SECESSION: Imagine Europe after the reign of the Bureaucrats

Article published on June 25, 2014
Article published on June 25, 2014

On Sep­tem­ber 23, SE­CES­SION will kick off a se­ries of events in Berlin. What would it be like if Eu­rope wasn't thought of as bu­reau­cratic clock­work, but rather as a place for trans­la­tion, mi­gra­tion and hy­bridiza­tion? This is ex­actly what the or­ga­nis­ers around Camille de Toledo of the Eu­ro­pean So­ci­ety of Au­thors are ask­ing them­selves. Cafébabel will be there, too.

Too often does the idea of Eu­rope get mixed up with the Eu­roland, the world of Brus­sels with its EU guide­lines and di­rec­tives. Too fre­quently are the dis­cus­sions about Eu­ro­pean iden­tity fo­cussed on the past, on beas­t­ial wars and in­tel­lec­tual feats. Sel­dom do they re­volve around what Eu­rope ac­tu­ally means, here and now, to the younger gen­er­a­tion. At the dis­cus­sion panel A Dis­pute over Eu­rope, the French philoso­pher Camille de Toledo had al­ready cas­ti­gated his con­tem­po­raries' vi­sion of Eu­rope. How can a mod­ern idea of Eu­rope ever spring to life from dis­courses which are en­tirely stuck in the past -- ei­ther in the 18th cen­tury of the hu­man­is­tic En­light­en­ment or in the 20th cen­tury of ide­o­log­i­cal na­tion­al­ism?

Since nat­u­rally the cas­ti­ga­tion of tra­di­tional modal­i­ties of thought doesn't suf­fice to cre­ate a new Eu­rope, the Eu­ro­pean So­ci­ety of Au­thors, whose co­founders in­clude Camille de Toledo, is or­gan­is­ing a se­ries of events under the telling name SE­CES­SION. Start­ing in Sep­tem­ber 2014, the Se­ces­sion­ists will at­tempt to newly think of and fash­ion Eu­rope as, "a place for trans­la­tion, mi­gra­tion and hy­bridiza­tion." Since the host of EU politi­cians and bu­reau­crats al­ready have enough to say, it will be the artists, au­thors and philoso­phers who will be given the stage at SE­CES­SION. After all, rel­e­vant vi­sions for a bet­ter so­ci­ety are more com­monly drawn up by poets than para­graph-bound civil ser­vants. 

At the first SE­CES­SION event in Berlin on Sep­tem­ber 23, 2014 at 7pm, Camille de Toledo, Do­rian Astor, Chris­tos Chris­sopou­los, François Cus­set, György Dragomá, Juan Fran­cisco Ferré, Katja Hensel, Cécile Wa­js­brot and other Eu­ro­pean poets and thinkers will read and speak about a new Eu­rope. An ex­hi­bi­tion at the In­sti­tut français (Sep­tem­ber 16 - Oc­to­ber 10, 2014), gath­er­ing imag­i­nary cards and in­stal­la­tions from artists across Eu­rope under the title "De­con­structing bor­ders for a mi­grant Eu­rope", will ac­com­pany the event.

What? SE­CES­SI­ON EU­ROPE

When? Sep­tem­ber 23, 2014, 7pm at Hei­mat­ha­fen (Neu­kölln)

Who? Every­one is wel­come. Ad­mis­sion is free. 

Don't be Scared of the Eu­ro­pean Dream

In Sep­tem­ber and Oc­to­ber 2014, SE­CES­SION will imag­ine and dis­cuss a Eu­rope after the reign of the bu­reau­crats. What would it look like and what roles do artists, writ­ers and trans­la­tors have? Since Cafébabel Berlin is con­vinced that Eu­rope rep­re­sents teem­ing di­ver­sity and not just blood­less, ad­min­is­tra­tive in­san­ity, we'll nat­u­rally be in at­ten­dance as an of­fi­cial media part­ner. As al­ways, more info on Face­book and Twit­ter.