The webproject Abducting Europa is an online exhibition of videos, docu-fiction and installation art which explores elements of fringe internet culture, (post)national symbolism and various altered states of historical consciousness from a moment when the future seems unwelcoming to many.
Europe’s contemporary political imaginary is permeated with metaphors of struggle. Responding to global crises by promoting ancient myths, new reactionary movements traffic in dreams of ethnic rebirth and exploit fears of an existential enemy at the Gates of Fortress Europe—or even lurking within. Paradoxically, some of these very movements feel most at home in fringe online communities, which seem to provide a fertile soil for ideological radicalisation and conspiracy theorising to take root.
Beneath the slick surfaces of social media platforms, it appears as though the political consensus of the twentieth century is collapsing. Emerging from the wreckage are expressions of political collectivity that many considered relegated to the dustbin of history. Affording ever more radical expressions of tribal identity, social media platforms are now feeding the raw material of youth culture directly into the nationalist populist insurgency that is currently sweeping across the planet. The works weave together a network of autonomous aesthetic zones that recuperate the power of storytelling from movements preoccupied with an exclusionary image of the national past as a “Golden Age.”