RETHINKING COLLECTIVE USES AND PRACTICES
A selection of public, private or community projects and good practices, in order to highlight various ways of exercising cultural rights
Towards a collective strategy for activating cultural lives in Vall del Jerte
Habitar el palacio is a citizen process for activating unfinished architecture. A public building designed as a convention centre in the agricultural county of Vall del Jerte has been left unused for more than ten years now, far removed from its original project and without a management model having been set down by the Administration. Habitar el palacio aims to establish a collective use for it and turn into a space for community-culture experiences.
Vall del Jerte is a county in Extremadura with a population of 11,000 and whose agricultural cycles set the pace for work and life there. Habitar el palacio is being implemented in eleven municipalities in the county, with populations ranging from 300 to 2500, to establish collective work dynamics by thinking up and drafting a shared cultural policy, built bottom-up.
Habitar el palacio coordinates and accompanies the process for rethinking and activating cultural proposals for the future of this space. Its educational approach is intended to bring citizens closer to the centre and sow the seeds of its future lives there. A place for making proposals for activating local culture, in favour of living conditions, and establishing collaborative dynamics that strengthen social and cultural ecosystems in the area.
An exploration of the way the city speaks to us and how we respond to it
Urban Lexicons is a series of investigations carried out over the last twelve years between Marcus Willcocks, Central Saint Martins (London) and Rosanna Vitiello. The project explores how we build relationships through the ways in which the city speaks to us and our response as its participants.
The project links culture to expression, meanings and shared values. Centred on the reading of public spaces, it fosters fluency of language and confidence. It therefore works with cultural communities and under-represented voices in public spaces and seeks a way to bring visibility to their points of view on an urban setting. The goal is to guarantee that the spaces these communities live in represent and support a wider variety of cultures.
It uses an open-code approach to offer physical and digital tools to city residents and research professionals for capturing and communicating the meaning of spaces valued by people.
Urban Lexicons is now extending to a practice community with Diana Ibáñez López and includes a cohort of students studying for a master’s degree in cities at Central Saint Martins and community groups from the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
KING LEAR: HOW WE LOOKED FOR LOVE DURING THE WAR
A staging of Shakespeare’s classic play King Lear with a cast made up by displaced persons from the armed conflict in Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022. Millions of people were forced to abandon their homes to save themselves from the horrors of the war. Many fled to the small city of Uzhhorod, in the west of Ukraine, which continues to be a fairly comfortable and peaceful city in the midst of the conflict.
The arrival of displaced people to the city has led to the launch of several community initiatives to help them and bring them a different environment. The group has been playing an active part in general: they are working in soup kitchens for migrants, weaving camouflage nets, entertaining and educating young children and organising cultural events.
Vyacheslav Yehorov, a local activist who provides immigrants with help and promotes children's recreation, decided to realise his dream of staging Shakespeare's King Lear, with a cast made up of displaced persons. The play will enable them to find a new world framed by war in themselves as well as their destiny, whereas the director will bind the response to the eternal question of what love is and why this world must not die.
Scenic public-art initiative in the city of Múrcia
La Yapa is a collective creation project, a travelling public-art on-the-street initiative performed with the community where masks, interaction with the environment of the city of Múrcia and visual experiences shape numerous symbolic frameworks in the form of communion and re-signification of places.
The proposal is based on a public-art creation workshop with the community, with the aim of bringing about a show for reclaiming and highlighting several under-used spaces in the El Carmen and San Andrés neighbourhoods, with local residents joining in. The project's artistic team meet the area's diversity and are made up of people of fairly varied cultural origins, ages and capacities, accompanied by the La Aye company. As a result, La Yapa follows a route along the city’s streets during which it performs three artistic initiatives associated with three spaces chosen during the collective creation process.
La Yapa is a creation of the La Aye Company, with support for production from the Murcia Region Institute of Cultural Industries and Arts, in collaboration with the Párraga Centre and Múrcia City Council’s municipal theatres. The show premières on 19 May.
A night-time leisure activity for reclaiming cultural institutions for the public
Una notte al Museo is an event format characterised by the night-time opening of museums in the Piedmont region of Italy, where the public can make traditional visits and enjoy a refreshment with music in the background and artistic performances. The project is transforming the area’s cultural institutions and creating a local, family and more recreational link, typical of today’s society.
Una notte al Museo aims to attract the public back to cultural spaces, such as museums, theatres and galleries, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do this, it considers venues from a new perspective, not just as traditional institutions, but also as attractive spaces for everyone to find a new source of cultural leisure beyond the offer itself.
The project acts as a mediator to help institutions and the public understand one another. An initiative that demonstrates that cultural institutions are places for everyone, regardless of their interests and age.
Art and culture at hand
Mexico City’s Manos a la Obrera project had the main goal of implementing a pilot intervention for reclaiming public space. The initiative consists of implementing a participatory process in a residual urban space, located on a junction in the Obrera district, capable of accommodating a temporary cultural calendar. The purpose behind the establishment of this programme was to transform the urban image of the place and encourage the community to strengthen its cultural development.
Creative space dedicated to the immigrant community
Located in Birmingham (UK), Centrala consists of an art gallery, a cafeteria, a project and a music space. The space and organisation were created to support the integration of communities of immigrants from Eastern Europe, often isolated, marginalised and deprived of access to many necessary opportunities. It is in this context that Centrala has been creating an environment for showing Central and Eastern European art, offering a platform to people, facilitating intercultural dialogue and providing this collective with representation.
A programme for democratising and decentralising culture in the city of Terrassa
Access to culture and participation in cultural life is a right enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Understood as a democratising practice, culture is becoming a space for transformation capable of generating new present and future ways of being in the world and interpreting it. More peaceful, egalitarian and sustainable ways of building a new future from city residents.
Terrassa has always focused public policies on ensuring citizens’ cultural rights. It is in this context that Cultura al territori is being launched as a programme for democratising and decentralising culture in the municipality. The project provides support for the culture and creativity sectors for their application in the area, placing an emphasis on the importance of participation, mainstreaming, production and access, and creating new centres in the city of Terrassa. The programme is being implemented through several support initiatives and projects that are being designed, launched and assessed collaboratively between the institution and local cultural agents.