IETM Rijeka Talk of the Day: Cultural polis and the haunting spirit of the non-audience with Goran Tomka


On the 25th of May 1968, while the revolutionary fires of Paris were burning, hidden behind the doors of the Théâtre de la Cité de Villeurbanne, 23 directors of Maisons de la Culture and theatres signed a joint Villeurbanne Declaration. It stated that culture has become overly ’hereditary, individualist, bourgeois’, and it has created the 'non-public'. The spirit of the declaration has haunted cultural policies of Europe ever since. The far ones, invisibles, uncountables, the multitude - the ones who do not take part. It is not audiences, but their absent relatives, the ones who could not be understood, involved or included who are presenting the biggest disruption in the orderly polis of our culture. They are haunting our premiers, our posters, Facebook feeds and rehearsals; our hierarchies, aesthetics, salaries. And they are joining the spirits of the colonised and the displaced, of the burning forests, of precarious and wounded, of the extinct. They are calling for new ontologies, new politics and new culture. Will we pick up the phone?

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