Art and Citizenship
Docaviv International Documentary Festival,
Co-curated with Yael Messer
Tomorrow by Andrey Gryazev (Russia, 2012)
Foreigners out! Schlingensief container by Paul Poet (Austria, 2000)
Enjoy Poverty by Renzo Martens (The Netherlands, 2008)
rovocation has always been a tool artists use as they tried to win attention for controversial topics and ensure that these issues remain on top of the public agenda. Over the past few years, more and more artists have used provocative methods to instigate a discussion about social and political topics alike, and to expand and challenge concepts such as, “active citizenship” and “social involvement”. The film series features several radical examples of this from Russia, Austria and the Congo. In each of these films, intentionally provocative actions by artists resulted in an emotional, sometimes violent public debate, and exposed those laws and norms, which enable governments to continue to oppress of the weaker segments of society. The three films in this series: Tomorrow, Enjoy Poverty and Foreigners Out! are bold indictments of the political, religious and economic establishments where these films were made. They remind us that art has the power to redefine what it means to be a citizen, and they force us to rethink how we as citizens are responsible for what happens in our own society.