#27 Regeneration [and its Discontents]

Social Art and (Anti-)Social(ist) Housing in Serbia: Contradictions and Antagonisms

Why the talk is inspiring?

Housing is an essential infrastructure for our social reproduction and a crucial element that makes our life possible. Contemporary housing is set in a battleground between a neoliberal movement that attacks its social infrastructure and grassroots movements that struggle against this anti-social organisation and management. Across the world, cities are experiencing these battles as a so-called housing crisis. For a long time, art has been integral to the neoliberal governance and policies around ‘housing regeneration.’ Art is expected to produce social and economic outcomes; to regenerate the hollowed-out economies of post-industrial cities; to energize communities –– regardless of a total paucity of evidence that the arts can perform any of these tasks.

In this lecture, I will focus on the analysis of complex contradictions in social art on the periphery of Europe. Current role(s) of art in the housing struggles are indicators of the current capitalist mutations that are turning the arts into a source of capital. However, artists have been allying with the oppressed, becoming militant accomplices in housing struggles. Principles of solidarity have been a central force in an artistic politics that pushes for: the reclamation of our histories, the building of new care infrastructures and the facilitation of skill exchange/organizing, within housing movements. By focusing on the situation in Serbia, I will make a typology of social art, showing how it is torn between constant submission, artistic exploitation of the social and attempts to come up with alternative narratives and forms of reproduction in the absence of society.




The Falsification of Public Interest and the Formation of Counter Publics. Reflections on cinema Lietuva and Reformatu


2020 03 11 (Wednesday)

19:00 @ Studium P (Pylimo str. 20 Vilnius)


The film “Cathy Come Home” (1966) screening + discussion with Ana Vilenica. Film director: Ken Loach
2020 03 13 (Friday)
19:00 @ Luna6 (Zanavykų str. 6, Vilnius)


Ana Vilenica

How the speaker is exceptional?

Ana Vilenica is an urban and cultural researcher, art theoretician and housing activist based in Belgrade. Among her research interests are the role of art in post-socialist urban regeneration; cultural and political strategies for progressive housing policy and other urban regeneration schemes; new mutations in the functioning of the contemporary art world as well as potentials for organising with-in and against dominant urban policy and art world networks. She is the co-editor of the book On the Ruins of Creative City (2013) and Art and Housing Struggles: Between Art and Political Organising (forthcoming). She is a member of the Radical Housing Journal collective and the Roof anti-eviction organisation in Serbia.


The Social (Re)Production of Architecture

Doina Petrescu, Kim Trogal

Why the book is worth reading?

The Social (Re)Production of Architecture brings the debates of the ‘right to the city’ into today’s context of ecological, economic and social crises. Building on the 1970s’ discussions about the ‘production of space’, which French sociologist Henri Lefebvre considered a civic right, the authors question who has the right to make space, and explore the kinds of relations that are produced in the process. In the emerging post-capitalist era, this book addresses urgent social and ecological imperatives for change and opens up questions around architecture’s engagement with new forms of organization and practice. The book asks what (new) kinds of ‘social’ can architecture (re)produce, and what kinds of politics, values and actions are needed.