Direct Democracy Under Construction: A Conversation with Dario Azzellini

July 15, 2013

In this episode of Forms of Life, documentary filmmaker and activist Dario Azzellini joins Creative Time chief curator Nato Thompson for a conversation about contemporary social movements and approaches to building direct democracies in Latin America and around the world.

A neighborhood assembly in a Venezuelan communal city under construction, named "José Antonio de Sucre." Film still from Comuna under construction (2010), Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler.

A neighborhood assembly in “José Antonio de Sucre,” a Venezuelan communal city under construction. Film still from Comuna under construction (2010), Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler.

In this episode of Forms of Life, host Nato Thompson speaks with documentary filmmaker, writer and political scientist Dario Azzellini about community organizing and social movements. Beginning with Azzellini’s experiences as an activist in Latin America, and specifically Venezuela, their conversation traces the influence that political resistance in the region has had on recent movements such as Occupy and the uprisings labeled “the Arab Spring.” Azzellini and Thompson discuss alternatives to today’s representational politics, considering how practices like neighborhood assemblies and cooperative workplaces can transform states into direct democracies.

Forms of Life is a monthly podcast hosted by Creative Time’s chief curator, Nato Thompson. Guests are culture makers whose work posits new ways of looking at political realities. By addressing a wide variety of issues—such as alternative economies, calcified political structures and new forms of collective living—or simply by being a thorn in the side of normality, Forms of Life interviews provide an opportunity to think counterintuitively about social conditions faced by people around the world.

Special thanks to The Clocktower Gallery and for their support.