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Topic: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

Janna has earlier sent us her pdf archives from the M6 official forum. For the sake of transparency and the continuation of discussion, we are publishing them here. Please note that anonymous postings were allowed in the M6 forum so the authenticity of the posts is questionable.

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Political consequences / Just Do It! Brief request and proposal in order to materialise M6

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Subject Just Do It! Brief request and proposal in order to materialise M6
Date 29 May 2006 01:53:15
From omada ergasias

'Citizen' do you thinlk they actualluy care at all? The mayor has apparently stated that he doesn't care if this thing happens or not, as long the contract rules are not tresspassed. Not even any possible pressure from the municipal elections coming up sometime this autumn (i think november or december) appears to has touched them (the denials of NFA's -and IFM's!!!- Yiannis Toumazis of any problems existance at all, of all this being just "gossip" are painfully indicative) and this project is let to collapse under legalistic pretexts and -what's more it seems- a selfish clash of napoleonic ambitions.

On the other hand something needs to be done beyond any status quo placed obstacles - however rational or phobic they turn out to be. Nicosia is by no means the Mayor or a 2-man led company. It is not the Nicosia Arts Center and it's definitely not the so precious for the establishment 'division' and its 'green line'. Nicosia it's neither its cheap North side with its great, massive spaces nor its affluent overdeveloped Greek one. It is both -and as such, more than a location.

The idea to carry on with the project online is only part of the solution. What can happen localy - which is, regardless of how genuine or not, a main aim for M6 in total, reflected even in the departments' descriptions on this site-still need to be addressed too. Not only for Nicosia's sake and any possible continity the project can have within the city, and thus in turn for / of the project itself, but also as a re-appraisal of all this 'social engangment / local agents' bandwagon that culture and cultural producers seem to fall in love with more and more and furiously jumping on all the time.

It is obvious that if M6 is to happen it has to be altered. To state the obvious: an official decision for its cancellation as it stands at the moment need to be taken as soon as possible so as such an alteration does take place.(I am aware there are some financial matters that need to be dealt with very very carefully for this desision to be a one that is not destructive to the project in general).

Such a decision will immediately free the hands of local agents -individuals and groups- beyond NFA and the Municipality / Ministry. Regardless of ethnicity. If the curators are still up for realising this project -however altered it might turn out to be on the physical side of things- there are options for M6 to happen. And to happen in a way that is beneficiary for all the people interested in it to happen, who want to get involved, who got Library intrigued by the project in the first place.

I am sure there is people out there who still want to be part of it (even cheese-grater changed his/her mind, c'mon!). And I know that localy, beyond any frustration for all this mess - once again! and once too much to be honest!- people want to help materialise this pilot school of M6. Just free our hands M6, legaly at least in the first place, in order for as to take some direct action in relation to admin and managerial issues re the project in close collaboration with all.

No need to work with fascist, scum bags who man hiden boards. Or worse, fall into a trap of coming out as the selfish aggressor by (re)producing division naratives and diplomatic / financial crap - which some research into the politcs of cyprus will reveal is what sustains it as the alienated and alienating place it is.

We have to just do it!

Kill it off officialy so as to revive the bloody thing!

PS. Personally I am tired of all these forum 'hide and seek' game with pseudonyms and 'careful' wording in order not to expose ourselves. This is no high-school flirt forum. Those who have been hiding in / from here -NFA, Municipality, Ministry and other individuals who like playing gamesobviously have something to keep secret.Having a question, an opinion about this NEEDS to be a public affair if any pressure can mount so as to get things going. Let's all get serious and push our sleeves up - either for punching some noses or for working a bit harder. Here is my personal email address for anyone who is up for it, plus the team's one which is signing this post.

demetris_taliotis@yahoo.com
omadaergasias@hotmail.com

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / Suggested new location in Cyprus

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Subject Suggested new location in Cyprus
Date 29 May 2006 03:50:29
From C. Leonard

Not knowing any of the details of the obligations of M6 in the contract with the city of Nicosia, an alternate location in Cyprus may be an option. I suggest something that would invest the M6 project with even greater political importance: east of Nicosia is the "ghost town" of Varosha (a closed off section of Famagusta after the Turkish invasion in 1974). Varosha is the site of abandoned hotels, department stores, schools, etc. There have been motions in the recent past by the Cypriot Government to place Varosha under UN administration, and to open up the harbour to both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

This may be an ideal "project"--to establish the permanent Manifesta school here with the dual sanction of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot governments-- under which M6 and its selected participants could unify their efforts.
Library

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / EVERYBODY READ THIS!!! and answer...


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Subject EVERYBODY READ THIS!!! and answer...
Date 29 May 2006 17:12:43
From GABRIELE GASPARI

Well things seem to have gone bad by far, I left home a week ago, came back and knew that I am no more participating in Manifesta... this is a ---ed up thing don't you think? Still waiting for official posts to make this real true (as I think it is) or real false (as I hope it to be)

I have a suggestion here for anyone who has been accepted and wants to carry out this whole thing: WHY DON'T WE ALL ESTABILISH CONTACT FROM THIS FORUM AND TRY TO SET UP AN ALTERNATIVE THING, NOT IN CYPRUS, AT LEAST TO KNOW EACH OTHER AND TRY TO WORK SOMETHING OUT OF IT? THE GREAT THING I EXPECTED FROM M6, BESIDES WORKING IN CYPRUS REALITY, WAS TO MEET ABOUT 90 PEOPLE WORLDWIDE, EXCHANGE MY OWN RESOURCES AND IDEAS WITH THEM AND CARRY OUT THE MOST POSITIVE RESULTS OUT OF IT... IT SEEMS SO DEPRESSING TO ME THAT THIS COULDN'T HAPPEN! I LEAVE MY OWN CONTACT HERE PLEASE DO SO AND LET'S CONTACT EACH OTHER TO WORK SOMETHING OUT!

BYE EVERYBODY
hope to hear you soon
GABRIELE GASPARI
ROME
gabriele.gaspari@gmail.com

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / sorry for the lack of communication

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Subject sorry for the lack of communication
Date 29 May 2006 20:52:04
From Florian Waldvogel

dear all,
i want to apologize for the lack of communication over the past few weeks. the problems of the curatorial team with the host city are serious. we will inform you about the continuation of the manifesta 6 school on friday, the 2nd of june.

we regret that the situation has come to this , it was not our intention to keep information from you.

please believe me, we tried everything to solve the serious problems but if you can't work independently and with autonomy like it is written in our contract, then you have to fight for it.

this is the reason the sitaution has come to this. i hope you all agree that all we, the cultural workers, must fight to not be tools of political interests.

power to the people.
good night, and good luck.
florian waldvogel

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / If You Build It, They Will Come

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Subject If You Build It, They Will Come
Date 29 May 2006 21:35:39
From khare617@aol.com

“Christ you know it ain’t easy, the way things are going, you know they’ll crucify me” – John Lennon Ten years after Green Line demonstrators were killed; Manifesta 6 in Nicosia, Cyprus has been cancelled.

Reading news on EU and UN negotiations, Greek and Turkish Cypriots are not ready or willing to solve the Cyprus problem. But why pick on an international art biennial? Because it appears to be acting in the same manner of a political entity even through it begs to be considered a creative one.

Reviewing the Manifesta 6 website one can see the idealistic curators Mai Abu ElDahab, Florian Waldvogel, and Anton Vidokle were sincere in their efforts to create an art school on the fringes of the European Union as Black Mountain was on the fringes of the Unites States. But Black Mountain wasn’t situated in a divided city were two powerful entities keep the Nicosia capital divided for their own political interests. Manifesta 6 is like Bauhaus in Nazi Germany when the teachers fled just as Mai, with Florian and Anton not far behind, has left the island of Cyprus.

In that kind of anti-intellectual environment, and I mean anti-intellectual because an intelligent conversation involves hearing both sides of the story, could the curators have been more organized and more upfront about what they were doing when their hands were being continuously tied? The municipality hoped this school would boost tourism and bring in revenue to their economy so they lobbied hard and they did donate a million euros but the problem was the curators’ mission was diametrically opposed “devise conditions conducive to creative intellectual scholarship and production in dialogue with the current social and political realities of Cyprus” yet “not attempt to mediate over 30 years of complex Cypriot polemical and political conditions” and the municipality knew conducive conditions on both sides of the Green Line would absolutely mediate Cypriot political conditions. Furthermore, the school planned on “specially commissioned works, performances, screenings, radio broadcasts, television programmes, publications and other types of activity” that would only make the political dialogue more widespread. They wanted it closed because what the school hoped to achieve struck close to the very black heart of Nicosia’s socio-political reality.

Based on your idea of emulating the Black Mountain School, dear curators, take note of its turbulent history and flee with Manifesta 6 to another Library location. Move it close by Cyprus or move it to the Manifesta headquarters in Amsterdam. Invite your 90 core participants, your online participants, and your 6 artists from both sides of the Green Line to engage in a true discussion of ideas. If you quit, they will call you spoiled and uncommitted. If you sue, and as co-producers IFM would be entitled, they will call you bullies. But if you pursue this school and reveal what is going on in Nicosia and show the world that a diverse and international set of people can work together, you will put to shame your critics and your adversaries. That’s what artists do they reveal tyranny to improve the human condition. You had to know such a noble and ambitious project wasn’t going to be easy especially considering our international history on humanitarians. At least you have a major international art foundation and friends on this forum willing to help so this vision can be realized because it has affected so many people on a multitude of levels beyond that of a simple art biennial.

Currently, the mayor can make idiotic comments like he doesn’t care if the school happens or not because he’s assuming the curators will go away, they’ll sue IFM and get paid, then they’ll do a bad PR campaign on the curators, and then everyone will forget about it and move on to the next tragedy. Sadly, he’s not far from the truth unless Manifesta 6 challenges him and his ilk with a successful “offshore” Nicosia school. Imagine if Manifesta 6 turned into a major art school like Black Mountain or Bauhaus and Nicosia isn’t getting any of the revenue from an international student community and every time the school got an award for ingenuity and people asked, “why isn’t the Nicosia school in Nicosia? Oh yeah, they didn’t want it.” When people see what they are missing, and you have to be up to task to show them, they’ll start putting a different kind of pressure on their political leaders and you’ll see real change. If we could set up the “offshore” school to the point where it generates real revenue and recognition, Nicosia will want the school and not the mayor. And you will have the highly coveted honor of knowing within your lifetime, you through your school, helped to bring Nicosia a little closer to peace and each other. And if that can be done through an art school, not the U.S. or the EU or the UN, can the same thing be done to solve the even more complex situation in the Middle East that threatens to end all life as we all know it.

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / Apology

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Subject Apology
Date 29 May 2006 22:25:23
From Anton Vidokle

I must echo my colleagues' apologies here. We tried very hard to enter into a legitimate negotiation, but it rapidly became clear that discussion was not going to take place. Manifesta 6 was, perhaps, too ambitious. We can be blamed for being disorganized and not communicating as forthrightly as possible, but we are not responsible for the cancellation. I want to wish everyone well in producing an alternate Manifesta School, but I will not participate. I believe vehemently that if the school does not live up to our curatorial dream it should not exist at all. Best of luck.

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Apology / re: Apology

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Subject re: Apology
Date 29 May 2006 23:33:14
From Craig Leonard

Dear Anton (and Florian):
It is difficult to revive the driving principles of Manifesta 6 from your cursory apologies, which raises critical questions regarding the responsibilities of "curatorship" and "ambitious" art practices.

If you are willing to take blame for "being disorganized" and "not communicating as forthrightly as possible," as curator, where do your responsibilities truly begin and end--especially if the suggested "alternate Manifesta School" were to address the initial problematic of authority versus citizenry (of which Cyprus is emblematic) and you have already decided not to participate? Was your involvement in the Manifesta 6 curatorial group more "professional" than ideological (which, by extension, should also cause reflection by the selected artists/cultural workers)?

The claim of the biennial was to launch a functioning art school that would outlast Manifesta 6 itself. This laudable objective, in the context of a divided and highly-politicized site, is an inspiring example (in theory) of art practice as inextricable from social-engagement and (global) citizenship. A responsible move for the curators to make now is to circulate a detailed explanation of the cancellation of the Nicosian Manifesta School--referring to the initial curatorial aims--assuming this is not already in the works. If this is what Florian will be informing us of as of June 2nd, then please accept my apology ahead of time.

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / OH DEAR, IT'S NOTHING!

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Subject OH DEAR, IT'S NOTHING!
Date 30 May 2006 00:26:31
From Gabriele Gaspari

Dear Florian Waldvogel, dear Anton Vidokle,
I just read your posts and they say what is expect to be said in this situation.

Besides the lack of information (and it's difficult to find them even in the cypriot press) your position about the whole thing is totally lacking! I think that being told in a forum that the event will not take place is embarassing; I wrote an email just two weeks ago asking general infos (I've been accepted to the school in dep.III) and I received a "welcome aboard"; could it be things degenerated in only two weeks?

Anyway, if you read my proposal about an "alternative school" it was not meant to be alternative, just to set up things in a different way, trying to put together all the people involved in it. you too. It's all about creating a real network of people from everywhere, and not coming to cyprus and have a vacation. It's a possible thing to do, in cyprus or everywhere. possibly. I think that setting up a discussion board is primary in conceiving nonstandard events , and in this sense your work was great; but, I think also that the whole thing can be dumped as-it-is, for any reason. It would be a waste in all directions, yours and ours.
"you got the bike, now ride"
italian proverb
Bye everybody
Gabriele Gaspari
gabriele.gaspari@gmail.com
PS please can you post the list of accepted people? or send it by email,
please!

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Re: Archives from the M6 official forum as saved by Janna

3 June 2006 / Forum / post-conflict

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Subject post-conflict
Date 30 May 2006 14:15:05
From Niloufar

Please tell me if I’m mistaken, but wasn't Nicosia chosen because of its particular - or let's say PROBLEMATIC - situation with its divided geography? Geographically divided also means administratively divided which means a complex political situation.

That's why I personally am not surprised about the problems that occurred. I'm more surprised about the resignation. Resigning means giving up which means you can not handle a problem. But why couldn’t you handle a predictable problem? The situation was predictable - in the end the place you chose is not a stable country with clear borders. The borders are blurred and unclear, the situation is unclear. Plus you wanted these borders to be your subject of intervention (which is the very beautiful and ambitious thing why I applied for M6). But why are you surprised, angry, resigning when there are problems? What have been your expectations? In the end you were dealing with a postconflict location with after-pains. That means fighting, talking, understanding, waiting, thinking… but within this process one has to be clear about the situation and about own objectives.

They had their expectations, you had your ambitions. But these should have been the FIRST things to talk about. TRANSPARENCY. In unclear geographic situations you need at least transparency between political institutions and curators or cultural producers in general.

Now you have at least transparency. Now there is a chance to be clear, while switching off emotions and disillusionment.
Peace.
niloufar_tajeri@hotmail.com