This long-term research project uses materials from the 1989/90 revolution, exceptional political moments, and recent global protests and uprisings to investigate how political events manifest and inscribe themselves in the bodies of their protagonists. The works in the series are dedicated to different gestures – to circle, to repeat, to interrupt, to stand still – found in revolutionary events, that double up as theoretical figures and methodological tools.
>>Dominant history hails the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th 1989 as the triumphant reinstatement of a liberal, capitalist normalcy – the end of a corrupt and failed communist experiment. But this was neither the understanding, nor the aim of the protagonists of the popular uprising that had enabled and far exceeded the singular iconic event. In October 1989, a mass movement gathered momentum – out of and beyond small oppositional circles – into a process of collective self-enfranchisement that was highly attuned to socialist project’s promise and its failing, ready not to abandon the former altogether, but to work through and beyond its contradictions and flaws. Dissident ecological, democratic, economical practical counterproposals gained shape in this revolution’s concrete practice and the collective visions it spawned. Soon, however, the events’ re-routing towards the restorative, nationalist project of German unification would cut this emancipatory project short. Submitted to the capitalist, neoliberal logic that followed, it could henceforth no longer be told. Scattered into individual bodies, this revolution’s desires as well as achievements have disappeared into a lasting silence that has been compounded by its misunderstanding as anti-communist by much of the Western left.
A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures seeks to recover their not yet narrativised, but lasting import from protagonist’s bodies, where they survive.
Diese Recherche untersucht anhand von Materialien aus den Revolutionen von 1989/90, von ähnlichen politischen Ereignissen, und aus jüngeren, globalen Protesten und Aufständen, wie sich politische Ereignisse in den Körpern ihrer Protagonist*innen manifestieren und in sie einschreiben. Die Arbeiten der Reihe sind bestimmten Gesten – des Umkreisens, des still Stehens, des Wiederholens, des Unterbrechens – zugeordnet, die sich in revolutionären Ereignissen beobachten lassen, und die hier als inhaltlicher Fokus und methodische Anleitung dienen.