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Tag Archives: Radical Imagination



Lecture by Stephen Duncombe
Monday February 14, 2011
Time: 08:30 PM
Location: de Balie (Salon), Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, Amsterdam
Entrance: 5 Euro

Tickets available at the door or order in advance

A co-production of SKOR | Foundation Art and Public Domain and De Balie.

On February 14, the American sociologist and researcher Stephen Duncombe will give a lecture in De Balie in Amsterdam to mark the publication of Open 20, titled The Populist Imagination: On the Role of Myth, Storytelling and Imaginary in Politics.

His presentation explores the possibilities of a new democratic imaginary. Duncombe advocates a dreampolitik that could serve as a counterweight to the nostalgic fantasies that are currently being promoted by right-wing populist movements.

Stephen Duncombe is a professor at the Gallatin School, New York University, where he teaches the history and politics of media.

As a political activist he writes about the intersection between culture and politics. His published works include Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy (2006). Duncombe is co-director of the College of Tactical Culture and of the School for Creative Activism in New York.

This lecture is a prelude to the one-day symposium on Friday March 18, which deals with the roles played by imagination, storytelling and myth creation in politics today. Among the theoreticians, artists and graphic designers who will participate in this symposium are Rudi Laermans, Merijn Oudenampsen, Sarah Farris, Oliver Marchart, Aukje van Rooden, Steve Lambert and John Kraniaukas.

Open Cahier on Art and the Public Domain is iniated by SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain and published in partnership with NAi Publishers. Open 20 was guest-edited by Merijn Oudenampsen and deals with imagination and myths in politics, in populism and beyond.

‘All power to the imagination!’, is a popular slogan identified with the 1968-generation. Now, right-wing populist movements such as the Italian Northern League Party (Lega Nord), the American Tea Party movement, the Dutch Party For Freedom (PVV, led by Geert Wilders) and many others are storming the political stage in Europe and the United States. These groups are using the political imagination to sharpen and fix identities, to appeal to an imaginary past, and to cultivate myths.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Left Forum

Left Forum



A message from Seth Adler

Dear past Left Forum panel organizers, speakers, and friends,

I am pleased to be getting back in touch with you after you helped make last year’s conference the best attended Left Forum yet.

We would like you to consider proposing a panel for the upcoming Left Forum conference at Pace University in New York City March 19-21, 2010, and we look forward to working with you in the panel and conference organizing process.  Consider starting this process right away by proposing a panel in any of the following ways: go to our website ( and follow the panel submission instructions (by clicking call for panels or panel instructions), email us at, or call our office (212 817-2003).

The last conference marked one of the most diverse and engaged left dialogue experiences to date. This year, with “recovery” of capitalist crisis meaning bailouts for the banks and continued suffering for working people, a new stridency in right wing voices, and a conservative tilt in Washington politics as a backdrop, we offer the following conference theme as one point of collaborative reference. The theme is “The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination” (for the 2010 thematic statement click here).

This year we have an easier and more accessible online panel submission process that you will find on our website by clicking this link: call for panels. I am also happy to say that we will include bios and other panel information online and in the program, to ensure maximum turnout and awareness of the content of your panel. Also, among many panel options, one that often draws large audiences is when panel organizers secure speakers with respectfully different perspectives on the same topic or politics; such dialogues also inspire spirited audience participation.

Your participation is vital if we are to continue to strengthen the Left Forum space for critical political dialogue.

Feel free to call me or other conference organizers in the office if you have any questions.  Please note the panel submission deadline is December 1st and you must have a panel description proposed by then. We urge you to get started now. It takes a while to get ideas and people together for a strong proposal.

In Solidarity,
Seth Adler
Conference coordinator
212 817-2003

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