This section includes substantial commissioned texts that are presented in four research threads: Real Democracy, Decolonising Practices, Alter Institutionality and the Politics of Life and Death.

Real Democracy

What would real democracy look, feel and act like today? In recent years, social movements throughout the world have been spurred by an urge for new forms of democratic representation. Yet, whilst such a crescendo of voices revealed a widespread impulse for greater democratic freedoms, for the most part their failure to articulate specific demands or speak with one voice have heeded little tangible results. In many contexts, the backlash has seen a retrenchment of executive power and deepening social exclusion.

Decolonising Practices

Internationalism today necessarily involves an awareness of the colonial structure of power relations and of symbolic production in contemporary global societies. By colonial we designate both the rhizomatic structures brought about by the historical process of colonial exploitation, as well as the ongoing and ubiquitous reproduction of forms of domination and inequality based on the racial and cultural inscription of the subject. Coloniality does not only chase our present as a ghost from the past. It constantly produces new social realities, which defy attempted definitions of the realm of politics in either exclusive or static terms.

Alter Institutionality

This research thread seeks to revitalise the recent discourses and desires for rethinking institutions. It is an ongoing conversation that often starts by exploring the effects of bureaucratisation and normalisation in traditional institutional structures that homogenise research, evaluation procedures, collection and archival policies, exhibitions and audience engagement. Accepting these symptoms, what could be progressive and radical new models for art institutions today?

Politics of Life and Death

The concepts of biopolitics and necropolitics have become fundamental in understanding the contemporary political management of bodies and populations within the context of global neoliberal economy. Whereas the modern utopia promoted a heroic (re-)productive and healthy subject, the colonial and capitalist technologies of power relied upon the very materiality of vulnerable and sensitive bodies. This research thread explores the museum as one of the technologies governing life and death, and its formation of norms, practices of correction, exclusion, and disciplining that contribute to the production of "normal" subjects in terms of gender, sexuality, class, race or disability.