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Halifax

Can there be a working class culture and experience?

Panel discussion


6:30pm
- 8:30pm
Monday October 20 2014

Venue: Room D500, NSCAD University (Fountain Campus)
Address: 5163 Duke Street
Cost: Free

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A moderated panel discussion hosted by the Dalhousie/King's Platypus Affiliated Society on working class culture today.

With: 
Bruce Barber (Media Arts Faculty at NSCAD University),
Sebastien Labelle (SEIU, Mayworks Festival Organizer), and
Chris Mansour (Platypus Member and independent writer)

Description: 
Throughout the 20th century, there was a powerful idea that there could be a homogeneous experience which would culminate into a revolutionary 'working class culture.' Whether represented through the USSR's Prolekult during the 1920s, the Mexican muralists and American Artist Union in the 1930s, or by the artists associated with the Art Workers Coalition in the 1960s-70s, each movement sought to create artworks which would transcend the decadent forms characteristic of bourgeois culture. However, since the variety of revolutionary aspirations of all these groups ultimately failed to transform society in an emancipatory direction, the merits and potentiality of a coherent working-class culture have been thrown into question. This panel seeks to explore the concept of working-class culture, its history, and what it might mean today. 

Questions:
1) Was bringing together a contingent of artists and formulating specific aesthetic sensibilities under the aegis of a working class culture a necessary aspect of revolutionary organizing? Is it still necessary today?

2) Can artistic and cultural forms be given to the wide swath of an international working class experience? Is it desirable to do so?

3) What does it mean to create a working class culture today when an organized working class is at an historic low? How is class consciousness related cultural movements, both in the past and today?

Organizer:halifax@platypus1917.org

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Topics: Labour
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