Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

On April 23, 1975, at Karl Marx University in Leipzig, the East German filmmaker Joachim Hellwig (1932–2014) and scriptwriter Claus Ritter (1929–1995), both initiators and authors of the artistic working group defa-futurum, defended their collectively written practice-based PhD on the “artistic forms for imagining a socialist future by the means of film under specific consideration of the experiences of the working group defa-futurum.” Strongly influenced by Hellwig’s antifascist projects and nonfictional documentary practice, defa-futurum demonstrates a specific concern for a Marxist cybernetics with regard to creative thinking, labor, love, and political work. The latter is elaborated in greater detail by engaging with the forgotten writings of the philosopher Franz Loeser. Defa-futurum allowed the idea of film-as-theory to endorse the GDR as a sovereign state—promoting also an East German socialist internationalism—under the conditions of the global Cold War by the means of cinema. By using methods from visual culture and cultural studies to facilitate a decolonizing analysis of defa-futurum’s films, Stasi files, archival material, and original writings, the article aims to argue that decolonizing socialism is necessary in order to break through the Cold War’s binary limits for understanding technopolitics, art, and social realities in the post-1989 world.

Keywords: defa-futurum, cinema, cybernetics, socialism, GDR, internationalism, Cold War, futurity, decolonizing analysis

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.