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Together? Imageries of Social Actions, August 25-26 Venice

Anthi Kosma, Iris Lykourioti

During the 2-day event on the 25th and 26th of August, we will set in action a practice-based design and theory experiment. We want to explore how social action and social improvisation can challenge dominant cultural models and may change fundamentally the form of architectural profession.

Through dialogue, narratives and actions, images, videos and bibliographical data, we wish to instigate and map imageries of being and acting together; a fundamental step to take in the process towards social transformation.

Together with our guests we intend to discuss and design. We intend to examine through discursive and non-discursive means/ how improvisation, in design and art, can become a model for spontaneous popular co-operation and how it can lead to more organized political imperatives.

We will exchange ideas/reflections and experiences stemming from realized projects that map popular know- ledge, practices and various forms of popular emancipatory social action in urban and rural environments, in the centers and the peripheries of the world. We will discuss the impact of such efforts in the development of formal policies or informal political action.

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Thursday 25th of August
Imageries of Social Action
Evening @ [15.00-17.00]
Discussion [Synergy_Symbiosis]

Between the moment of birth of the image of a social action and that of its consumption within the capitalist sy-stem, many questions arise about the making of images, their interpretation and the mechanisms of their use. How is the interpretation of the image cultivated? How do we become aware of the political contradictions of images/narrations? How do images and narrations of social actions escape from banality and their commercialization? Can they be designed or how can they escape from design and a predefined production? And, finally, which are the images linked to social actions and can these images constantly carry the emotion of social spontaneity towards emancipatory political (open) ends for the benefit of the great number of people?

Friday 26th of August
Together?
Imageries of Social Actions

Morning @11:00-13:00
Towards a new popular (architectural) culture
Discussion [Syneleusis]

The political engagement of a large part of architects on the side of the poor is an alliance that cannot be produced just by summing up voluntary, individual good intentions. It presupposes the predominance of a system of cultural values and narratives, other than those imposed by the universal prevalence of the real-estate market. The latter predominantly used for a long period of time the imagery of middle/upper-class consumer lifestyle and banished the images of poverty that undermined that dream. Excluding from view and demonizing the poorest leads to the intentional misrepresentation of the causes that produce the reality of life of the dispossessed and thus carries a political content. The depiction of the reality of the life of the great masses of people in cinema, art and architecture has been the cultural program that was dialectically connected with the setting up of the post war European welfare state (50’s-mid 70’s). It stood as a counter paradigm (neo-realism, free cinema, experimental art etc) to the growing industry of mass culture which promoted the values of the society of consumption and the de-politicization of people. The former aimed at considering the public, not a passive recipient but an active producer of culture while the latter carries a cultural program only validated by the mechanisms of power and consumed passively by the masses.

We argue that the reality of a new model of the architectural profession that can benefit the less privileged groups of our society consists of an effort towards the transformation of the relationships that produce space, where architects, inhabitants and governing bodies produce space in constant co-operation. Such a process of transformation affects the use of space and the life patterns of people (or active producers of space). It carries a political content and a program to develop and defend.

Evening @15:00-17:00
+design__Mapping experiences on co-design
A co-drawing event / happening [Synergy_Symbiosis]

Social actions in public spaces can be interpreted as spontaneous expressions forced by groups of people that seek to present their needs in a world formed through an unequal distribution of goods and wealth.

During this event we aim to set in action an experiment related with graphic improvisation and the imageries of being and designing together for social needs.

More specifically, this is a co-drawing event where we will approach being together, acting and designing not as symbolic representations but as an image by itself.

Action will take place in situ on a 36 meters blackboard at the Greek pavilion and on line on a digital platform.

The narratives of a co-writing map of experiences on participatory design tools, the conversations and all the actions that will take place at the 2 day meeting at the Greek pavilion will form a background for this chalk mural.

Through all these initiatives we will try to diagram the image of the action of drawing together, an image in action, the big image that has no form (F.Julien), the image of the image (J. Seguí), a survival image (D. Huberman), an emotional topography, the image of a reverse drawing (J.L.Moraza), an emancipate image (J.Rancier) and above all, in any case, a powerful image able to open the form and the sense.

Imageries of the bodies being, reacting and dreaming together new ways of being.

Co-ordinators:

Anthi Kosma, Architect, PhD, Association of Greek Architects SADAS-PEA, Imprográfika (Group of Experimental Drawing).

Iris Lykourioti, Architect, Association of Greek Architects SADAS-PEA, University of Thessaly, A Whale’s architects.

Guests:

Sara Araújo, Researcher, Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, co-ordinator of the program ALICE.

Daniela Arias, Architect, member of the collective Un Dia/ Una Arquitecta.

Irma Arribas, Architect, Professor at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB).

Akis Gavriilidis, Doctor of Philosophy, translator (Greece, Belgium).

Tonia Katerini, Architect, President of Association of Greek Architects SADAS-PEA, STUDIO-T.

Gonzalo Navarrete, Architect, collective Improvistos (Spain).

Maria Sarri, Visual artist (Greece).

Susana Zaragozá, Co-ordinator of the project Los Madriles for Intemediae of Matadero Madrid, Municipal Contemporary Art Center.

Together? Imageries of Social Actions, August 25-26 Venice

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