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<nettime-ann> postcapital
Geert Lovink on Sat, 15 Apr 2006 17:27:16 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime-ann> postcapital


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From: postcapital <daniel.tttp {AT} gmail.com>

POSTCAPITAL a project conceived by Carlos Garaicoa, Daniel G. Andújar and Iván de la Nuez. The authors have replaced the usual collective exhibition by the construction of a visual space from which to put forward and confront their concepts, ramified into publications, workshops, videos, scale models, a library, Internet connections and image banks.

 La Virreina Exposicions
 Barcelona April 11 2006, 19.30 h

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist bloc, the countries of Eastern Europe entered a phase that was termed "postcommunist". In barely a decade, this diverse process - sometimes peaceful, other times violent (as happened in the countries of former Yugoslavia) - became the focus of attention of programmes, studies, diagnostics, theories, warnings, criticisms and applause of analysts as different as Ralph Dahrendorf and Slavoj Zizek, Timothy Garton Ash and Grzegorz Ekiert, Vesna Pusic and Tibor Papp, John le Carré and Frederick Jameson, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt...
The West, under the umbrella of a range of emergency measures - a postmodern, and stingier, version of the former Marshall Plan for Europe following the Second World War -, laid down a series of economic, political and doctrinal recipes with a view to establishing a free-market order in the former communist territories. Whether by means of shock therapies, as in Russia, or through more moderate programmes, their efforts were aimed at converting those countries to capitalism and the market economy. All according to the basic rules of liberal democracy and the reformulation of their international relations (life under the rulings made by the IMF, entry into the European Union, membership of NATO, etc.).
Barely two decades later (17 years to be exact), we see that, in spite of the theories of the end of history - which presaged a boring and relaxed eternity for capitalism -, the West is involved in a process of changes that are only just beginning to be considered in their full magnitude. From both the right and the left, from Robert Kaplan to the penultimate recycling of Francis Fukuyama, as well as Ulrich Beck and Oskar Lafontaine, the belief that the world order stood on a sure basis started to explode in worrying fashion.
Without its dancing partner in the modern era (socialism), we have started to find liberalism more and more orthodox and less and less democratic. The old East-West standoff has given way to a confrontation between the West and the Arab world, between Christianity and Islam, between democracy and terrorism. And all this has given rise to a new geopolitical map the beginnings of which might be situated, chronologically, in the attacks on 11 September 2001 in the United States.
To sum it up in a sentence: the Berlin Wall also fell in on the West. And quasi-sacred terms that played a leading role in bringing down the governments and the borders in those countries of the former communist empire - "solidarity", "transparency" - were buried under the rubble of the old walls and the foundations of the new walls that are being put up in the new global politics. We call this situation "postcapital".

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