• Summer School as School 2021: Course 6
Course 6: From calling out to calling out some
Course 6: From calling out to calling out some "evil spirits" (from Classical Despise via Class Hatred towards Classy Punishments)
by Nebojša Milikić
9 – 14 August, 2021

Application deadline: July 16, 2021.

Course Description
Any time the TINA (There IS NO ALTERNATIVE) World is struggling with its contradictions and conflicts, questions and answers about radical change are at stake. Among a variety of their concepts and contents there is still a unifying topic – a role of the working class in an expected change. It is obvious that the supposed revolutionary subject is unrecognizable in a current distribution of roles (and means) in the global class struggle.

Intentionally or not, many artists engage in tracing this subject and in reflecting on its supposed qualities, capacities and missions. No wonder, since there is no an ambitious political campaign or social debate in which these issues are not obviously dominant or decisively underlying. The speculations and negotiations about the need and “the will” of the people permanently project on the screen of societal expectation and imagination. Which screen and its content is of course daily updated and firmly controlled by the ruling classes, hence the obvious constraints to speculations and frames for negotiations.

The question arises if it is at all a task of (popular) art and culture to open new spaces of debate and new horizons of imagination – that would resist and confront the given constraining and framing. Could they and would they (art and culture agencies and actors) daily negotiate their existence and profile in a hegemonic social and political sphere without paying too high a price for it?
In order to contribute to an understanding of ideological and esthetical positions and dynamics of all these processes, the course will critically examine an interesting phenomenon in popular culture, observable in some very famous movies and TV serials – a vilification and defamation of a figure of a working class/oppressed/low born background. The pattern of classical despise (of ruled classes by ruling classes) via class hatred (as seen from the position of class struggle “from above”) towards class punishing (of “evil spirits”) appears in more than a few successful worldwide productions.

The task of the participants is to explore this phenomenon, starting with an instructive model observable in the famous novel by Dostoevsky (“Demons” or “Evil Spirits”) and continuing with examination of what seems whether like a sincere implementation or merely unintentional, superficial application of such a model - by recognized authors and their acclaimed master pieces from Tarantino to Bong-Joon-ho, from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones.

The work will be focused on selected excerpts which - through collaborative activist and theoretical analyses – could enable discussion and interpretation of probable or possible meanings and messages from different ideological standpoints. Participants will be also invited to propose for analyses other characteristic examples from popular culture. The course could result in a series of published notes from the debates.

Nebojša Milikić (1964)
Nebojša Milikić is a Cultural worker and producer who lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. Since 1990 he has been engaged in political activism, organizational, artistic and curatorial practice in visual and relational arts, independent research, as well as writing and debating about cultural and social problems. Milikić participates in a number of independent research projects and activist campaigns domestically and abroad. From 1999 onward he has worked in the Cultural Center Rex in Belgrade, as the initiator and coordinator of various programs and projects. He is a member of the initiative No To Rehabilitation and the non-governmental cultural organization ReEX, dedicated to the struggle against historical revisionism and negationism. Milikić critically writes on culture and politics and publishes on various activist and art portals. He recently edited several publications in Serbia and Romania about the political and cultural positioning of today’s middle classes.

10 participants will be selected to participate in this course. Eligible participants must read the Terms information, fill out the application form, upload the required documents and submit the application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Scholarships are available for participants from Kosovo.
A limited number of scholarships that cover the participation fee are available for international participants.