Summer School 2010: Lost in the Transition


Organized by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Belgrade) in cooperation with the Alternative Cultural Organization - AKM (Novi Sad)

"Transition" is the most commonly used term to describe changes in Eastern and Southeastern Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In the media, politics, and social sciences, this term is commonly used to describe the transformation of societies from the authoritarian system of state socialism, to democratic and liberal societies.

The "transition" that has gripped the countries of the former real socialism over the past 20 years has drastically changed their appearance. The changes brought these societies more political freedom in the first place. But at the same time, there is another side to the transition, marked by the economic periphery, social fragmentation, corruption and authoritarian political practices, ethnic nationalism and clericalization, cultural infantilization, and retroditionalization.

These phenomena are symptoms of a deep crisis in the societies of Eastern and Southeastern Europe and to that extent cannot be explained as "deviations" on the otherwise "correct" path of transition. Instead, they point to the essential shortcomings of the very concept of transition. Therefore, it is necessary to critically examine and evaluate both the concept itself and the transition process in the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

A critical review of the myths and realities of the "transition" will be the central theme of the Summer School, organized by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Foundation in cooperation with the Alternative Cultural Organization - AKM (Novi Sad) in 2010.

That is why we invite younger researchers, social and political activists, and critically oriented artists to present and discuss their research, analysis, and works on the topic of transition in Southeast and Eastern Europe. Our goal is to create a place to meet, exchange ideas and discuss critical theory and practice today, but also in the future.


We invite you to apply for summer school and submit your presentation proposal.

Topics for discussions and presentations will be divided into 4 basic areas:

1) Economy and social relations
What does the "transition" in the socio-economic sphere represent and what does it bring? Economy and social relations marked by privatization, peripheralization, fragmentation of social relations, and corruption. Has neoliberalism triumphed?

2) Subject and society
The relationship between the individual and society in the process of "transition". How has society and the position of the individual in it changed over the past 20 years? What is the role of the media in “transitional” societies? What are the characteristics of gender relations? Is there intergenerational solidarity? What is the role of the young population in the "transition"? Where are the causes of increased crime rates, violence, drug abuse, and psychosis?

3) Ideology and culture
Ideological and cultural values ​​of "transition". Why are nationalism, clericalization, and retroditionalization the central ideological phenomena of the “transition” process? Why and in what way do retrograde social values ​​and authoritarian political patterns go hand in hand with economic neoliberalism?

4) Social movements and resistances
The place and function of social movements in "transition". What are the social movements that characterize "transitional" societies? Is there resistance to "transition"? From workers' strikes and student protests to critical artistic practices and more ...

You can find an example of the application form on the website:

Along with the form, send a presentation proposal, which should contain an abstract (up to 1 page of A4 format in word) and a short biography (up to 400 letters).


• Be a junior researcher in the social sciences, a political activist / social movement activist, or a critical art practitioner.
• To come from the region of Southeast Europe and to be connected to this area through your activism or research / artistic work.
• To be able to actively participate during all days of the Summer School.


• The working language of the Summer School will be Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian.
• The selected participants are obliged to send the complete texts of their presentations to the conference organizer by October 1, 2010, for publication.


• The deadline for applications to participate in the 2010 Summer School is April 25.
• The number of participants is limited. Selected participants will be notified by May 10.


The summer school will be held on July 1 - 4, 2010 in Novi Sad, in the cinema hall of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina.

The organizer covers the costs of transportation, accommodation, and meals for all participants.

Applications for participation should be sent to the e-mail address: letnjaskola2010 [at]


Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Office for Southeast Europe (Belgrade)

Alternative cultural organization - AKM (Novi Sad)

Implementation support:

Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina (Novi Sad)