26 April 2015
What is the good city?
More than twenty years after the end of apartheid, Johannesburg's boroughs are still characterised in collective awareness as black or white, poor or rich. Invisible lines also run through Rotterdam and Munich – cities that identify themselves as liberal. Today, many European cities are being threatened by a reinvigorated right-wing populism. Who has access to culture and public space in South Africa, the Netherlands and Germany? What does the ideal city look like? And does the just city have to remain a utopia?
JOHAN SIMONS/ MunichJohan Simons, born 1946 in Heerjansdam (Netherlands), studied dance at the Rotterdam Academy of dance and acting at the Maastricht Theatre academy. He gained prominence as director and manager of the group ZT Hollandia. Johan Simons is one of Europe's most significant directors; his productions have been invited to numerous important festivals. Starting with the 2010/11 season, Johan Simons is director of the Münchner Kammerspiele; chosen in 2013 as "Theatre of the Year."
ANDRES LEPIK/ MunichAndres Lepik is director of the Museum of architecture of the Technical University Munich. Lepik previously served as curator at the Architecture and Design Department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He caused a sensation there with the exhibition "Small Scale - Big Change. New Architectures of Social Engagement" (2010). As a Loeb Fellow of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, he is currently researching the history and theory of social engagement in the architecture of the 20th century.
LESLEY LOKKO/ JOHANNESBURGLesley Lokko is an architect, academic and the author of nine best-selling novels. She is currently Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg where she is Postgraduate Programme Convener. She studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, before going on to gain her PhD in Architecture from the University of London in 2007. Over the past decade, Prof. Lokko has been an on-going contributor to discourses around identity, race, African urbanism and the speculative nature of African architectural space and practice.
RIKE SITAS/ JOHANNESBURGRike Sitas spends most of her time exploring and experimenting in the intersection of urban studies and creative action. She is particularly interested in the relationship between art, technology, and democratic spaces. Rike is the co-founder and co-director of the NPO dala, an interdisciplinary network of creative practitioners that believe in the transformative role of public creativity (www.dala.org.za). dala's studio-of-the-street taps into everyday experiences of people who live, work and play in our cities which are still fraught with inequality. While living in Durban, she wrote for and edited the regional content for Artthrob. In addition to her academic writing (most recently "Third Text", 2013) she continues to write critical pieces for art publications and catalogues (most recently "Uncontained: Opening the Community Arts Project archive").
TOBIAS KOKKELMANS/ ROTTERDAMTobias Kokkelmans (1980) studied theatre and music at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. After graduating, he worked as a dramaturge for the dance association Emio Greco|Pieter C. Scholten, the Festival van Vlaanderen and the Ro Theatre. He has taught at the Amsterdamse Theaterschool and Codarts Rotterdam and has worked as a theatre journalist. He is currently dramaturge at the theatre collective Wunderbaum and the Operadagen Rotterdam.
ZUS ARCHITEKTEN/ ROTTERDAMLandscape architects Elma van Boxel (1975) and Kristian Koreman (1978) co-founded the Rotterdam architectural firm ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles) in 2001. They have jointly been awarded numerous distinctions and prizes, such as the Maaskant Prize for Young Architects (2007), the Architect of the Year Award (2012), the Public Architecture Prize Rotterdam and the Berlin Urban Intervention Award (both in 2013).
Lex Bohlmeijer/ ROTTERDAMCultural journalist Lex Bohlmeijer, born 1959, began his career as a dancer with the Paris Compagnie de Dance l'Esquisse. As an author and director of several pieces, he is well-acquainted with the Dutch theatre world. He has moderated cultural programmes for the radio station NCVR since 1988. Since 2014 Bohlmeijer has had a weekly interview podcast with the online magazine De Correspondent since 2014.
Jay Pather/ JOHANNESBURGJay Pather is Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) and Artistic Director of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre. Recent publications include articles in Changing Metropolis ll and Performing Cities. Recent art works include: Blind Spot for the Metropolis Biennale, Qaphela Caesar at an old Stock Exchange in downtown Johannesburg and rite, a re-imagining of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. Jay is also curator for the Infecting the City Public Art Festivals and The GIPCA Live Art Festivals.
22 March 2015
Who creates the city?
A few years ago, on the square „Puerta del Sol“ in Madrid thousands of citizens demanded more participation and an end to corruption. Activists proposed: Swapping crisis for city and pressed for a reclamation of public space. At the same time, the metro station has now been named Vodafon Sol. In New York, privately financed projects such as the High Line Park on the closed-down overhead railway line are opening up new spaces. What influence do private investors have in shaping the city? What influence does citizen engagement have? How sustainably and effectively can artistic interventions in urban space be? How can lost public space be reclaimed?
ANGELIKA FITZ / MunichAngelika Fitz is a curator and author in the fields of architecture, art and urbanism, with her own agency in Vienna since 1998. In 2003 and 2005 she served as commissioner for the austrian contribution to the Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo. Together with Rose Epple, Angelika Fitz developed the project "We-Traders. Tausche Krise gegen Stadt" (i.e. we-traders, swap crisis for city), which links initiatives by artists, designers, activists and other citizens from five specific European contexts.
CONSTANZA MACRAS/ MunichConstanza Macras was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied dance and fashion design at Buenos Aires University. Macras continued her dance studies in Amsterdam and New York (Merce Cunningham Studios). In 1995, she moved to Berlin and founded her own company DorkyPark in 2003. Her production Megalopolis (2009) dealed with social relations in megacities. In Berlin Elsewhere (2011) dancers and musicians explored the borders of segregation and madness in modern society.
MITCHELL JOACHIM/ NEW YORKDr. Mitchell Joachim is Co-Founder of Terreform ONE and an Associate Professor at NYU. He was formerly an architect at Gehry Partners, and Pei Cobb Freed. He is a TED Senior Fellow and has been awarded fellowships with Moshe Safdie and Martin Society for Sustainability, MIT. Furthermore he was chosen by Wired magazine for "The Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To". Mitchell won many awards including the History Channel Infiniti Award for City of the Future, and Time Magazine Best Invention with MIT Smart Cities Car. He co-authored the books, “Super Cells: Building with Biology” and “Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned”. He earned a Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MAUD Harvard University, M.Arch. Columbia University.
JAVIER DUERO/ MADRIDis a cultural producer. He lived in Montreal during the years 2002-2003, where he became familiar with the Canadian cultural mediation system. He develops projects in the areas of cooperation, research, education and curation mostly in Europe and Latin America. He has worked with institutions, universities, platforms and collective initiatives linked to artistic and social practices. Most recently he worked as a consultant for HEAD Geneva, CAC Quito, the Goethe-Institut, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Instituto Cervantes.
Mitch McEwen/ New YorkAs Partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio, Mitch McEwen works in architectural and urban design. Before co-founding A(n) Office, she worked as an urban designer in the office of Bernard Tschumi Architects in New York City. Her work has been published in Architectural Record magazine, the New York Times, and the New Museum, as well as exhibited at P! gallery. The Akademie Schloss Solitude granted McEwen an architecture fellowship in Stuttgart, Germany in 2012. Since 2014 she has been Assistant Professor of Architecture at Taubman College University of Michigan. McEwen holds a MArch from Columbia GSAPP and BA from Harvard in Social Studies.
David Berkvens/ MadridDavid Berkvens and Manuel Pascual are members of the collective Zuloark, an architectural infrastructure, linked to the construction of open networks, thought to match with the necessity of evolving economic and entrepreneur models. Zuloark is awarded in different architecture competitions and collaborates as independent studio with renowned architects. It has a focus on developing teaching projects, giving lectures and workshops in many civic foundations and universities, as well as developing urban actions through investigative and participative strategies in urban environments. One of them is “El Campo de Cebada”.
22 February 2015
Who owns the city?
In the wake of armed conflicts in its neighbouring states, Turkey has admitted well over a million refugees, who are often living under difficult circumstances in Istanbul. At the same time, space is becoming increasingly scarce for traditional, economically disadvantaged residents in the prospering metropolis. São Paulo is facing similar challenges, although for different reasons. As a result of Brazil's rapid economic rise, rents have increased sharply. Building occupations are one expression of protest. In Munich as well, financially disadvantaged people are being successively driven out of the city centre. Refugees are living under precarious circumstances in one of Germany's wealthiest cities. How can new impulses be set here? What role do housing shortages play in Istanbul, São Paulo and Munich? Where is participation in urban development emerging? How can cities develop from below?