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[theoretical activism] HOW TO DO THINGS BY THEORY / TkH in collaboration with Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers / 2010-12 / Paris


Platform for performing theoretical activism



The project is conceived as a long-term initiative, the goal of which is to empower contemporary performing arts scene towards critical (self-)reflection, self-organization and alternative ways of knowledge production and sharing. It operates by connecting a local (Paris) and international scene, communities which are testing their openness, curiosity and ability to transform themselves on the basis of common goals and objectives.



The project has a strong background in our previous activities, and can be considered as an extension of TkH’s theoretical activism, by which we helped the transformation of the independent scene of performing and other arts in Belgrade from a “theory-phobic” into a pro-theoretical one.


In terms of activities, HOW TO DO THINGS BY THEORY is realized as a research and public program on regular basis, i.e. involving visibility and participation of the actors from the local community and of a visiting audience as well. This regularity is meant to secure a vivid, reliable, albeit not imposing, praxis of thought-action – the actors may vary but the imperative is that the practices consistently develop. The program features various formats of which the most recognizable are: theoretical lectures, cultural policy discussions, a practice of mobilizing community through self-organized film screenings, reading groups, publications, research in documentation mediums, etc. Local artists and theorists are included as active participants of the platform, so that over the time the role of TkH in the platform would “fade out”, while the local agency would gradually take over the program. All the programs are kept small-scale and low-budget. In that way, they can have a follow-up in various contexts and under various production circumstances.


The mission of this theoretically activist platform is not to resolve social problems but to animate the local contemporary art scene to become more aware of its social context and production conditions, to re-think its own position, place, practice and discourse and, above all, to be more active in transforming a feeling of “cannot” – within the limits or horizons of possibility are – into its own, self-organized “can”. We are looking for staging scenes of dissensus (mésentente) in the sense of Jacques Rancière, that will performatively reconfigure debates and orders of the possible.


Project team 2012: Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda

Project team 2011: Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda, in collaboration with Siniša Ilić

Project team 2010: Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda, Bojan Djordjev, and Siniša Ilić



Timetable: The project is realized over three years (2010-2012), in a few intensive blocks each year.










The project How to Do Things by Theory 2011 is supported by Allianz Kulturstiftung, Germany.