Challenging populism through culture
Maria Asavei, Charles University, Prague
Why are you here?
I’m here because I’m deeply interested in how communities produce particular knowledge or clusters of knowledge, which would be difficult to find elsewhere. It is experiential knowledge in the sense that it emerges from interaction with others. I am also interested in the participatory platform as I want to understand how communities work in a truly participatory manner – how they collaborate as a group and how this can be fostered, while avoiding pre-contested ideas about the definition of populism or why people are attracted to these ideas, for example. Closely connected to this, I’m also interested in more practical aspects – what participation may entail and how we understand the knowledge of the people; what can we call knowledge in the first place? There is a distinction in my mind between collaboration and participation. Collaboration has to do with interaction and participation is when you have prescribed tasks set by a leader. This kind of participation is not feasible. For me the most effective way to deal with opinions is to have an actual collaborative platform, not participatory in this sense.
What are you interested in?
Intellectually and professionally, I’m interested in the idea of restoring peace and justice. One of the most interesting topics has to do with spirituality, broadly conceived, i.e. the way people long for orientation. This is a very important topic, although people tend to deal with it in a very trivial way – we should unpack this. I am also interested in art and culture – POPREBEL is both an academic and practical exercise and has a militant dimension. Ideology as a form of private discussion or engaged discussion has to do with community and communication. It was from this meaning that the idea of ideology slowly developed into something familiar.
What are you struggling with?
I am struggling with many things. Related to POPREBEL, I am struggling to understand why people have a certain worldview and what triggered this.