6–7 February 2016, 12–5pm, OTO Project Space
*Please note the door price is suggested donation.*
The Dialectics of Liberation was a unique gathering in July 1967 in London, England. The purpose of the conference was to demystify human violence in all its forms, the social systems from which it emanates, and to explore new forms of action. The conference was organized by psychiatrist, Dr Joseph Berke. Invited participants included artist Carolee Schneemann, poet Allen Ginsberg, psychiatrists Dr Leon Redler and R.D. Laing, writer Susan Shearman, activist Stokely Carmichael, anthropologist Francis Huxley and philosopher Herbert Marcuse.
“The Dialectics Conference was an attempt to gain a meta- perspective about war and violence using, in particular, the tools and insights of psychoanalysis. The organizers hoped that their ideas would engage and inter-relate with the views of the invited scholars, activists and participants at the Conference, and in an informal and non-academic format. To some extent this happened. But many of the discussions followed old patterns and clichés. Our goals were too high. We did not effect significant social change. But many micro-social experiments, especially in psychiatry, have continued 50 years after the Dialectics took place.” – DR JOSEPH BERKE, PSYCHIATRIST & DIALECTICS OF LIBERATION CURATOR
“I do think we have to start with ourselves and our relationships when it comes to the seeds of violence in our world…big mistake to not do that, and psychoanalysis can help, as can spiritual teachings that understand the roots of violence in ‘me’-centred, or ‘we’-centred (‘our’ nation, ethnic group, religion, subculture, ) ways of being. But we have to continue from there to see and transcend those limitations and find ways of collective action that enable us to say, ’yes, yes!’” – DR LEON REDLER, PSYCHIATRIST
“Since the featured participants were “some of the most brilliant but unclassifiable thinkers in the world today” – sharing a deep commitment to clarify political consciousness, risking professional stability for a radical, reconstructive vision – since that was true – was it also possible that many of them would resent the participation of a woman, in a particular a young woman, whose contribution would be a sort of “unclassifiable” physical extension, a sensory equivalence to energies explored/released in the course of the congress? The quotation, now ten years past, clarifies the bias underlying the actual hostility, ostracism, and sabotage which my work received.” – CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN, ARTIST
The Dialectics of Liberation: Reconvened is an exploration of the ideas and goals behind the original 1967 conference. We will also embark on a new discourse into its relevance today with those who have been inspired by its legacy. The event is curated by musician and legal academic, Dee Sada.
Saturday - Project Space
12–1.30pm: Screening of ‘Did you used to be RD Laing?’ directed by Kirk Tougas and Tom Shandel
1.30pm–2pm: Screening, ‘Fuses’ by Carolee Schneemann
2pm–3pm: DIALEKTIKON – performance by Adebayo Bolaji with Jacky Ivimy discussion.
3pm–4pm: Screening of 'An Interview with Carolee Schneemann' directed by Perter Davis
4pm–5pm: Loudan Gamelan performance
Sunday - Project Space
12pm–12.30pm: Screening of 'Ah! Sunflower' by Iain Sinclair
12.30–1.30pm: Screening of 'Anatomy of Violence,' followed by discussion with director Peter Davis
1.30pm–3pm: Leon Redler (one of the co-organisers of the Dialectics of Liberation 1967), Shiri Shalmy (Antiuniversity Now) and Heathcote Ruthven (International Times) in discussion.
3pm–5pm: Antiuniversity Now - 2016 festival launch and workshop (FREE)
Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to revisit and reimagine the 1968 Antiuniversity of East London through an open invitation to teach and learn any subject, in any form, anywhere. The first Antiuniversity Now festival, which took place in November 2015, featured over 60 events and attended by over 1200 people across the country.
The 2016 festival will be launched as part of the Dialectics of Liberation Reconvened programme.
Join us for workshop to link the historical Antiuniversity to the Antiuniversity Now programme through a collective exploration of different types of self-organised education projects, their social context, political significance and contemporary relevance. We invite participants to share their knowledge of historical radical education as well as their own experience of self-organised work today.
We also hope to inspire you to run your own Antiuniversity event and to join the movement.
The second part of the session will be an introduction to the Antiuniversity Now project and an opportunity to meet the co-organisers and some of the 2015 festival hosts. We look forward to discussing individual event ideas and provide practical support in shaping your session, finding a venue and promoting it.