WE ARE NEVER ALONE is a residency project curated by METASITU within the context of the second City Scanning Sessions urban festival, MANUFUTURING, in Ivano Frankivsk. We invite ten practitioners - activists, urbanists, cultural workers, artists, architects, researchers, writers, theorists, performers, scientists, among others - from Ukraine and abroad, to join us for one month to develop, reflect, criticize, experiment, and suggest new forms of urban participatory practices.
During that time, we were able to establish porous communities, among ourselves, and with others; groups based on affiliations and affections that formed in the city - on purpose, as a necessity, or as a form of resistance. With WE ARE NEVER ALONE we sought to establish these new grounds for relating while understanding the limitations and threats of its own format and maintaining a grounded self-awareness.
— How do we understand, translate, and interact with these processes?
— What can we expect?
— How do we measure success for these participatory practices?
— Can we challenge the role of the artist/practitioner within this context?
This year’s theme, MANUFUTURING, organized by the Metalab urban laboratory of "Teple Misto", addresses the potential futures of the Promprylad factory - a (post)industrial space in the center of Ivano Frankivsk which, as its industrial function gradually retreats, is undergoing a deep social and built transformation. How can collective strategies, tactics, and approaches facilitate the interaction between the current (and past?) workers/users in this (post)industrial territory and its adjacent neighbors, as well as potential futures?
For the period of one month, the invited residents engaged with the territory of Promprylad and its adjacent neighborhoods through their research, proposed activities, public programs, and public events.
Some of the questions that we addressed were how the different types of participatory practices could contribute to understanding the territory of Ivano Frankivsk, who has rights to it, and what are the potentials (and limitations) of artistic interventions in determining and bringing social justice or questioning it.
We want to understand Promprylad, and its transformation, beyond established dichotomies, aware of a constellation of interactions and interests, tensions, opportunities, and what potential affiliations and bonds can be formed between individuals and groups because we are never alone.
Artists : Olya Zovskaya, Illia Yakovenko
The project [Re]Staging Participation revisits the past participatory workshops that took place in the framework of the “City Scanning Session 2017” festival or were further initiated in Ivano-Frankivsk by the festival organizers. It is an artistic inquiry into the phenomenon of participation, an attempt to understand its social and political function, its meaning to the people involved, and its influence on them and the city. During the residency, artists visited sites of the past workshops, collected their material traces, interviewed participants and organizers about their experience. During the festival, the artists will collectively reenact some of the workshops together with their organizers, their participants, guests of the current festival, and everyone interested in taking part. A reenactment is an invitation to collectively reflect on experiences that people had during the initial workshop, to recollect and share memories, and to produce further discussion about the political meaning and potential of each workshop as well as about structural hierarchies and power relations by which the workshops were affected. Collected objects, research materials, and video documentation will be displayed in the [Re]Staging Participation exhibition at "Open Workshop" on Promprylad.
[Re]Staging: Three Courtyards
[Re]Staging: Promprylad. How does it work?
[Re]Staging: Swan Festival TBC!
[Re]Staging: Ukrainian Archipelago TBC!
[Re]Staging: Village Idiot
“(NO)THING(S) IN COMMON”
Artist : Alice Haddad
#1 Literary research on “communitas” is the foundation as much as the horizon for the explorations I am undertaking during this residency. My proposal is rather a moment in the exploratory process than an end product. It consists of sharing a selection of literary excerpts from my current research on the notion of community and its combination with a series of subjective observations and/or conversations that I frame/curate for this occasion. Through the confrontation of two discursive explorations, this proposal attempts to make the constant negotiation between objective and subjective interpretation apparent. The reference list or bibliography of the project, which usually appears as endnote if at all mentioned is amplified to become the centrepiece in the form of a reader, and the story serves glue as much as diversion to form a narrative about communitas, while simultaneously inviting the public to make its own.
#2 [This parallel exploration may or may not integrate the subjective part of #1] I have been following Sasha K.’s tree house project and after several conversations with him, next to giving a hand if/ where possible/necessary, I’d like to take his project in the public space as an opportunity to reflect (with him) on the issues of deterritorialization and site-specific intervention, shelter and escape in and outside the urban fabric. It is an exploration on how the proximity with nature and solitary experiences can bring a moment of fruitful reflection on the idea of a shared environment. How the effects of deterritorialization vs. site-specificity can become a way to experience the coming together of a politics of difference found within a certain abstraction of place. This process consists of walks as research, research as excursions, including walks in the nearby countryside/mountain/forest (since I-F is considered gateway to the Ukrainian Carpathians) and the Promprylad neighbourhood.