Meeting in Rijeka, Croatia
The meeting of "River of Opportunities", within the Grundtivg Learning Partnership, took place 10-13 April 2014 during "Mine, yours, ours" festival, which focuses this year on the relation between people and their living space, between citizens and their city. Guided by the Rousseau's idea that houses make the town, and citizens make the city, we look at how citizens organize their daily lives. Theme - "Interacting with the city".
Living space organization always responds to certain human needs, but it is important to know which needs, and whose. Today, the organization of space is based on the needs of the capital, on its flow and fertilization. This logic is generally accepted by the decision-makers, which makes us wonder about the origin and purpose of this capital, and whether it should dictate the organization of our living space.
We feel that the capital remains in the hands of a few, and that the construction of big cities is actually a construction of ephemeral towns, through which we migrate daily or in seasons. Their construction is aimed at the rapid return of investment, which only grows poverty in the city and its supposed-to-be citizens.
By this, citizens, as well as their fragmented capital, are left out of the city planning process, their function is to serve big businesses, and the capital. In turn, they disappear as the active participants from their own lives.
The exhibition "Oh, my complex!: On Unease at Beholding the City" follows the process of transformation of the cities from the 70s to the present day, through an artistic perspective. This helps us gain insight into how city planning process affects all spheres of our social life: shaping politics, neighborhood, communities.
Three open discussions that complement each other were all clustered around the idea of Interaction with the City, and they relate to models of citizen participation in urban areas, and at times also, civil resistance and artistic intervention. The emphasis was especially put on planning one specific city area, Marganovo in Hartera, which has the potential to be of benefit to the citizens, not through large investments of the capital, but through active engagement of the interested group of citizens.