Retrospective “We-Traders Lisbon”
On November 2nd the exhibition We-Traders Lisbon closed its doors, with the youth orchestra Camerata de Cordas da Orquestra Municipal Geração da Amadora being the highlight of the closing night with a delightful and passionate concert, the young musicians entertained the audience with their interpretation of classical and contemporary pieces.
From the 3rd of October till the 2nd of November, We-Traders Lisbon offered a wide range of creative events. Hundreds of visitors and the project team came to see the exhibition, and also had the opportunity to actively participate in the many local events.
With workshops, public debates and presentations We-Traders Lisbon introduced following projects: O Espelho, A Linha, Agulha num Palheiro, BIP/ZIP and the fun community kitchen Cozinha Popular da Mouraria. We Traders from Toulouse and Torino presented the projects AERA / Le potager de Camille and Il Piccolo Cinema, and the audience got to enjoy various other activities and presentations revolving around the topics of urban intervention, community work, recycling and integration/diversity:
A presentation by Prof. Roque Amaro, ISCTE, about Social and Solidarity Economy; a workshop about Eco Design by "Projecto REMIX", the Banco do Tempo (Time Bank) by GRAAL. The topics Public space and Democracy were addressed during an evening curated by Artéria. Guest speakers Susana Ventura and Patrícia Santos Pedrosa discussed how education, tools and rules have an impact on today´s public space. Also part of the program was the Urban art and architecture project -Integration and transformation presented by Prof. António Lima, FAUL; BIP/ZIP-ing with Miguel Brito and 2 de Maio todos os dias, Casa do Vapor, Projecto Remix, Patio Ambulante: What kind of public Space promotes social cohesion?; Stéphane Gruet, co-curator from Toulouse who joined for a talk on SOUS LA VILLE, LA CRISE! A socially very relevant EU project presented by Hugo Cardoso from the Loures City Council, Communication for Integration "C4I", The theater group Teatro IBISCO followed by a presentation of ABOTA (Neighborhood Actions for Work Opportunity and Autonomy) underlining the rich cultural diversity of Portugal's Capital; "Adventure in the City" a project by Associação ARISCO aiming to improve health and to promote better social integration, the poetry workshop with Poetas sem Rede and the Open Call winners Dream Circus from Berlin and Patio de Dom Fradique from Lisbon presented their Projects.
The Goethe-Institut in Lisbon (Claudia Hahn-Raabe, director; Adriana Delgado Martins and Karina Müller, local coordination) and the co-curator Julia Albani thank everyone involved but most of all the public and the Facebook community!
Here a few impressions from the exhibition:
Photos: Francisco Jorge Nenclares
WINNER OPEN CALL LISBON
Winner Open Call Lisbon: Pátio de Dom Fradique by Carlos Aragão © Carlos Aragão
PÁTIO DE DOM FRADIQUE. A living and working space for the Lisbon future thinkers
by Carlos Aragão
Located on the top of the hill, where Lisbon was born, privileged with a peaceful enclosed atmosphere and involved in a characteristic community spirit, Pátio de Dom Fradique remains unoccupied since more than a decade. This ruined situation is obviously sad, but even scarier is the idea of seeing such peculiar heritage transformed (like most of our historical city) into some kind of highly lucrative machine, oriented to a globalized high class tourist, through revitalization procedures that usually neglect the societal spirituality of the place and its value for the local culture.
For that reason, we would like this place to be a symbol for a different way of preserving the city - a manifest that other kind of solutions can and must be found - especially in times of crises. Therefore we propose the revitalization of this complex into a center for urban innovation – a place for anyone willing to develop a project that could constitute a benefit to the city. A replicable one year experience, where a group of people would have the chance to live and work together – searching for problems, discussing strategies and developing ideas that prove being a value proposition to Lisbon.
LISBON CELEBRATES ARRIVAL & OPENING OF WE-TRADERS
Over the course of 5 weeks between 3 October and 2 November, through a dense programme of exhibition, parliaments, workshops, cooking, conversations, plays, tours, debates and civic actions, everyone is invited to join the We-Traders experience at the LX Factory!
More infos and dates can be found on the We-Traders Facebook-Page.
Impressions of the Mercado do Forno do Tijolo, the venue of the Lisbon We-Traders Forum
There is no consumer potential here. The former customers are no more, or they go next door to Lidl, which is open from nine to nine. Here, in the market hall, the customary opening hours are still from five in the morning, when the fresh fish is delivered, until one in the afternoon. By ten, the hall is already a yawning void. Hardly any stands still display their wares. In the evening, an old woman feeds hundreds of pigeons. Less and less of Lisbon’s former 30 to 40 markets exist. Some of them manage to transition to specialized gourmet food markets, but most of them simply disappear.
Bernardo Gaeiras, an Amsterdam-trained designer who operates a FabLab for the city of Lisbon in one of the adjoining buildings, an old rabbit slaughterhouse, shows us what all can be done with empty spaces. The sign with the triskelion of rabbits on a wall of the FabLab would be a good logo, since this place is a market on mutual terms. It’s all about sharing infrastructure – a 3-D printer, laser cutter, CNC router, desktop miller and vinyl cutter – that would be far too expensive for each individual. Those who then share their designs may use the machinery for free: learning by doing. The old abattoirs were only renovated once. Toilets, a few doors and lighting were installed; everything else will come in time. The fact that the old woman does not feed hundreds of pigeons this evening, but instead a converted Mercedes lorry from the Gerhardsried fire brigade, the pátio ambulante, serves the visitors of the We-Traders Forum wine and bread, is perhaps a sign of impending change. Maybe triple-rabbit production potential will be created here!
Notes from the four We-Traders Forums in Lisbon, Madrid, Turin and Toulouse
Everybody is talking about the crisis, but how is it actually manifested? Have cities changed? Where do We-Traders come from and what unites them? And how can these and other questions be negotiated by the 2014 travelling exhibition? In October 2013, the We-Traders community worked on this at forums in Lisbon, Madrid, Turin and Toulouse. Here are a few pickings from our notes.City and Crisis
“The problem isn’t a capitalist economy, but a capitalist society,” is the diagnosis of sociologist Claus Leggewie at the We-Traders Forum in Lisbon. Maria João Guardão and Maria Tengarrinha from O Espelho see a political and a media crisis. They launched their wall newspaper “the day that Angela Merkel came to Portugal.”
In their city, our co-curators in Turin, Lisa Parola and Luisa Perlo, identify not just the financial plight, but an acute identity crisis. Together with the urban geographer Carlo Salone they are warning about a “disneyfication” of culture in the light of the inflationary festival culture that post-industrial Turin is using to try and reinvent itself. At the Madrid We-Traders Forum, Santiago Eraso, one of those responsible for the 2016 San Sebastian capital of culture, calls for “anti-monumental activities.”
In Madrid, the crisis is directly experienced mainly by young people who cannot find work. Those who create their own jobs cannot find affordable spaces due to real estate speculation. “I can’t afford a proper office in Madrid. If I had more space, I could create new jobs,” reports our co-curator Javier Duero.What are We-Trades?
It is certainly not about interpreting We-Trades one-dimensionally as a reaction to the crisis. “We are tired of the crisis being presented to us as an opportunity; it would be better if there were no crisis,” says Lisbon geographer Jorge da Silva Macaísta Malheiros on behalf of many We-Traders. If at all, it was a missed opportunity says Davide Ziveri from Turin’s Buenavista Social Housing. “I thought now everything will be different with the banks.”
“Are We-Trades reformist projects or do they want a change in the system?” asks Joël Lecussan from Mix'Art Myrys, while his counterparts in Toulouse from Bois & Cie quite pragmatically trust in their doer qualities. “Notre réaction, c’est l’action!” Frauke Hehl from the Berlin workstation initiative advocates continuing to hold the city responsible so that temporary solutions do not become permanent ones.
“We want work that we enjoy and that makes us better,” is how the Walkinn Coop describes its motivation to found a We-Trade. Non-hierarchic alliances and fluid identities play pivotal roles – “We don’t ask who we are, but with whom we can enter a relationship” (VIC) – and collective authorship – “The author of Campo de Cebada is Campo de Cebada.” We-Trades put meaning before profits. “AMAP gave me back my pride in being a farmer. Now, we are feeding people, not markets,” says Alain Gatti of Le Potager de Camille.
A crisis is the saddle point that decides the fate of a city, according to urban planner Sonja Beeck at the We-Traders Forum in Madrid. We are certain that at this point, We-Trades decisively contribute to the success of a city.
We-Traders Forum Lisbon
Copyright photo: Jürgen Willinghöfer