Yesterday Luigi Coppola workshop Build Your Leader has officially started. In collaboration with a.pt participants. Photo by Sven Goyvaerts.
If you’re on Facebook you can follow this link and like the official page of the project. There you’ll find frequent news related to the subject of the project, images and news about the upcoming steps of Enacting Populism.
Yesterday at AIR, Foundland, a designers collective based in Amsterdam, joined the working team of Enacting Populism. Officially appointed visual designers for the whole project, they took part to the second and final semi-public event to present their work. Among their works they’ve talked about The X Factor - Television Persona, and about Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant.
In a recent interview they’ve been asked about Wilders’s success in the Netherlands and about the mechanism of populism. Here’s their answer.
Having analyzed the mechanism of populism, what can you say about the success of Wilder’s populist discourse?
Simply that populism works. The world is changing, voters are changing. They are more hybrid, and the choices they make are connected more with the media and the somewhat made up narratives of reality the media provides, than with economic division of class. The left needs to find new, more effective techniques to communicate, because nowadays it is all about communication and timing. And Wilders is excellent at timing. He knows exactly where and when to appear and how to create a myth about his persona and his ideas in the mediascape. He creates a myth by using fear and anxiety. Obama does the same, and creates a myth of hope. It is not about left or right, it is about playing the game and winning, through effective communication devices.
In the title ”Enacting Populism” lays the ways in which the project wants to create a relation with this contemporary populist condition of Europe. ‘Enact’ means to make a plan realized, to carry it on but also to make a representation of this plan, to interpret it. These are the two dynamics that the project follows, having always a double level with which to deal with the concept of populism.
As Dieter Lesage says in its Populism and Democracy, “Populism has many different faces. Many different things can be called populism for very good reasons”, and these different faces of what populism might mean will be the ones investigated in the research opened by the residency period, analyzing important historical passages of this rising phenomenon. In fact, if the populist wave we’re experiencing seems to belong only to right wing parties – making the concept behind the current populism one with the conservative and xenophobic right wing discourses – the concept in itself is not ascribable just to this genealogy. In the process of enacting and making the aesthetic strategies embedded in the creation of a consensus visible, some very basic and fundamental mechanism, on which our representative democracies are based, become apparent. The visual strategies that take place on a daily basis in the media sphere, on a purely visual level, in order to create alternative, cheap and fictional feelings of belonging, might not only be seen as completely negative productions of our times. They can also be seen as materials that can be much more easily deconstructed, so to offer clearer visions on how democracy looks like in our times. Moreover, developing an historical perspective on the idea we have on populism generates tools through which creating an awareness, and consequentially a potentiality for change in our ways to comprehend participation.