Essay “…To Connect This Present That We’re in With a Future That Might be Desired, This Better World…” by Lina Dzuverovic

…To Connect This Present That We’re in With a Future That Might be Desired, This Better World…

by Lina Dzuverovic

Nada Prlja’s multifaceted project Subversion to Red was commissioned and first shown as part of the exhibition ‘…how is it towards the east?’, which took place at the Calvert 22 Foundation, London, in spring 2013.1 The exhibition explored a range of aspects of the local histories of Shoreditch, the rapidly gentrifying area in the city’s so-called East End, where Calvert 22 Foundation was based at the time.2 Working in a locality known for its rich and complex history, including East European and Russian immigration, our curatorial interest was piqued not only by word of mouth accounts of our very own building’s past as a garment factory, but also by the history of socialism and Marxism, which has strong roots in this part of London. While other works in the exhibition engaged with personal as well as collective memories associated with specific local spots, Prlja’s project, in contrast, took a broader approach, seeking to revisit key Marxist concepts and test out their potency in today’s neoliberal capitalist hegemony. Prlja’s project proposed that by re-engaging with some aspects of socialist thought, we might be able to identify tools, new approaches and renewed inspiration to build a more equitable present…. Continue reading – PDF file.

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