Militant training camp: the debriefing

Lang, Martin and Bresolin, Thomas (2012) Militant training camp: the debriefing. Sanat Dünyamiz (131). pp. 30-41. ISSN 1300-2740-130

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This paper is a critical reflection on, and theorisation of, the issues arising from (and explored during) 'Militant Training Camp'.
Militant Training Camp was a social, experimental, performance camp held at Arcadia Missa Gallery in Peckham (March 2012). It involved physical and mental training in preparation for the inevitable apocalypse and collapse of capitalism. The weeklong camp was designed to explore the activity and mind-set of militant groups and the idea of non-pacifist activity within wider social movements. Through physical and mental exercise the camp aimed to empower the group of artist-volunteers to be active and resistant to the last desperate acts of capitalism.
The project aimed to question whether it is possible to replicate, in just one week, the conditions and mind-set created in real-life militant training camps. In order to test this hypothesis it was essential that the camp be residential. The project always intended to bring together likeminded artists and thinkers and to provide a space in which a process of radicalisation of thought could occur. This was supported through a strict regime of exercise, propaganda films, basic living conditions and diet with a lack of communication to the outside world.
The Project directly engaged with both the failings and successes of a historically strategic position (in the extreme) that was held by groups such as The Weather Men, Angry Brigade, and the Baader Meinhof Gang as well as in art groups like King Mob and Black Mask.
This paper questions the notion of a political art practice that engages with activism and organisation directly using Boris Groys’ ‘Art Power’ as a point of departure. We then explore the problems and advantages with documentation and the risks of becoming an object/image/artefact that can exist in a context well removed from its original provenance.

Keywords:Anarchism, Art Activism, Militancy, Performance art, Propaganda, Radicalism
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
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ID Code:24318
Deposited On:29 Sep 2016 15:25

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