“Art Communities At Risk: Slovenia” talks about how it is somehow easier to take a moral than a political position in times of crisis today—and how political manipulations often hide under seemingly moral attitudes. The author analyzes these issues against the background of growing authoritarian forces in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Slovenia, which saw the rise of covid-19 and Janez Janša as prime minister at the same time. Janša's government systematically ignores professional competencies in cultural institutions as well as in science, especially in relation to the epidemic.The voice of experts in the field of culture is ignored, and this is precisely because their specialized knowledge is not neutral. In a time when the space for free speech is shrinking, the need for a clear positioning becomes even more pressing. The author discusses the exhibition Bigger than Myself / Heroic Voices from Ex-Yugoslavia, which she curated for Rome's MAXXI museum last summer. The work shown there addressed Yugoslav emancipatory histories in relation to the issues of particular urgency today: global capitalism, the posthuman condition, and the return of authoritarianism, in particular. The Slovenian authorities took a hostile attitude towards the exhibition, not only because it presented critical voices from the region but also because artists from the former Yugoslavia were presented there, who, according to Slovenian right-wingers, are no longer worthy of participating in national cultural projects. Concerning the example of what is happening in Slovenia today, the essay asks why there has been such a strong turn to the right in Central and Eastern Europe, which is reviving “traditional” morality, patriarchy, and nationalism and engaging in political interference in cultural institutions. The current governments of Slovenia and other countries in the region want to get rid of the critical voices of left-wing experts in culture by favoring ostensibly neutral experts. It removes from important positions all those it considers to be leftists and replaces them with its own people in order to seemingly strike a balance between the various political options. This balancing act and new “neutrality,” however, are just one of the modern disguises of acute authoritarianism in Eastern Europe.

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