School of Resistance

Debate series


The School of Resistance is a discourse format with experts on change from around the world: artists, activists, politicians and philosophers.


On 20 April 2020, the price of oil fell below zero for the first time in history. It was not the only world record caused by Covid-19. In only a few months a malicious virus succeeded in doing what worldwide protest marches and general strikes could not: slowing down our planet. Correction: slowing down all human activities on this planet. Suddenly we as a society remember the importance of “economy” as a way to support life and not to make profit at any price.


But how can we shape the future of our planet without falling back into old, destructive patterns? In order to solve the problems we face today and to find valuable alternatives for the future, the School of Resistance creates a platform of experts on change around the world: artists, activists, politicians and philosophers. The IIPM continues together with NT Gent its work on the contradictions of the global economy: using the means of activism and art, the aim is to create a blueprint for a politics of resistance. The debate series consists of a bi-weekly livestream and will be concluded with an event in February 2021 at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.




+++ The livestream takes place every two weeks on Thursdays at 18:00 (CET), smaller time shifts are possible depending on the residence of the guests and will be announced. +++


A project of IIPM and NTGent, in cooperation with Akademie der Künste, Berlin, medico international, Merve Verlag, European Alternatives, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, COINCIDENCIA – Kulturaustausch Schweiz-Südamerika and funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.


Concept: Milo Rau, Eva-Maria Bertschy Director: Milo Rau Dramaturgy: Eline Banken, Kasia Wojcik Moderation: Lara Staal, Carmen Hornbostel, Eline Banken, Kasia Wojcik Stage design: Anton Lukas  PR/Communication: Nele Buyst, Yven Augustin Graphic design: Thomas Schoofs Technical management: Jens Baudisch Livestream: HowlRound Theatre Commons Production: Elisa Calosi, Eline Banken


>>> First Episode
Opening speech of Wiener Festwochen by Kay Sara
Followed by a debate with Tania Bruguera & Milo Rau, moderated by Lara Staal.


Opening speech of Wiener Festwochen by Kay Sara here and the  debate with Tania Bruguera & Milo Rau, moderated by Lara Staal here.


The online series School of Resistance starts off with a speech by the indigenous artist and activist Kay Sara. Her speech should have opened the Wiener Festwochen live on the stage of the Burgtheater Vienna. But Covid-19 decided differently and Kay Sara sends a video from the Amazon. Her message is clear: today’s turbo-capitalist system poses an irreversible threat to the Amazon, the planet’s green lung, and therefore has to be stopped. An accusation, an outcry, a wake-up call.


Following the speech, the Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera, the Swiss director Milo Rau, moderated by Dutch curator Lara Staal engage in a dialogue about forms of activism in the arts today. Another meeting that should have happened live during the Wiener Festwochen, but inevitably takes place from the artists’ homes instead.


Kay Sara, an indigenous artist and activist, grew up in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and is committed to the adequate representation of indigenous people and the preservation of their environment against the threat of mining companies and the agribusiness. She will play the role of Antigone in Milo Rau’s production of Sophocles’ Antigone in the Amazon.


Tania Bruguera is a Cuban performance artist and activist and uses her artistic work to examine political power structures and their effect on society’s most vulnerable people. Her work has been represented in leading collections of MoMA and Tate Modern among other places.


Milo Rau is director, author and the artistic director of NTGent (Belgium). Since 2002, he has created and published more than 50 stage plays, films, books and political interventions and has been rewarded with several honours and prices such as the European Theatre Prize in 2018.


The opening speech “This Madness Has to Stop” is realised in the context of and with the support of the Wiener Festwochen.


>>> Second Episode

Thursday, May 28

Live Online at 17:00 CET


Climate, economy and protest in the Global South

A dialogue with Vandana Shiva (India) and Vanessa Nakate (Uganda)

Hosts: Lara Staal & Milo Rau


With the world’s biggest polluters shutting down most of their industries and cutting back their use of fossil fuels, our carbon footprint has rapidly dropped by a significant amount. But whether or not the environment will eventually benefit from today’s crisis is anything but a certainty. Crucial climate conferences and negotiations that were to take place in the next coming months are being cancelled and the mantra of ‘economy first’ might replace climate concerns in the minds of the public and those in power. And what about these countries that benefit least from our fossil-fuel economies, but are already being affected by the disastrous effects of climate change today?


In the second episode of School of Resistance the Indian scholar and environmentalist Vandana Shiva will address together with Fridays For Future Uganda founder Vanessa Nakate the effects of climate change in the Global South and plead for an inclusive form of climate activism.


Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, anti-globalization author and environmental activist advocating for organic and ecological farming and the protection of biodiversity, seed sovereignty and social justice. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, investigating sustainable methods of agriculture.


Being the first Fridays For Future activist in Uganda and the founder of the Rise up Climate Movement, Vanessa Nakate seeks to amplify the voices of climate activists from across Africa. She also spearheaded a campaign to save Congo’s rain forest and is currently working on a project to install solar panels and stoves in schools.


The second episode “Make the World Habitable Again” is realised with the support of Bayrischer Rundfunk and Prohelvetia.