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New Civic Rituals: making common space

Difficult Heritage Summer School, foto: DAAR.

Welcome to an event presenting projects by DAAR and Dansbana! originally developed for the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial; Empathy Revisited: Designs for more than one. With Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti (DAAR) and Anna Fridolin, Teres Selberg and Anna Pang (Dansbana!).

DAAR and Dansbana! have been invited to develop projects in relation to the New Civic Rituals programme of the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial and as a part of a new international exchange programme developed in collaboration between IASPIS, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Consulate General of Sweden, The Swedish Institute and the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.

The two projects are Dansbana! Kalamış, a realisation of a permanent public space for dancing in the Kalamış park in Istanbul by architects Anna Fridolin, Teres Selberg and Anna Pang, and a site specific research and number of public gatherings to inquiry and discuss the concept of Al Masha (the space of the common) by artists and architects Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti.

Dansbana! Kalamış creates a place for dancing in the city. Developed in dialogue with the Kadıköy Municipality and local dancers, the design is inspired by the underwater world and the geological richness of the area, located on the bank of the Bosphorus. The intervention is a dance platform equipped with Bluetooth speakers, allowing anyone to dance to their own music, morning till evening, every day. Dansbana! Kalamış is a permanent installation in the park, with the aim to create a new meeting spot in Istanbul for dancers of all kinds.

Al Masha is an on-going inquiry in the idea of how public space and common spaces are shaped and constituted. It is a proposal of a critical understanding of the contemporary notion of the public by re-imagining the notion of the common. A fundamental aspect of the common is a demand for active participation, which is present in the Arabic term “al masha”, which refers to communal land equally distributed among farmers. This inquiry looks at how al masha can be reclaimed and reactivated beyond institutions and state apparatus.

New Civic Rituals: making common space is organised in collaboration between Istanbul Design Biennial, IASPIS, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Consulate General of Sweden, The Swedish Institute, the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul and presented in collaboration with Postane.

Dansbana! is an organisation based in Stockholm, Sweden, designing public spaces for dance. It was founded and is run by the architects Anna Fridolin, Anna Pang and Teres Selberg. The name ‘dansbana’ derives from a traditional building type for outdoor dancing common in Scandinavia. The organisation seeks to revive and update this typology and make space for many types of dancers and dances. Dansbana! tries in particular to reach out to girls as users of outdoor spaces and involve them in the design process. Local dancers are also always involved in the process, to create a community around the sites and to ensure that over time they become meeting places in the city for many people, from locals to professional dancers. www.dansbana.se

DAAR is an architectural collective, founded by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, that combines conceptual speculations and pragmatic spatial interventions, discourse and collective learning. The artistic research of Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti are situated between politics, architecture, art and pedagogy. In their practice art exhibitions are both sites of display and sites of action that spill over into other contexts: built architectural structures, the shaping of critical learning environments, interventions that challenge dominant collective narratives, the production of new political imaginations, the formation of civic spaces and the re-definition of concepts. www.decolonizing.ps