Platform East: Activism 1.01
Conversations with Activists, Experts and Researchers

Discourse | In English

Webinar, 14:30-16:00

Anyone can be an activist nowadays. Is this really the case? Which parameters influence the development and sustainability of social protest movements? What motivates protesters, especially youth activists? What is the relationship between civil society and the state in times of protest? What forms does activism take when protesting in public space is prohibited? What lies behind art activism—an aestheticization of the political or a politicization of art?

The webinar Activism 1.01—Conversations with Activists, Experts, and Researchers features four different aspects of activism. Choose three of these topics and join the discussions with experts in theory and praxis. After thirty minutes the experts—and the topic—will change!

Prior registration is required. Please register until 26.06., 12:00 latest and specify your track and your Zoom username at:


Platform East: What Is Activism, Anyway?

Discourse, 16:30

With Piotr Goldstein (ZOiS, Berlin)

At the end of the event the experts will discuss their definitions of activism in a public panel: Does activism have to be political, or even visible? What happens at the interface between art and activism?


New Forms of Activism
Youth Activism
Art and Activism

Youth Activism
Art and Activism
Violence and Oppression

Art and Activism
Violence and Oppression
New Forms of Activism



New Forms of Activism
With Felipe G. Santos (MOBILISE, Manchester), Henry Rammelt (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest)
At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, lockdowns in many countries restricted the ability to protest in public spaces. While people all over the world are taking to the streets once again, the current pandemic has also fueled alternative forms of activism that are digital or creatively transform individual action into collective protest.

Violence and Oppression
With Nadja Douglas (ZOiS, Berlin), Victoria Fedorova (Legal Initiative, Minsk)
In order to subdue protest movements, the state tends to resort to traditional forms of repression—and not only in authoritarian countries. What is the relationship between civil society and the police or other representatives of state power? How do activists deal with threats or aggression, and what are some examples of successful non-violence strategies?

Art and Activism
With Svetla Baeva (Fine Acts, Sofia), Martin Boross (STEREO AKT, Budapest), Piotr P. Płucienniczak (Fine Arts Academy Warsaw, Imperium Ducha art collectiv)
Art reflects on grievances in society and frequently seeks social change. Is art, particularly when in the public space, in itself political? What distinguishes artistic activism and what is the idea behind engaging people through creative campaigns? What forms can the combination of art and activism take? What outcomes can it create?

Youth Activism
With Lorina Fedorova (Fridays For Future Ukraine, Ecodiya, Kyiv), Félix Krawatzek (ZOiS, Berlin)
As stakeholders of the future, young people often play a key role in bringing about political and social change. What motivates young people to become activists and how do their political views and strategies differ from older generations?



Svetla Baeva is a human rights campaigner and activist with an academic background in communications and political science from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is the Campaigns Director at Fine Acts, a non-profit creative studio for social impact, and consults a range of organizations on their communications and campaign work such as UNDP Europe and Central Asia. A 2018 Fulbright Scholar and the co-founder of Power Pops, fruity popsicles with a mission.

Martin Boross is a theater director and the artistic director of STEREO AKT, a Budapest-based contemporary theater collective. His post-dramatic pieces are often interdisciplinary, participatory or immersive, and make use of documentary material and social, political, and community-based approaches. He often experiments with unconventional audience positioning and participation.

Nadja Douglas is a political scientist and a researcher at ZOiS. Her current project focuses on the relationship between public initiatives and state power structures in the post-Soviet region.

Lorina Fedorova is based in Kyiv. She studies sociology and is involved in youth climate and environmental activism. Lorina is part of Fridays For Future Ukraine and works as a volunteer for the NGO Ecodiya. In her activist practice, she manages social media accounts and co-organises protest events.

Victoria Fedorova is Chairwoman of the NGO “Legal Initiative”. LL.M. and a Human rights lawyer. She provides legal help to victims of human rights violations at national and international levels, and is also a lecturer of educational programs (“Citizen and Investigation”, “People and legal order” – self-defense from political repressions). She is co-author of an alternative report to the UN Committee against Torture.

Piotr Goldstein is a social scientist working at the intersection of social anthropology, sociology and political science.  At ZOiS, he works within the team of the MOBILISE Project, which aims to understand why in the times of crisis some people protest while others migrate.

Félix Krawatzek is a political scientist and a senior researcher at ZOiS. His research project at ZOiS centres on youth as a political agent and a social imaginary.

Piotr Puldzian Płucienniczak is activist, artist, sociologist and publisher. He is a member of Imperium Ducha art collective and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He studies social movements and their opponents.

Henry P. Rammelt is a political scientist currently teaching at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. His research focuses on the importance of group processes, organizational settings and emotions for participants and activists in social movements and protest networks. Henry’s works have been published with L’Harmattan, Palgrave Macmillan, Rowman & Littlefield and in East European Politics and Societies.

Felipe G. Santos is a Researcher at the Politics Department of the University of Manchester. His work is focused on social movements and protests as well as how people react to moments of crisis. Beyond academic outlets, Felipe’s work has been featured in, among other platforms, The Guardian, BBC World News and El País.



Platform East
Which forms of civic engagement exist in Eastern Europe? Which agents are participating in the restructuring of public space? How has collective memory changed in the post-Soviet era? The new series Platform East will raise these questions and many others as part of the transcultural festival POSTWEST. Academics, artists, and activists from Central and Eastern Europe as well as various experts on Eastern Europe will address the socially relevant issues that affect their everyday lives: the freedom of art and media, the politics of memory and the construction of identities, generational relationships and conflicts as well as protest against political systems. Bringing together these different professions will produce mental collages that expand epistemic horizons and serve as the starting point for diverse future scenarios and a collective utopia of POSTWEST.

The series Platform East is a collaboration between the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) and the Volksbühne Berlin. Through panel discussions, films, lecture performances, and other formats, the series will function as a platform in the truest sense: at the intersection of art and science, it moves past the existing homogenous images of Eastern Europe and offers space for political, societal, and cultural diversity.