Text by CLOT Magazine
The trigger to the programme is the absolute uniqueness of the present moment. Humanity as a whole is facing the necessity to analyse its history and where it has led us. In other words, how the evolution of humanity as we know it has brought us to reconsider the most fundamental values and human needs. And the particularity of the present moment is this, whether we will be able to control our fate and what scenarios are we going to explore in our shared future. So told Anna Kirikiva, the creator of the program NEW NOW, and we could not agree more.
We live in an era of significant socio-cultural change; we witness the transformation of generally accepted norms and ethical standards and face newfound challenges and threats. To explore new ideas and find some responses, Manege Central Exhibition Hall will launch on September 18 NEW NOW, an international online platform for exchanging ideas about and interpretations of reality and research on the present moment. NEW NOW is a forum for dialogue, generating new meanings, and rethinking our relationship in a changing world.
For the first edition of the NEW NOW 2021/22 programme, the Manege team tried to achieve a global perspective and primarily deal with the issues and challenges that humanity is currently facing. These include environmentalism, mental health, questions of corporeality and identity, the new concept of reality, post-truth(s), technology and the limits of freedom, transhumanism and AI alignment problem, contemporary mythmaking, and the disintegration of our reality. And to do so, they have invited some of the world’s outstanding thinkers to share their thoughts about the present moment.
One of the essential roles undertaken by cultural institutions is to work with the public perception of the surrounding reality and culture. Even though Russia is an integral part of the global sociocultural transition; therefore, we did not emphasise the ‘Russian perspective’ or the ‘Russian agenda’ in particular. We’re inclined to think globally and not concentrate on an intrinsically ‘Russian focus’ or any other national or political focus.
The NEW NOW 2021/22 programme includes eight thematic modules accessible via online video streaming. The modules will also contain a list of additional materials selected by the program creator and the speakers themselves for a full, self-led immersion into each theme. The 2021-2022 season themes are corporeality and problems of identity, reality and post-truth, technology and the limits of freedom, the environmental situation and neo-mythologism and transhumanism and mental health.
Discussion participants include philosopher and writer Federico Campagna, publisher and feminist scholar Sarah Shin, curator Lucia Pietroiusti, writer and media activist Franco “Bifo” Berardi, philosopher and interdisciplinary scholar Timothy Morton, philosopher and writer Reza Negarestani, a researcher in the sphere of environmental justice and decolonisation Suzanne Dhaliwal, public figure and activist Kumi Naidoo, and many others.
Venture into some truly black sky thinking of our time. Get new insights and interpretations of the world we live in and where it all leads us. Identify the transformations and opportunities they bring us, as well as identify risks and challenges we’re facing. And maybe get a little bit more practical about our own fate, and what we can do about controlling it – the Manege team shared when we ask about the main expectations that she would like to achieve. And once again, we could not agree more.
Live streams of the discussions and additional materials will be available on the NEW NOW website.