Naples is one of the densest cities in Europe. There is very little room, hardly any green areas, buildings often go up illegally. The use of the available public space seems chaotic, but it is highly self-organized and follows tacit laws that are the upshot of constant negotiation between the parties concerned. In Naples, as a rule, only those who negotiate effectively manage to hold on to something in the long run.
Artist duo Giovanna Bianco and Guiseppe Valente, partners of the Goethe-Institut in Naples, are producing a film about Amsterdam‘s question. The film’s protagonists are residents of big European cities, people of all ages and inclinations, from all walks of life, including immigrants and refugees as well as Dutch denizens giving their personal and often emotional answers to the question: How do we realize our collective identity in relation to freedom? How can we make use of freedom as an inclusive, not exclusive, value that bravely defies rigid narrow-minded intolerance?
The Amsterdam team around Pakhuis de Zwijger, a centre for dialogue and imagineering a liveable city, and German-Syrian architect and activist Yasser Almamooun have come up with an action-packed action plan to answer the Neapolitan question. Drawing on walking tours and other explorations of the city, mini-workshops, net research, data collection, field studies, interviews and panel discussions, and in an ongoing exchange with the artistic duo Bianco-Valente as well as with city residents, local researchers and the interested public, they’re developing a mobile exhibition on the question “How do we work some degree of freedom into an overcrowded social habitat?” Amsterdam’s experience in matters of architecture, urban planning, literary methodology and 3D design provides the concrete basis for an interventionist concept to be presented in the city in early November: Amsterdam is looking for a “solution” to Naples’ spatial predicament.
The artistic duo Giovanna Bianco and Pino Valente – Bianco-Valente
for short – have lived and worked together in Naples since 1993. Fascinated by the duality of body and soul, Bianco-Valente’s work deals with science, astrology and literature. In videos and interactive installations, they explore linguistic, spatial and social relationships and processes.
CopenhagenSkopje How do we make the city a free zone for everyone that safeguards multi-faceted democratic dialogue? KrakowSarajevo Where are the girls? Does city hall hear the voices of young women? RijekaLuxembourg Have we packed freedom into a container in which we enjoy it ourselves or together with friends, while forgetting, however, that freedom develops in society? RomeNicosia How can grass-roots democratic methods of urban development impact neighbourhoods plagued by the Mafia and organized crime? NaplesAmsterdam How does one organize one’s living environment vis-à-vis other people? LuxembourgRijeka Where are areas of freedom lacking in Luxembourg? Where and how can they be created? MarseillePrague Will various social strata continue to rub shoulders in the city?