STATISTA KONFERENZ 

Olga Egorva and Dmitri Vilenski of the collective Chto  Delat on Houses of Culture: cultural models based on  principles of comradeship. 

New non-alienated models of cultural production were  always a utopian aim of cultural workers. In our  workshop, we address the tradition of Houses of Culture,  and their potentials today. The model appeared in Italy  mid 19th C., when workers learned to read in order to  partake in elections. This idea was energetically  developed in Soviet houses of culture, and after the  collapse of the USSR, it reemerged in new incarnations.  We find traces in the creative industries, Loft Projects,  co-working spaces, leisure centers, shopping malls with  cinemas and play areas, art institutions with educational  programs, libraries, access for marginalized members of  the public, etc. These tendencies take place in the  absence of a program such as the mass socialist  movements, or state education in the Soviet Union and  Yugoslavia. Thus the political purpose of new houses of  culture is to reformulate a class structure, in which we  see the potential for the formation of singularities, ready  at a given historical moment to defend the values of  comradeship, and to rethink the role of culture and  aesthetics in processes of emancipation.