Pastforward

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A group of five young intellectuals, Daniela Sestrić, Jakov Vilović, Tonči Valentić, Tomislav Medak and Petar Milat, decided in early 2000 to establish a informal and non-academic theoretical module within the Multimedia Institute in Zagreb. The name “past forward” originally designates a specific tone of the color blue, supposedly being retro-futurist.

"That seems for us to be the perfect metaphor for a conceptual practice which aimed at opening new intellectual domains and – simultaneously – paying tribute to a specific philosophical and activist tradition in former Yugoslavia. We mean hereby the Praxis-group of philosophers and sociologists, but also the group of intellectuals gathered around the Zagreb-based magazine Arkzin in 1990ies.

For both of those groups a strong and effective critique of the parochial and localist discourse was of foremost importance, but neither Praxis nor Arkzin ever fell pray to a self-victimizing attitude. Both initiatives have – in contrary – introduced innovative ways of socially engaged thinking in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav realm. Praxis meant a genuine and normatively inflected political anthropology, while Arkzin has been the primary source for a new kind of media-savy engagement. To cut the story short: Pastforward from its beginning meant an eclectic, politically aware, media-oriented intellectual attitude.

Since 2000 main theoretical foci have remained the same: mixing-up Italian biopolitical philosophy, French post-deconstruction and Frankfurt-School-oriented normativism. At first sight an impossible theoretical combination, but which later on proved to be rather effective in the very own context. Never allowing to be dogmatic and short-sighted in regard of new and alternative emergencies.

This bastardized, philosophical wild-style was realized both in different on-going lecture & discussion series and also within the small, but for the Post-Yugoslav realm very decisive publishing activities [1].

In the local context Pastforward was always inclusive towards various students-initiatives or other groups of younger intellectuals and we have been a kind of incubator for those groups.

But our regional, Post-Yugoslav engagement was no less important and we early on sought active collaboration with some of the most important groups of intellectuals throughout the countries of former Yugoslavia. We shall especially emphasize our long-standing and extremely fruitful collaboration with the Belgrade Circle – our friends and comrades who have taught us a lot. Also we shall not forget our colleagues from Sarajevo from the Atelier for Philosophy, Social Sciences and Psychoanalysis who were always receptive to our own efforts, and – last, but not least – we also shall mention various groups around the Peace Institute from Ljubljana with whom we have collaboratd on various occasions in recent years.

What will follow is just a list of intellectuals we had the honor to host in MaMa and in Zagreb in those 8 years: Miško Šuvaković, Joanne Richardson, Ricardo Dominguez, Tomislav Janović, Marina Gržinić, Ozren Pupovac, Timothy Druckrey, Alexander Galloway, Alexei Monroe, Michael Hardt, Steven Shaviro, Aleksandar Bošković, Bojana Kunst, Nenad Dimitrijević, Alexander Garcia-Düttmann, Eduardo Cadava, Saskia Sassen, Dušan Maljković, Teorija koja hoda, Ugo Vlaisavljević, Jasmina Husanović, Dušan Bjelić, Obrad Savić, Nanci Adler, Ana Miljanić, Borka Pavićević, Olivier Razac, Peter Hallward, Hauke Brunkhorst, Matthew Fuller, Jens Hauser, Alex Demirović, Ivan Milenković, Mario Kopić, Boris Gunjević, McKenzie Wark, Srećko Horvat, Kojin Karatani, Douglas Kellner, Nenad Daković, Yann Moulier-Boutang, Carlo Vercellone, Mladen Dolar, Marija Cetinic, Nathan Brown, Marijan Krivak, Eyal & Ines Weizman, Mislav Žitko.

Our efforts have been documented on pastforward.org, but more of the activities you can trace back in the archive of our mailing-lists [with 100+ subscribers throughout the region] which document at times a very hectic and sometimes pretty energetic interest into critical reflection." [2]

At present Pastforward is coordinated by Tonči Valentić, Tomislav Medak and Petar Milat.


http://www.zoeforward.org/theory