‘Build the City’ is the theme of the 2015 European Cultural Foundation Call for Ideas.
Our project idea “Ekenäs Story Caravan” was selected as one of 50 ideas from all of Europe to join the Idea Camp in Botkyrka in Sweden in September 2015. This is our idea:
“Ekenäs Story Caravan” aims to deepen local engagement and co-governing and develop alternative tools for a better democratic dialogue between community members and policymakers by sharing local stories. Throughout the project we will encourage engagement with and analysis of Ekenäs as the place we call home and at the same time encourage a critical debate about diversity, democracy, transparency and accessibility. Our methods include artistic and sociological research, Geodesign, an Ekenäs diary, digital video and audio storytelling. In cooperation with local actors we plan to collect place bound stories about Ekenäs.
In the process of sharing and documenting these stories we hope to create a sense of community as well as a sense of place-identity. The Caravan project will also attempt to cross boundaries such as age, nationality, language, gender and the boundaries between city officials, politicians and community members. In addition to the digital audio and video storytelling project we plan to collect stories in a paper diary placed in public places. The Caravan stories will also be a kick-off for a “digital audio archive”.
The mobile studio would be set up in community commons – public or semi-public spots such as the library, the harbor, the square, old peoples homes, the train station, the marketplace, an empty lot or a play ground.
So I look forward to getting inspired and inspire and together with other campers find new forms of cooperation and collaboration within and between cities with the aim to develop innovative alternative democratic practices through “commoning”:
‘Build the City’, is about applying the principles and ethics of the commons to the transformation of the city, its communities and its economy. It is about people creating more sustainable cities through social cooperation and active participation, with culture at its heart.
Across Europe, we see new forms of cultural cooperation by citizens and communities who are developing alternative and participatory democratic practices. This specific act of ‘commoning’ as a collective venture of co-development and co-government of everything we hold in common is dramatically changing the way we look at our societies. At the same time, the emergence of ‘The Commons’1 as an alternative value system is challenging the duopoly of state and market. This new paradigm is based on a belief in societies with greater equality, sustainability and solidarity – read more and get inspiration at the Build the City Lab.