methods of social engineering

Alexis Fidetzis methods of social engineering
Methods of Social Engineering, 2014, DeKalb Gallery, Brooklyn NY

 

 

 

In Methods of Social Engineering the whole construction of a Nation is considered as such a method, as a mechanism that is meant to create a sense of community within arbitrarily determined borders based on decisions made by the center. In this process of homogenisation, cultural diversities of differentiated ethnic groups are being obliterated.

Influenced by Ethnicities of the World, a subsection of  WorldMap, a project that is still under development by the Center for Geographic Analysis of Harvard University, I created national identities of ethnic groups that were never developed. I chose these four amongst hundreds as the territories they occupied were under dispute during the period of the development of nationalistic ideology (second half of the 18th to the first half of the 20th century), between nations that the indigenous populations of the region did not identify as either one or the other.

By running an alternative historical scenario regarding these cases, I am looking at the historical injustice that almost wiped these ethnic groups from the face of history, while at the same time I challenge the sense of inevitability that comes along with our understanding of contemporary geopolitics, the development of the nation as a natural, organic, non facilitated process, as an inherent political destiny. The subjectivity that comes along with determining the elements that are worthy of becoming cultural property of the newly formed nations, refers to the fact that national identities, as defined by contemporary countries, are often a bad case of historicism.

 

The Yup’ik Republic

The Miangas Republic

The Ainu Nation

The Beagle Republic