We are thrilled to announce the theme for the 2013 edition of Impakt Festival, taking place from 30 October until 3 November. With the working title ‘Capitalism Catch 22′, the theme will lead us to examine up close what dilemma this economic system finds us in. What is the origin and what are the alternatives?
A multi-voiced program is shaped by three curatorial parties: a series of film and video programs by Florian Wüst, lectures and presentations by Monnik and a festival exhibition by Benjamin Fallon. READ MORE.
CAPITALISM CATCH 22
Many people argue that, so far, humanity hasn’t come up with any feasible alternatives to capitalism, whilst – at the same time – this economic system seems a dead end. How do we solve this dilemma?
The word capitalism has a negative connotation for many people. Artists, critics and scientists mostly focus on the negative aspects of this economic system and many blame it for the current economic crisis. At the same time, capitalism contributed to a significant increase in the standards of living in and outside the western world and it cannot be denied that capitalism has served as a motor behind important innovations at all levels of society.
The ‘Critique on Capitalism’ is often based on ideas concerning the fair distribution of wealth and the differences between poor and rich that capitalism maintains or even stimulates. Communism tried to come up with a more fair alternative, but failed, as did all the other alternatives that have been tried so far. Capitalism curbed by social democracy in a welfare state can offer a solution to the differences in living standards that Capitalism engenders, but does not offer a solution to the inherent problem that will ultimately make Capitalism fail: the system depends on the ongoing increase in consumption whereas, with the world’s population growing and natural resources diminishing, decreasing consumption is the only sustainable solution. Capitalism can, to a certain extent, deal with a need for more efficiency, but it cannot deal with the notion of consuming less.
Technological developments have increased the speed and complexity of the capitalist system’s products and processes, creating immense risks for our society. More and more people question the incentives that capitalism gives to bankers, markets, producers and consumers, and their short-term effects versus the long-term consequences.
How can we introduce ethical notions of the consequences for people and planet in a system that only cares about profit ? How can the media industry, the historical ally of consumerism, make the idea of ‘non-consumption’ fashionable and desirable. How can it advocate sustainable and responsible consumerism when these ideas are no longer the products of fringe ideologies, but an economic necessity that will only become increasingly urgent in the decades ahead.
With the world population increasing, imminent energy and natural resources crises and the growing complexity of financial structures we want to study the future of Capitalism as our society’s basic principle, possible alternative systems, the role media culture plays in a market economy and how new technologies and small scale initiatives can offer solutions.