PHOTO BY MACIEK POZOGA

Maciek Pozoga / Webber, Dunes du Pilat, 2015

What is memory? What is presence? What is time, really? These questions are not what the work of Maciek Pozoga is about on the surface – when he travels to Bamako to capture the Afrofuturist music scene or when he hangs out at the street corners in the North of Paris, where he lives, watching the old and the young, the hustler and the everyman, with an intense curiosity that he elevates to both an artistic and ethical level. But if you look at these images a bit longer, if you linger, if you go deeper, you realize that here is someone who is in touch with a zeitgeist that goes beyond the superficial. His images present a very contemporary mix of longing and loss, a milky way of reality, fallen stars and other beautiful debris. There is a directness and an intimacy in his portraits; and the image we show is an example for this: playful, seemingly improvised and with an evocative biographical backstory - the people shown are Pozoga’s father and step brother.

Voices from the Past – Lessons for the Future

How Does Change Happen?

In order to drive change, we need to understand change. Our programme “Voices from the Past – Lessons for the Future”, studies key moments of transformation from history, to determine how legacies of collective movements from the past might feed into contemporary or future movements.

Treating change as a generational practice and an exercise in memory, we will look at different protests globally, such as the 1989 peaceful revolution in Germany and the 1956 protest in Hungary. Our goal is to unveil the pattern of transformative actions, from the initiation of the Club of Rome at the end of the 1960s and their much-quoted publication “Limits to Growth” (1972) to more recent movements such as Fridays for Future.

THE NEW INSTITUTE will preserve important testimonies, intellectual insights and give voice to those involved in past protests that have not yet been sufficiently heard. The result will be a comprehensive collection of testimonies and the beginning of a global archive of change. The insights gained will have the potential to immensely support THE NEW INSTITUTE in drafting a viable agenda for action and change.

We will work closely with activists to provide them with research, insights and advice by collective action experts as well as experienced activists. Further, we will engage with artists, filmmakers, activists, journalists and storytellers to determine how to tell these relevant stories and bring their lessons to life.

Where do we currently stand and how to become involved

Working with eminent sociologists, the THE NEW INSTITUTE has already conducted a number of interviews with activists from different movements, ranging from the anti-nuclear movement, to the democratic movements in the former German Democratic Republic up to Fridays for Future. An archive of interviews that goes well beyond oral history and delves deeply into the sociological dimension of protest will be made available by the middle of 2022. If you are an activist and interested in contributing, please be in touch.

Contact at THE NEW INSTITUTE: Johanna Gratzel, E-Mail: johanna.gratzel@thenew.institute

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