Boris Buden

The criticism of institutions cannot, of course, replace the criticism of politics

(in sessions: Keynote, 20 Jan, 19.00 – 20.30  and A Comparative View: Cultural Institutions In Post-Yugoslav Transformations 21 Jan, 15.45 – 17.30)

First we should admit: We are facing the closing of the democratic mind. The old dream about more open institutions that automatically bring about a more open and a more democratic society is the opium for the nouveaux poor. Thus, forget the sublime values of culture and its institutions. They have even lost their social meaning too. A cultural institution is the place of labour. Its “openness” is no longer about sharing but about sponsoring and self-exploitation. This is precisely what makes it political and still worth a critique.


Boris Buden studied philosophy in Zagreb and cultural studies at HU Berlin. In the 90s he was editor in the magazine Arkzin, Zagreb. His essays and articles cover topics of philosophy, politics, cultural and art criticism. Among his translations into Croatian are two books of Sigmund Freud. Buden is the author of Barikade, Zagreb 1996/1997, Kaptolski Kolodvor, Beograd 2001 and Der Schacht von Babel, Berlin 2004, (Vavilonska jama, Beograd 2007).

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