Andreas Broeckmann on Mon, 26 Apr 1999 15:52:01 +0100

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Syndicate: ... but keep the faith!

dear friends,

this is just a brief note on return from the syndicate meeting at c3 in
budapest this weekend. there were around 35 syndicalists who participated,
and i think it is safe to say that the meeting was a success.

it was great to see everybody and to talk about the different 'situations'
from the various deep european perspectives. we talked, we ate and drake
and smoked, there were tears and laughter, and most importantly perhaps we
made plans for things that can be done more or less immediately. on friday,
we all got together and spent the afternoon introducing ourselves and
talking about 'what's going on'. when we were just about to fall into one
of those heavy anti-cnn global capitalism conspiracy depressions, we broke
for dinner which c3 had kindly ordered. extensive informal talks, you can
imagine ... (plus a slide show about the pyramedia meeting in tirana last

on saturday we started by compiling a list of concrete projects and
initiatives that could be taken, and then split into four smaller groups to
talk about the main areas: general media strategies and a travelling
screening programme; the period after; residency programme and the visa
problem; emigrant library project. (the concrete results will be written up
by the different groups and posted to the list. these are projects which
will need support and active participation by people who were not in
budapest, so please, sign up as soon as these things are announced.)
decisions about the follow-up were taken, some commitments were made.

the whole situation is so heavy, that it is easy to get paralysed by it.
what the meeting in budapest did for me and, i think, for other people as
well, is that by seeing each other, confirming that we are no pure
media-zombies but still the same real people, and by talking about our
possible room for manoeuvre, it became clear that while there are lots of
things now that we cannot change much about, there are very practical steps
which we can take from our position as cultural practitioners. what some of
us may be good at is to envision positive future scenarios and work towards
them, even against the odds.

i think in the end everybody was glad that, despite the justified doubts
around the meeting, we actually went to budapest. as soon as we may feel it
is necessary, we may decide to go again to budapest, or to skopje, arad,
vienna, whatever seems appropriate and viable. a meeting in belgrade stays
on the cards, as do, obviously, other potential locations. mostly it is a
matter of organisational panache (if that's the word) to get such a meeting
off the ground.

we must thank C3 in budapest for kindly hosting the meeting, and especially
Adele Eisenstein and Andrea Szekeres for going out of their way to make
people feel at home. the travel of many people to budapest was covered by
APEXchanges in amsterdam who were very helpful in making this support
available. V2_ in rotterdam gave substantial support and continues to
provide invaluable infrastructure for syndicate activities and coordination.

so much for the moment. more, from me and from others, will no doubt
follow. my hope is also that the atmosphere on the list will also become
more productive again, recognising the 'potentials despite'. to paraphrase
from the (upcoming) constitution of the Future State of Balkania: the
syndicate is not at war.

greetings from berlin,


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