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Cultures of the Left: Manifestations and Performances

Cultures of the Left: Manifestations and Performances

Project Summary

'I have no nostalgic longing. I have never been communist in the electoral sense of the word. I call "communism" the possibility of proposing to the global youth anything but the wrong choice between a resigned inclusion in the existing consumer device and wild nihilistic breakaways', says philosopher Alain Badiou reflecting on the place of the Left in the contemporary global political moment. His distinction between the ideas of the Left and the history of attempts to realise it illustrates both the urgency and the conceptual parameters within which this project is set to explore the notion, legacy and possibilities of the Cultural Left as embodied political, social and art practice.

Using an interdisciplinary research framework and a unique cross-cultural and comparativist approach, the project asks:

• What is the legacy and current potential of the Cultural Left to perform the possibility ‘that the world can be otherwise’ (Buck-Morss)?

• How do manifestations and performances of the Cultural Left negotiate and adapt to various ideological frameworks?

• How has the cultural repertoire of the Left enabled cross-cultural influences and mutations in the performances of activism?

News and Events

  • We have started a series of conversations 'Cultures of the Left in the time of the Pandemic' (click on the Event section)
  • Check our Dispatches for lockdown reflections and reports from our conference Cultures of the Left in the Age of Right-Wing Populism

British Academy

Man at the crossroads