This introductory essay attempts to communicate a sense of the articles and artist pages published in this Forum Kritika on Radical Cultural Responses to Crises in Urban Democracy, in the context of a symposium during which some of them were first argued. The contributors theorize relationships between art and protest, and the nature of performance, as well as critiquing interventionist performance projects, among dispatches from the front line of performance as public engagement. It also seeks to convey a sense of how culture—and especially performance—interacts, in Britain, with Project Austerity (2010-present). As culture and cultural workers, respond to neoliberalization, they are also increasingly shaped by its project of economizing public institutions, democratic processes, social services, and—some would argue—every social encounter. Influencing this critique is the mythos of Athens, as—across Europe—forces re-shape the democratic urban architecture which it has legitimised since the republican revolutions of the eighteenth century. It is in this context that artists struggle to conceptualize and enact a present public role.


aesthetics, Athens, austerity, corporations, dignity, democracy, difference, drama, global city, Global North, Global South, Liverpool, migration, neoliberalization, oppression, Tate Liverpool, theater, political precariousness, postcolonial critique

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)