UTOPIAN VESTIGES: THE PHALANX FROM SCĂENI
Friday, 22 March 2013, 18h30, tranzit.ro/ Bucureşti, Str. Gazelei nr. 44, sector 4: presentations and discussions with Adrian Dohotaru, Ştefan Tiron and Ion Dumitrescu. Screening of the film „Falansterul”, 1979, directed by Savel Ştiopul.
Saturday, 23 March 2013, 11h30, Casa de Cultură from Boldeşti-Scăeni: roundtable together with local personalities from Boldeşti-Scăeni
“The presentation explores the failed project of the phalanx from Scăeni (1835-1836), implemented by Teodor Diamant and Manolache Bălăceanu, the second phalanx in the world after the one created at Conde-sur-Vesgres (1833-1835), a social experiment based on the ideas of the socialist thinker Charles Fourier. Starting from the example of Scăeni, the presentation challenges the liberal historiography from Romania which is usually building of a causal chain from utopia to revolution and to totalitarianism. In the end we can ask ourselves: when can utopia produce emancipation and when can it produce an escapist Lala Land?” (Adi Dohotaru)
Ştefan Tiron and Ion Dumitrescu will start from certain aspects of the organization of the phalanx from Scăeni, analyzing them in a broader, comparative field.
“Perhaps one of the points of maximum interest for me is the construction of nature in these utopias. To what extent is the Phalanx in the beginning a model of natural healthy life? A city far from the city. Where a “nature” graded in its turn is meant to counter the noxious effects of civilization/ cities, diseases, nervous consumption and hard and monotonous work (as it appears in the booklet of Diamant).” (Ştefan Tiron).
Tiron and Dumitrescu will approach themes and models such as: pedagogy of disaster and what disastrous pedagogy wants to teach us today; the cult of work, “the organisation science” of Fourier and scientific management; Romanian literary utopias and science-fiction literature from the past 200 years; the model neighbourhood Steagul Roşu [Red Flag] from Braşov: hunting, fresh air and free time; the mountainous civilisation of Radu Rey in the epoch of the anthropocene, proto-eco-tourism and colonisation of the Carpathians; Imperium by Christian Kracht (2012), The Future With No Worries (1898, August Moritz Engelhardt) and the critique of civilisation.
Some of these themes will be explored more in detail also in the future, within the series “Utopian Vestiges”, of which “The Phalanx from Scăeni” is only the first event. The series will be conceived and developed by Ştefan Tiron, by the invitation of tranzit.ro/ Bucureşti.
“Utopias reassure modernity as to its infinite potential. But why? It should learn—be taught—to look failure in the face.” (T. J. Clark – „For a Left with No Future”, 2012).
Adi Dohotaru (born in 1983) is historian, publicist and social activist. He has a bachelor from the Faculty of Political Science, department of journalism, of the Babeş-Bolyai University and a master’s degree from the Literature Faculty of the same university. His debut volume is called Anii 1960: mișcări contestatare în SUA [The 1960s: Contestatary Movements in the USA] and was published at Eikon publishing house in Cluj in 2008, followed by Protestatarul. O istorie participativă [The Protester. A Participative History], Tracus Arte publishing house, Bucharest, 2012. Currently he is enrolled in a PhD programme at the “George Barițiu” History Institute of the Romanian Academy, where he’s studying the concepts of revolution and reform in the Romanian space at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th centuries. He is a member of associative movements such as the Working Group of Civic Organisations (gLOC) and collaborator of online platforms CriticAtac and Think Outside The Box.
Ştefan Tiron (born in 1976) has a degree in the History and Theory of Art at the Art University Bucharest. He published texts in various publications, such as: Springerin, Archis, Otaku Magazine, IDEA arts + society, Monochrom, etc. Between 2006-2011 he co-organized a series of events about Space Exploration and Cosmology and sound art http://cozzzzzzzzzmonautica.blogspot.com/. In 2012 in the frame of Waiting Spaces, together with Mihai Sălăjean he made the documentary The Green Hell is The New Heaven about Timișoara city in the Anthropocene http://Waiting-spaces.simultan.org/. He currently works in the Sottaceti project with Valentina Desideri, Zoë Poluch and Paula Caspao on fermentation, conviviality and idiorhythmic living. He is a founding member of the Art-Leaks collective.
Ion Dumitrescu (born in 1977) is co-initiator of the movements “Postspectacle” and “The Presidential Candidate”. http://postspectacle.blogspot.ro
The event is part of the programme “Fiction, rhetoric and facts”, developed by tranzit.ro in 2012-2013.
Those who wish to join the trip to Boldeşti-Scăeni with the minibus organized by tranzit.ro are kindly asked to register by writing to the email: email@example.com. The number of seats is limited. Those who can reach Boldeşti-Scăeni by their own means (personal car, public transport) are also welcome to the discussion.
The movie “Falansterul” is screened through the kindness of the National Film Archive, of Dacin Sara and of the National Centre of Cinematography.
UTOPIAN VESTIGES: THE PHALANX FROM SCĂENI is an event organized with the support of the City Council and of Casa de Cultură from the town of Boldeşti-Scăeni.
ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit.ro.
Project assistance: Julia Schulze
Graphic design: Palier Design
Special thanks to: Elena Drăgan, Mihai Fulger, Mădălin Geană, Igor Mocanu, Costin Trandafir.