Militant Training Camp: the debriefing

Bresolin, Tom and Lang, Martin (2012) Militant Training Camp: the debriefing. In: Anarchist Studies Network Conference 2.0 ‘Making Connections’., 3 - 5 September 2012, Loughborough University.

Militant_Training_Camp_the_debriefing.pdf - Table of Contents

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


A paper delivered jointly with artist Thomas Bresolin at the Anarchist Studies Network Conference 2.0 ‘Making Connections’. The paper was part of a panel entitled: "‘A thousand lines of flight’: Post-anarchism and Contemporary Art".

The 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 week-long 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 like-minded 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:Contemporary Art, Anarchism, Performance Art, Anarchist Studies, Militant Research, Art and Activism, Participatory Art, Militant Art, Socially Engaged Art, Post-anarchism, Militancy
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L210 Political Theories
L Social studies > L218 Anarchism
Divisions:College of Arts
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ID Code:27521
Deposited On:16 May 2017 12:44

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