The Grand Narrative

Critical views on the political potential of really big stories

8 Juli - From Past to Present Tense
7 August until 11 October - Abducting Europa
August - Radicalization by Design

More than ever, people are looking for radical solutions and alternatives to the status quo. There is a need for grand narratives, ‘big ideas’ to spur social action and structural change. By way of an online arts programme and exhibition, with web projects, lectures, key notes, debates, screenings, and with historical and current examples, this series illustrates the revolutionary potential of stories which harness the power to change our future, for better or worse.

One of the themes examined by The Grand Narratives are the stories that are presented in popular series and games, and the distorted representations these offer. We explore the ways in which narratives can be used to reconstruct reality with mistaken and false beliefs in the case of conspiracy theories, but also we will discuss how en inspiring narrative can help writing new histories for previously silenced groups, such as women. By scrutinizing the narratives that drive public debate, this program helps active and resilient citizens of our contemporary media driven society to understand and use the power of inspiring and cohesive narratives and to use these to tell their own stories and contribute to positive change.
The Grand Narrative is curated by Marc Tuters, Inez de Coo and Arjon Dunnewind.

From Past to Present Tense

IMPAKT had the pleasure to host the online premiere of Karnaval 1983, a video work by artist Rudsel Martinus. The screening was followed with a discussion between Quinsy Gario, Rudsel Martinus, Nancy Jouwe (BAK Utrecht, Mama Cash) and Anousha Nzume (Dipsaus, author of Hallo witte mensen).

Watch From Past to Present Tense

Abducting Europa

The political imaginary of Europe today is permeated with metaphors of struggle. Intentionally out of step with the times, new movements dream of national rebirth by promoting ancient myths. Paradoxically some of these reactionary movements feel most at home online — with memes and flamewars — on platforms where conspiracy theories and radicalisation take root. The videos, installations, docu-fiction and prints in this exhibition explore elements of fringe internet culture, (post)national symbolism and various altered states of historical consciousness. 

Read more about Abducting Europa

Radicalization by Design

Are our media radicalizing us? In the past half decade this question has increasingly come to preoccupy both popular and academic debate. Social media are often conceptualized as full of “rabbit holes” leading to deeper parts of the Web. While the metaphor of a radicalization rabbit hole is common, perspectives diverge when it comes to who or what is responsible for the radicalizing. Typically the left pinpoints structural features built into the environment, while the right points to the individual’s choice to “take the red pill”. The web project Radicalization by Design convenes a cross-disciplinary and public facing dialogue at the intersection of new media and extremism studies to discuss these questions and to cast light on these darker regions of the Web.

Enter the rabbit hole


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