This panel explores the position of the 'other' within a range of creative 'scenes' (music, art, media and performance) that have proliferated in the Balkans and Eastern Europe since the collapse of 'Real-socialism' and the atomisation of public forms belonging that were once mass movements.
Twenty years after the fall of Real-Socialism and forty years after the student revolts, Europe and the world are facing a crisis in capitalist production. Hopes that arose with the Velvet Revolution were not fulfilled and former socialist countries are still somehow either patronised or ignored by the well-developed Western countries. Following decades of struggle for freedom of expression, a multitude of local responses to the commercialisation of all aspects of life have appeared, offering symbolic alternatives to a dominant profit-making order. Most vivid among these local responses are perhaps popular music scenes which often acquire and function as forms of 'politics by other means', especially in cases whereby political apathy is the norm amongst certain age groups. Alternative centers and scenes, the various hidden worlds at the heart of Europe offer an imaginative response to the collapse of forms of belonging that held mass appeal during the communist era and during the years of transition. The workshop proposes to discuss creative 'scenes' in the Balkans and Eastern Europe with a specific focus on art, (alternative) music, media and public activities in which the local actors - regardless of age - transcend their marginalised position(s), through a creative 'othering' of their position marked by a perception from the centers as 'the Other' of Europe. Recent ethnographic, historical or analytical studies of popular music scenes, art worlds and any other forms of creative cultural resistance in the Balkans and Eastern Europe are warmly welcome.