Between 1989 and 1999, the activism of Karl Max Kreuger centered around
his mail box. From all over the world, fellow anarchists sent personal
accounts of their activities to his well-known post address in Holland.
Kreuger forwarded letters and information to others, creating a networking
system similar to email and internet, just before it became widely used.
Kreuger died unexpectedly in 1999 and his correspondence was brought
to the IISG in Amsterdam.
Nicoline van Harskamp was granted permission to read and process the
content of approximately 1500 unsorted letters, in order to produce
a script for the video and performance work Yours in Solidarity. This
activity is supported with
a research fellowship of the Rijksakademie,
in collaboration with the International
Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.
The laborious process of reading and extracting information from each
letter, is now as good as completed. Each letter writer is treated as
a character in the script, an estimated 450 in total. Information of
topics addressed in the letters will be researched, using other information
sources at the IISG. Through writing style and handwriting analysis,
personal traits will be found.
Connections between separate writers are be reconstructed and mapped.
Several narratives or themes can be constructed in that process. So
far, three main topics are very prominent in the material:
* The impossibility to reconcile
individual needs and beliefs within a collective of ideologues.
* The inevitable but extremely problematic formation of leadership in
an anti-authoritarian movement.
* The changes in the global political situation after 1989 and the anarchist
response to them. The archive especially reveals how radical libertarian
movements in the West and in the East tried to find common ground after
1989. The misconceptions between 'radicals' in the post-communist and
capitalist worlds are a compelling, sometimes
quite tragic, read.
The work will not attempt to
portray Karl Max Kreuger himself, but rather portray a complicated and
somewhat diffuse global network of anarchist thinkers, on the threshold
of the neo-liberal, internet-age era that we find ourselves in now.