Who Are We?
“After the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?”
- Mierle Ukeles Laederman’s 1969 Maintenance Manifesto
The usage of the plural pronoun is a common phenomenon within critical urban practices, initiatives and political alliances, and suggests a solid cohesion of groups and networks. At the same time, if we look behind the scenes of such practices, we find ourselves in underwhelmingly conservative and non-transparent structures, ambivalent power relations, (over-)working in precarious conditions, disconnected from the representation and recognition of the results of “our” work.
The aim of this initiative is to encourage a discussion on “our” organisations: Who belongs to them? What are the existing power structures? Which communication and decision-making cultures are prevailing? Which projects, spaces, cities “we” design and build accordingly? How do they influence the way “our” city is produced and represented?
The initiative provides digital spaces of encounter with researchers, practitioners and activists, in order to practice a necessary, empowering and enriching self-criticism, to create bonds and develop resilience tactics against shared challenges. It also provides an intimate and safe space – currently reserved to FLINT* persons – in which to express doubts and concerns, to gather inspiring experiences and thoughts, and imagine possible ways to act together.
The launching session was organise as part of the Universal Declaration of Urban Rights, a project of the design cooperative Zuloark and a physical and methodological infrastructure built through open laboratories. Here citizens can contribute their knowledge, concerns, desires and ideas for common spaces, neighbourhoods and cities.
If you wish to join the intiative and to participate in the next sessions, please write us: info(a)constructlab.net
Please find more information about the session in the blog section.
- Bea Davies
- Paula Erstmann
- Constanze Flamme
- Bärbel Düsing
- Natalie Bayer
- Elke Krasny
- Guerrilla Architects
- Haus der Statistik
Image Credits: Bea Davies (illustrations) & Constanze Flamme (photographs)