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Saturday March 16 | Session 13:15 - 14:45 (20 min)
De Brakke Grond | Grote Zaal

Georg Döcker, M.A., born 1988 in Vienna, Austria, is a PhD student at Roehampton University, London, and the recipient of stipends from Roehampton University and TECHNE consortium. From 2015 to 2018, he was a researcher in the framework of the research project “Theatre as Dispositif”, located at Giessen University, funded by the German Research Association (DFG). Research interests include: 20th and 21st century experimental theatre, dance, and performance; power relations and technologies of power; mimesis and theatricality; the work of Antonin Artaud.
Latest publication: “Etc etc. Eine Meditation über Artauds letzte Worte.” In “Landschaft mit entfernten Verwandten.” Festschrift für Heiner Goebbels, edited by Lorenz Aggermann et al., 259-270. Berlin: Neofelis, 2018.
Since its foundation in 2005/06, the artist-run residency Performing Arts Forum (PAF) in St. Erme, northern France, has become one of the most influential gathering places for the European experimental performing arts scene. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the allure, the intoxicating atmosphere of PAF seems to be produced, first and foremost, by its specific modus operandi, that is, its non-institutional self-organised nature (cf. Ritsema/Desideri 2016). In my paper, I will engage in the analysis of some key mechanisms of self- organisation involved in PAF as well as their willingly accepted contradictions, thus contributing to the wider discussion about non-institutional socio-politics.

Taking into consideration the influence of anarchist writing on the founder of PAF Jan Ritsema (cf. 2017), I will unfold PAF's commitment to self-organisation along the lines of the libertarian socialist tradition. In drawing on Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's concept of the “federation” (cf. 2011), Mikhail Bakunin's notions of “free organisation” and the “desire to rebel” (cf. 2005, 1970), as well as recent anarchist discourse (cf. Süreyyya/Rousselle 2011, Franks/Jun/Williams 2018), I intend to show that PAF does not simply apply, but radicalise anarchist self-organisation. It does so in addressing what I would like to call the paradoxical need for self-rebellion within self-organisation necessary if the anarchist aspiration for liberty is to be taken seriously. After all, anarchist self-governing of the community, while signifying freedom from authoritarian or sovereign power, implies, to some degree, that the community must exercise power against itself, thus marking the internalisation or becoming-immanent of power rather than its absence. My thesis will be that in PAF self-organisation is put to work as a continuous oscillation between the affirmation and subversion of governing oneself, this delicate process pointing towards a gesture of radical freedom.
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