Action is Concrete

From September 21–29, we took part in a camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art Truth is Concrete in Graz, Austria organized by Steirischer Herbst. 250 artists and activists came from all over the world to share their ideas and art practices in a new format: a 24/7 marathon camp, where most of the participants lived together in dormitory, sharing vegetarian food and hanging out together, day and night.

The main activities were organized by Steirischer Herbst; however, half of all lectures, workshops and spontaneous interventions were self-organized by participants in the format of an open marathon. A daily general assembly became a platform for discussions about the practical part of experience — one of the these assemblies took place in a camp of local activists who had occupied one of the squares in Graz.


Smash City stall before feminist suicidal performance at P2P Exchange.
Katherine Ball (from Garden of Botanical Disobidience) showing how to make smoke bombs for protests.

4 days of discussions ended with an impressive series of actions on the 26th of September. Everything started with a general assembly led by the Critical Practice collective in the format of P2P Exchange for artists. Dozens of activists split into working groups to prepare for the parade, sharing materials and tactics, making stencils, smoke bombs, fake street signs and bottles with fossil oil.

The collaborative actions began with a feminists group who showed up with their self-critical suicidal performance against patriarchy and sexism. Then, a symbolic resurrection procession headed by Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping moved through the center of the city to the Kunsthaus gallery on to the central square and Spar supermarket next to the marathon camp.

The whole event turn into an astonishing performance, horizontally organized by activists, artists and performers. Many of them had met for the first time just a couple of days before.

We are pleased to present this 27 minute documentary. Apparently, this is the format of biennales for new forms of urban and political art and activism. Check it out!


Action is Concrete from Partizaning on Vimeo.


We want to credit all the participants of Truth is Concrete. Please help us by sending names of groups and activists who participated in the day of action. Thanks!
Photo: Neil Cummings