The two-year program of Biennale Warszawa (2019-2021) consisted of two parallel lines. The first one continued the programming from previous years, focused on designing alternatives for existing mechanisms, expanding horizons of socio-political imagination and creating new institutional and organisational structures. We continued to carry out the discussion concerning various models of democracy outside the nation state, forms of self-governance and self-organisation, and manners of people’s self-determination. We also continued our efforts toward creating transnational alliances connecting people from various regions of the world in working for the common good of a planetary reach.
The second line was devoted to the analysis of authoritarianism and its links to democracy and post-democracy, global capitalism and religion, and above all to nature and technology. We adopted a broad definition for the contemporary authoritarianism, understanding it not only as tyranny or dictatorship, but also all other models of exercising public authority which can combine elements of democratic and totalitarian systems in various proportions. Neither do we mean historical totalitarianism; we are not interested only in the analysis of the new wave of right-wing, nationalist political movement, but rather in presenting authoritarian practices which have tangible connections with representative democracy, with economics and religion, with the exploitation and protection of natural resources, with the application of technology and media for gaining and holding onto power.