The Zagreb Subversive Festival of 2013 hosted on the 9th of May the Seminar entitled ‘Nationalism, Neoliberalism and the Perspectives of the Left’. As a sequel to the Seminar ‘National Question in Central-Eastern Europe’ which had been organized by AD FSR with the support of Transform! European Network and the GUE/NGL Euro parliamentary Group represented by Gabi Zimmer MEP, in April 2012 in Bucharest, Romania, the seminar raised a lot of interest amongst the almost 80 participants.
The main idea of the event stood in taking the previous Project to the next level, by critically exposing and challenging the Neoliberal paradigm of dividing people, the very fabric of society, and even States so as to secure Political Power by means of exploiting the sensitive issue of National Question in Europe.
Organizing such seminar in Zagreb tried to respond the needs of people in former Yugoslavian contries to speak up about their own history and relevant experiences.
More importantly, from political point of view, the Seminar ‘Nationalism, Neoliberalism and the Perspectives of the Left’ opened an opportunity for the emergence and development of the Left political discourse in the field of National Question and Nationalism as opposed to the dominating brash Neoliberal agenda.
The Seminar was structured into three panels:
1. ‘Nationalism, National Question and the Left’ (having as panelists Catherine Samary, Stipe Ćurković, Rastko Močnik, respectively Walter Baier, and being chaired by Petre Damo – Video to be found at the right at “Media files”),
2. ‘Neoliberalism and Nationalism’ (havind as panelists Friedrich Burschel, Maja Breznik, and Nikola Vukobratović and being chaired by Boris Kanzleiter), and finally
3. ‘National Question in Contemporary Europe’ (havind as panelists Peter Veermeersch, Peter Geoghegan, and G. M. Tamás and being chaired by Igor Štiks).
In the first panel the speakers presented different approaches of the concepts of Nationalism and National Question from Left political and historical standpoint. The second panel linked the issue of Nationalism with the post-war and recent Neoliberal politics by showing relevant study cases in Germany and former Yugoslavian countries, whilst the last panel attempted to encompass a wider contemporary European perspective on the National Question.
For the sake of a balanced and objective report, apart from the already mentioned positive goals achieved by the seminar and recognized as such by most participants, one critical aspect should be mentioned, i.e. the fact that the organizers missed setting up further developments by capitalizing on the achievements.
The Seminar, as a Project conceived and developed by AD FSR, was organized with the full financial support of Transform! Network and with the political support of Transform! Network and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Besides that, the Zagreb Subversive Festival organizers offered their entire political and logistical support as well.
Pictures by PetreDamo