar.
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recorded at The Hague, September 2018