-The New World Summit

New World Summit – Leiden

December 29, 2012, 1-6 PM
Aalmarkt 21, De Waag, Leiden NL

The New World Summit is an artistic and political organization founded by visual artist Jonas Staal in 2012, dedicated to providing “alternative parliaments” hosting organizations that currently find themselves excluded from democracy, for example by means of so-called international designated terrorist lists.

Following the first edition of the New World Summit that took place in Berlin on May 4-5, 2012, which hosted four representatives of terrorist listed organizations and three of their lawyers, the second summit focused on the political, economic, ideological, and juridical interests that are invested in upholding the notion of the “terrorist.” The Leiden edition hosted as the keynote speaker Professor Jose Maria Sison, co-founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). Both organizations are currently included on “terrorist” lists as a result of their ongoing armed struggle with what they describe as a “semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system,” under “US imperialist control,” and having the “comprador bourgeoisie, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists” as ruling classes.

Several experts representing the different layers of the system that revolves around this notion of “terrorism” – Brussels-based lawyer Jan Fermon, Sison’s spokesman and counsel; former judge and lawyer Willem van Bennekom, who defended among others members of the IRA and RAF; and Beatrice de Graaf, Professor of the History of Conflict and Security at Leiden University and the Center of Terrorism and Counterterrorism in The Hague – were asked to respond to Sison, before engaging in a discussion with the audience that focused on (1) the political aims of the CPP and NPA; (2) the concept of terrorism as an instrument to exclude these organizations from the political sphere; and (3) the possibilities of exploring a concept of a “limitless” democracy.

During the summit a free publication was made available, comprising notes by the chairman of the first edition of the New World Summit, Robert Kluijver, along with the first pamphlet published by the New World Summit organization written by Jonas Staal, reflections by philosophers Adam Staley Groves and Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei who attended the first edition, the contribution of Luis Jalandoni who spoke on behalf of the Democratic Front of the Philippines (also representing the CCP and NPA), and an essay by Beatrice de Graaf, Professor of the History of Conflict and Security at Leiden University and the Center of Terrorism and Counterterrorism in The Hague, which explores the performative – artistic dimensions of what has been labeled as the practice of “terrorism.”

The New World Summit springs from a wish to contribute, through the radical imagination of art, to an international democratization movement, collectively aiming for the development of new democratic instruments and the deconstruction of the monopolies of power that want us to believe that democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech are the exclusive domain of the self-proclaimed “enlightened” Western world and its current rulers.

The New World Summit in Leiden was made possible in part by:
Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden NL
Music theater ensemble De Veenfabriek, Leiden NL
Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam NL

For more information see also: