international magazine for creative activism
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Spanish Revolution Fighting for a public voice in Kurdistan city for people not cars Fat cap Gallery Brazil nikosia Borderline Radio Station 2 putting the Web into documentary delta Artwork critical engineering Freeman VLAd - Hacking public Space GRLG Graffiti Research Lab German edition GRL Germany goes mobile - the Lightrider 72hours with VIcKY these SLutS are made for walking... When the FORtReSS euROpe goes Reality Show 3 Strategies of Solidarity Waarmakerij SwapShop call for Action SfZero How to Led throwies How to dead drop Washable Ink distribution Submission colophon crew
Mašta #8 UNEXPECTED is about breaking expectations. Inspired by the myth of growth, this Mašta goes further to open the field of expectations and explore the interactions between systems and people. Based on knowledge and only constrained by imagination, they might serve as a lighthouse or an audio-guide for the methaphorically deaf. We tackle the obstacles built from fear of the unexpected built not only by the same old evil corporations and conservative governments, but also by consumers and community members themselves. We knock on the gates of the unexpected by visiting Spanish squares where people cry out for a united voice of society. We enter the struggle to reclaim public space in Kurdistan and basic human rights in The Fortress Europe. And when knocking on the gates is not enough we knock down the walls of expectations, following on the tracks of creative activism.v
04 | 05 u n e x p e c t e d
SPANISH N O I T U L O V RE 2011, The Year Of The Boomerang * “Governments and liberals keep complaining that we don’t have clear “demands”? Kidnappers and hostage-takers make demands. Revolutionaries make revolutions.” takethesquare.net /// Words by Rubén Gómez García ///
A year after the beginning of the “European popular uprising” the picture becomes global. Is this worldwide movement really unexpected? Is it simply an image of the spirit of the times? Or is this a catalyst for a necessary change? Is this a global revolution? No one doubts that 2011 will be remembered in world history as a year of revolution, despite these worldwide protests all appearing to be similar, the uprisings can be divided into two main focuses. One focus is being led by the “Arab Spring,” in which the mass protests that occurred in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria or Libya (and other minor protests in many other countries of the Arab region, Africa or Asia) are mainly aimed to end the tyranny of the oligarchies and the uncontrolled corruption that has been developing for decades. Their objective: to achieve a democratization of those societies. The second focus started in Europe, and it has spread to other countries such as Israel, Chile and the U.S. People take the streets because of their economic and social situation. Countries have been mired in deep budget cuts and job insecurity in recent years, due to the so-called global crisis that hit the world in 2008. For many of us, the closest reference could be the May ‘68 protests when thousands of people demanded social change and freedom
from the yoke of a paternalistic state/society with which they did not differentiate freedom from a place where they could not express themselves. The big difference is that in 2011 the protesters were not “demanding the impossible”, or new civil liberties or to claim rights for ethnic minorities and marginalized social groups. In Spain, as well as in other countries, people are currently asking for their right to work and to achieve an economic and social stability. They want just enough to live their lives, but their government is unable to satisfy this basic need. Citizens want to change a system they feel is unfair and no longer valid.
Is the Crisis going to be the first Great War of the 21st Century? “The governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world.” London Trader Western society has lost faith in the economy. We no longer believe that the modern economy’s aim is to serve the people and to work to ensure the prosperity of the human being, but instead it is a global management tool to serve an elite that directs the fate of the world using us as pawns from a great board of interests and benefits out of our reach. If we accept these facts as correct and also the fact that
in western countries the military occupation is no longer needed to take control of their strategic assets, we could come to the conclusion that we might really be attending to not just one more crisis, but another world war. A war in which millions of people will again suffer the consequences of the desire for power and domination If we leave the suppositions behind, we still are facing the worst situation of the European Union since its creation in 1993, and I might say that this is also the worst situation of modern capitalism as the dominant economic system of the world or that is what it seems if you study the evolution of the capitalist economy of the last 30 years (2).
What is being done in Europe to remedy this situation? The economic policies of our governments are subordinated to the mandates of the European Central Bank (the “guarantor” of our stability). An example for this might be the balanced-budget amendment imposed in Spain last year, which led to a change in the Spanish Constitution without giving the opportunity to call a referendum on the country. The consequence was the legal legitimacy of any budget cut made to ensure the satisfaction of the European Bank needs, regardless of how drastic and harming for the ensemble of the society they might be. While at the European Parliament the main parties seem more interested in making the political debate a mere continuation of their domestic fights rather than a forum at the forefront of the initiatives for the good of the Union, hundreds of citizens organize marches from different parts of the continent to collect and submit proposals to make a real change and present them in Brussels (3). If the European Union was founded on the principles of brotherhood, solidarity and free circulation, I do not think that there’s anything more European right now than these marches (which are not respected but repressed by our governments).
term “Year of the Boomerang” (*) Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) coined the civil uprisings come back. He in a speech about the time when , philosopher, revolutionary was a Martiniquo-Algerian psychiatrist in the fields of post-colonial and writer whose work is influential . studies, critical theory and Marxism
Is there a gap between these protests and the society? The picture in the streets of these countries is this: thousands of people protesting in major cities against their governments and institutions because they do not defend their interests nor have any authority to make decisions to protect them, and so against the markets (which are considered the most responsible for this situation). Government’s response to these protests is usually the rejection of what they regard as a “criminal action” from a part of its population. The government does not hesitate to use the security forces with extreme violence for the good of security and public order. From a practical standpoint, this is a revolution born and fed by social networks and the internet. Twitter, Facebook, Blackberry Messenger (et al.) are essential tools to spread information, raise awareness and call for spontaneous actions that have held the governments in check for days. Its effectiveness is amply proven in addition to being an unquestionable sign of our times, the spirit of our new society and how it works. But, sometimes I wonder: If this protest is so legitimate, what’s the problem with the rest of the people? What really worries me (and what I’ve experienced in Spain) is that after this “first strike” it takes longer to reach to the rest of the population… but you need to represent a big part of the society to achieve a big change. The technological gap between the different strata of the society and the effective firewall work made by the traditional media (typically politically led) has achieved a very effective isolation of these movements from the rest of the society that they want to empower. There’s a lot of work to be done before this global revolutionary movement is ready to make the BIG change, and this is not about taking squares or making simultaneous massive worldwide demonstrations… it is about years of education and awareness about what’s happening. It requires dedication and hard work, but the potential which is merging at this moment is the biggest that the world has seen in decades.
If you want to know more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frantz_Fanon www.opendemocracy.net/5050/fatin-abbas/year-of-boomerang-frantz-fanon-and-arab-uprisings (2) www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html (3) http://takethesquare.net/2011/08/14/the-march-to-brussels-who-are-we-where-are-we-going-why-do-we-do-it/ An introduction to the Spanish Revolution: www.mastazine.net/blog/blog/‘they-do-not-represent-us’-introduction-spanishrevolution If you can read French, also recommendable is the issue No. 1089 of Courier International magazine (from 15th to 21st September) called “2011 Année Revoltée”.
06 | 07 u n e x p e c t e d
Fighting for a e c i o v c i l b u p in Kurdistan /// Words by Alex Kemman /// On the 17th of February 2011 anti-government protests took place in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdish Iraq. For about 60 days the protesters continued to defy even bullets, leading to several deaths. The demonstrations stopped eventually, because of the thousands security forces that took over the city, restoring peace with weapons. The freedom square, an attempt for true democracy. For 60 days the Iraqi Kurds took the streets in an unprecedented manner, creating an autonomous free space in the centre of the city. If many protesters were left in frustration when the demonstrations and gatherings stopped, the seeds of social change were planted and the true nature of the system exposed. The creation of a public free space where people could come together to speak, discuss, and express their emotions was crucial. While the demonstrations in Sulaymaniyah have largely been ignored by international media, Iraqi Kurdistan is especially interesting due to its supposed role as a model of democracy in the Middle East. The unrest which spread through the rest of the region was unexpected in the stable prosperous Kurdish region. The terrorism which tires out the rest of Iraq is invisible in what is coined as ‘the other Iraq’, or ‘free Kurdistan’ as it is called by Turkish Kurds. It is the example of successful American intervention. Unfortunately, the reality is more nuanced.
photos on both pages by Alex Kemman ©
The Kurdish freedom fighters of the past came to power, but they did not seem to understand the democratic model in which they were partaking in. Corruption, nepotism and repression of critical voices are now widespread. Votes went to the ruling parties either because of fear that unstable politics would result in terrorism, or simply because supporting the party is necessary to make contacts.
The demonstrations which were inspired by the developments in the rest of the Middle East, showed the true face of the Kurdish ‘democracy’: Freedom of speech “as long as you don’t talk”, guns as an answer instead of a dialogue, attacks on the media, secret arrests, actions by masked men…
The demonstrators tried to create a free place for discussion. The central square became a public space, “the freedom square” where everybody could freely give their opinion. Day after day (sometimes hindered by police violence), speeches were given and often called for an impossible demand: the step down of the government. But taking the streets and creating a free public space are the first steps towards a true democracy. Democracy is more than just giving a vote; it is about rights and freedoms, about a society in which politicians must serve the people instead of their own interests. Some protesters also rallied for the basic principles of democracy, often neglected: human rights and civil equality. And while the opposition parties called for a step down of the government and new elections, for many others a change of political faces is not the solution. They speak about the need of a social change, a new mindset in which critical citizens can give their opinion and make a change. A system in which the parliament speaks of the fundamental issues of democracy, instead of discussing a smoking ban during the demonstrations as they did. …it seems evident that the politicians have no idea of what democracy is. Maybe they are confused about the concepts of (American style) “bombing” democracy and freedom?
The troubles in Kurdish Iraq show a rift at the junction between democracy and dictatorship. This junction fits for countries with more dictatorial regimes but also for the ‘democratic’ West, since governments are becoming increasingly repressive and aim to control everything. Not only for the physical public space, but also for the digital space, freedom of expression becomes a privilege degraded to all opinions which do not threaten state security. Every demonstration becomes a security concern, often violently cracked down. Democracy is not a given fact, but a state of affairs that should be fought for and thought about. When citizens get lazy and stop to watch their governments, they lose their freedom. Taking back your city or your freedom of speech is crucial because it can take down governments. As the thousands of troops and media repression in Sulaymaniyah confirmed the power of taking the streets, the politicians tried to give in to some demands and have learned their actions won’t go unpunished. The people learned that they can always get back to the streets to make their discontent being heard.
08 | 09 u n e x p e c t e d
people, not cars
illustrations by Bitxo ©
le instead alt vs green grass - reclaiming public spaces for peop Parking lots vs parks, highways vs cyclist-paths, asph itants of itects and activists to urban planners, artists and inhab arch from y, ybod ever erns conc that issue an is of cars “Mašta” finds engineer and activist Ádám Kobrizsa (Mindforum, HU), neighborhoods. In an interview with Hungarian civil e tips for pe, what is the drive of urban activists and gets som Euro ern East in es spac c publi t abou ial spec is t out wha improving the surrounding.
Urban places for nature and socialising Public space in eastern Europe Since times of ancient Greece, the planning of cities had to follow the principles of accessibility and openness. But during the socialist era, urban planning mainly served the ideology. Azerbaijani scientist Leyla Sayfutdinova writes that, even though in a socialist society, privatization of public space wasn’t such an issue. “Variety of activities in such spaces was rather limited and focused mostly on recreation and official demonstrations, as opposed to informal politics and commerce.” After the change of regime in most of eastern European countries, public spaces were forgotten and the quality of common areas went down. The distance between the exregime and people, as well as destroyed infrastructures, made Adam realize that “people do not feel that they own public spaces.”
Adam, a young graduate in civil engineering, moved to Keret and started to work for a local authority that deals with water issues. Afer meeting some like-minded people, he made his first intervention in the public space: covering the central square of the city with patches of green grass. Realizing the power of actions, Adam returned to Budapest and started to work with MoMeLine - an architecture, media and design lab, powered by The MoholyNagy University of Art and Design. Nowadays Adam has his own company and actively cooperates with local and international initiatives to give back the river of Donau to the people. He remembers that his first step was to improve the water quality in the river, but now the main focus of his work is to bring out the intercultural dimension of the Donau as well as making the river banks accessible again to the public. His motivation to continue to work in this field is simple: the opportunity to achieve concrete results and the desire to live in a city where the river is clean and people can use the banks.
Donau - ecological and social catalyst For Adam, public spaces have two main functions - green areas that help people to escape a busy environment as well as public spaces that can be used to spend time together - with children, friends, families. However, the main problem is that most of those spaces are privatised, or used for cars. One of the examples is the river of Donau: few years ago in Budapest, one could see highways blocking access to the waterfront, broken paths and dirty water. People could not use the free space because: - it was difficult to access it - there was no furniture nor place to spend time - it was polluted In one of the workshops that Adam co-organised, youngsters from different countries researched the problematics of riverbanks, and provided solutions. The exit point is personal experience: “you walk on the river side and want to sit. But you can’t, because the bench is broken.” So the solution is to make one. “Its important that you start with small steps,” says Adam Kobrizsa, also emphasizing that the biggest challenge is to get these changes accepted by local governments. One of the examples is an initiative that imagined a visual identity for the walk on the riverside, creating a map with different spots, where people can enjoy multiple aspects of the life in the riverside, and then spread it on flyers. Adam admits that lately, it became a global trend to upgrade public spaces, to research urban environment, and to work hard for the cause, in order to bring back people to the community they belong to.
Actiontips Here are few things ea ch of us can do in the riverside: - guerilla gardening - ma ke some flower beds, or plant trees; - yoga on the riverside; - arrange a beachparty; - make a playground (sw ings, games on asphalt for kids, a net for badminton - it’s all sim ple); - build benches for peop le to sit and enjoy the waterscape; - put bins in places wh ere they are needed (yo u can recycle metal or barrels); plastic - and many others.
Links Leyla Sayfutdinova. Transforming Public Spaces in Post-Socialist Cities. web: tiny.cc/h7onx Mindforum: mindforum.eu/en Action with green grass: tiny.cc/8g7xp MoMeLine: momeline.hu/en Donau project: dunatema.eu/ masta-interview-adam-blueprint.doc
10 | 11 u n e x p e c t e d
. T R A R O F STRUGGLE /// Words by Ruta Vimba, Bitxo Bitxejo and Alex Kemman /// So why are some areas in cities more appealing than others? Well, it depends whether you prefer shiny restaurants, or rough ghetto areas. However, it is not always about your preferences. It also depends on the preferences of your friends, community, media, as well as urban developers, investors and a whole other bunch of people. And preferences do change, especially if some nasty areas have experienced renaissance, or in other words â€žculture-
led regeneration of urban areasâ€?. What does FatCap gallery in Sao Paulo have to do with that? There is a big difference depending on who is powering the process of regeneration- it can be initiated by vision makers, who forsee opportunities to make the area economically attractive by developing cultural life. But it can also come from the heart of community and primarily benefit the people living in the area. Both options are not exclusive, but quite often communities do not have resources to make the ignition. The bureaucracy or simply the money can often obstruct simple ideas and initiatives, however, sometimes it does work. FatCap gallery is such a case, where no papers and planners have been needed to make a gallery of streetart in the heart of Vila Madalena district in Sao Paulo (Brasil).
FatCap gallery? The building of the FatCap gallery was occupied in March 2011. The place was empty for about thirty years, full of trash and a notorious spot for dodgy activities such as drug using and prostitution. The place was cleaned and changed into a spot where artists could show their work. Besides exhibitions, there are also workshops ranging from etching and silkscreen to theater and photography. For the locals it became a nice addition to the neighbourhood.
Rafael Vaz, the initiator of the project, explains how the gallery works. In contradiction to most art galleries, you do not need to pay to exhibit. FatCap does ask for a commision of thirty procent to keep the place running and cover expenses, but the intention is not making money. Rafael emphasises the necessity of having accessible spaces for artists. Conventional galleries are often difficult to access and tend to focus too much on moneymaking instead of art.
find some sort of institutional funding for the place. Nevertheless the judge decided that the place should be returned to the owner, therefore ignoring that the place was left to decay for decades. The FatCap gallery has an interesting role in several aspects. Not only as a more accesible place for artists, but also as place of resistance. With this gallery, some of the stereotypes about the neighborhood, or even about art in general are contested.
The gallery forms a down-up approach, influencing the neighbourhood and manages to break the structures of the artworld. The media attention and the support from artists and neighbours have spread the word that other ways are possible. So even though the gallery will probably be evicted and might become again a place for drugs and prostitution, some changes in the minds have been made. For Rafael the struggle to keep the place only inspired him more, and there are plans to occupy another empty space to restart the gallery.
Capgallery The artists in the gallery often come from a street art background, just like Rafael himself. The gallery shows how urban art can become a more established art, but they are careful not to make it boring. Some conventional galleries seem to be a bit afraid by the dynamic nature of street art, but many galleries also support the FatCap project. The above seems pretty much a success story of using an empty degraded space for something more social. However, while FatCap had several exhibitions, with national and international artists, the situation is far from good. Most likely the place will not exist anymore when you read this article. The local politicians do not support the initiative and seem to overlook the cultural and creative potential of such spots. Rafael was supported by FLM, (Frente de Luta por Moradia) or Front for the Housingstruggle, and they also tried to
om a.blogspot.c krcom fatcapgaleri pflic hotos/fatca /p m o c r. k lic www.f hoo.com vazarte@ya
NIKOSIA borderline radio station 2
photos by marcelo augelli ©
12 | 13 u n e x p e c t e d
/// Words by Alicia López ///
tearing down the invisible walls wallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallswallsTHEWaLL “Somebody split up nikosia in two pieces, but we are constantly travelling from one boundary’s side to the other one. And it is from this dualism, from this swing, that here we will tell our story, which is as real and authentic as any other”. Radio nikosia /91.4 FM/ operates inside the walls of an old flat at plaza Real, Barcelona. Inside the smoky flat is a simple table, some microphones, sound equipment, wires, light bulbs, and a bunch of mad people - mentally ill men and women. “Radio nikosia emerged from the mad people’s necessity of speaking, and from the need of opening up new channel for expression, somewhere outside the regular clinical space”, says Raúl, the editor of the catalonian radio station that walks in the footsteps of “La colifata Radio”, a radio project developed in the gardens of the psychiatric Hospital J.t. Borda in Buenos Aires 20 years ago. 35/ 10’ n 33/ 21’ e. nicosia. the station takes its name from the capital of cyprus, which is the only capital in the whole world that is divided by a wall,
physically separated in Greek and turkish parts by the Green Line, a demilitarized zone maintained by the united nations. the name, nikosia, symbolizes the invisible walls between the socalled mad and sane people, walls that they have committed to knock down. According to Raúl, the mortar that keeps these walls standing consists of a jumble of beliefs, prejudices, stigmas and fears. “We do believe that each human being has some difficulties to endure life. therefore, we’d have to assume that every single person is disabled in some way. unfortunately, people are prone to see physical or emotional defects only in others”, he reflects. According to the anthropologist Ángel Martínez, “the alleged sane people just establish monologues with the madness, but not dialogues”. this lets ignorance and misinformation grow, as well as the fear towards the so-called mad people, the “others”, that might as well be “us”. extract from the every-Wednesday from 16:00 to 18:00 nikosian greeting:
the sane ones: How could we be able to understand something that we have never experienced, that we have never felt before? What is it? What is madness? the mad ones: From our point of view, madness is passionsuffering-frenzy-delirium-alineation-dream-castrationextravagance-art-incommunication-isolation”. the sane ones: And didn´t we ever experience all that? did we ever felt it? On nikosian’s world, radio involves an overpowering symbolism. As media, it allows them to become into speakers of their own reality, initiating themselves the dialogue with their audience. On the other hand, the collective experience of creating something together, with weekly recurrence, enables peer-topeer sharing, reflection and interaction. With this premise, the nikosians have created a slogan: “to rehabilitate the community for empowering the possibility of difference”. Often the mental health patients end up carrying the load of just one crisis for the rest of their life - sometimes to an extent that the label eventually becomes their identity. Being a nikosian means to be a fighter, a rebel eager and strong enough to claim a space that belongs to them and to remove the unwelcome stigma.
photos by aida Echeverria
His dilated pupils watched staring at the string that ties him down. the string of sanity, his chemical hindrance. His dilated pupils look around, landing on the wall that shuts him in. His lips blow. the wall falls down.
In 2007, Radio nikosia transformed into an independent association, with the participation of 45 founding members, of which 40 were people with problems in mental health. the Social cultural Association Radio nikosia is focused on the creation of spaces for re-socialization of the mentally ill people, re-establishment of their social networks and on recovery of their active role in the community. “We put effort in combating the invisible ideological and social walls that separate us from the community”, Raúl says. times are changing and there’s reason for optimism. Several platforms now give voice to the nikosians. they have been participating in several Spanish general radio stations and they are regular guests in seminars and conferences. Furthermore, they occasionally take to the streets, squares and neighborhoods as part of the community Radio contrabanda’s programs and allow their people to move around in places that are far away from the clinical hospital surroundings. the nikosians became aware of the fact that the lack of communication was just a consequence of a social system that offers no alternatives. now they have managed to create a common space for exchanging ideas, much like the agoras, gathering places that were common in ancient Greece. “the health of the citizens, economy and public policy is a topic that can be discussed in public squares, in the market, right in the heart of the city”, Raúl notes. that’s how the invisible walls start crumbling down. … “And overall, to all those pupils, dilated by so much chemistry that look confused and engrossed, but have the most beautiful light. Madness does not exist, yet people who dream awake” Extract from the poem “a todos ellos” (“To all of them”) by Cristina martín, the inca Princess. …
12 | 13 u n e x p e c t e d
Web into thne tary e m u c Do
On the internet, you’ve got the cathedral and the bazaar, as Eric S. Raymond so nicely put it. The cathedral is competitive, capitalistic, interested in growing almighty. Let’s call it Google, just for the sake of it. The bazaar is cooperative, people-driven and interested in multiple projects. Let’s zoom in on one of these. The internet went multimedia a long time ago. But it’s only in the last few years that film people noticed. Activists from Indymedia.org were early adopters long before YouTube and the web 2.0 bubble existed. Authors, reporters and documentary film-makers took a little longer. But since the day they have started looking at the internet not as a sheer distribution platform, but much more as an interactive playground, new forms of non-linear storytelling have sprung up. Many activists had grasped the participatory potential of the internet, but few knew how to use strong narratives to challenge mainstream culture. Webdocumentary makers came into the fold with a new proposition: merging audiovisual storytelling with the Internet’s best, its networked nature.
Early attempts to produce simple and slick webdocs include the 2009 compelling Interview Project by Austin Lynch Jason S. (producer: Absurda), a road trip through working class USA. It has since then been duplicated and is currently unfolding in Germany (producers: Absurda/Red Onion). The more journalistic role-play type webdocumentary Journey to the End of Coal (2008) tells the story of an independent reporter travelling
through China in an effort to investigate working conditions in the coal mines. This milestone experience was directed by Samuel Bollendorff and Abel Ségrétin, (produced by Honkytonk).
ic Dubois ///
ér /// Words by Fréd
The 2011 Welcome to Pine Point by Paul Showbridge and Michael Simons (The Goggles/NFB coproduction) is one of the strongest narratives I’ve seen in webdocumentary so far. It uses old-school design and documentation techniques bundled with sensitive humanity in order to reactivate collective memory around a now closed-down Canadian town. Moving into more heavily-produced and complex webdocs, we’ll look over
to French web producer Upian - in coproduction with Arte TV - who have attracted talents such as journalist David Dufresne and photographer Philippe Brault with their 2010 award-winning experience Prison Valley. The recipe? A controversial topic (prisons as an industry), mind-
What’s A Webdocumentary? It’s an audiovisual genre in which the author’s point-of-view on reality is confronted with that of an active internet audience. Webdocumentaries are productions in which one can play and interact with the content, follow his own path through a multimedia web experience. What keeps it all together is the interactive story. So in short, a webdoc is an interactive narrative.
blowing photography, clever navigation and gaming-type design. Upian had already broken ground with the split-screen human-driven Gaza-Sderot (Arte coproduction) by Robby Elmaliah and Khalil al Muzayyen, in 2008. Amplifying the daily stories of people in the cities of Gaza (Palestine) and Sderot (Israel), this webdoc offered an evolving storyline over three months of simultaneous production and dissemination.
RESOURCES Interview Project: interviewproject.davidlynch.com Interview Project Germany: www.interviewproject.de Journey to the End of Coal: www.honkytonk.fr/index.php/webdoc Welcome to Pine Point: pinepoint.nfb.ca/#/pinepoint Prison Valley: prisonvalley.arte.tv/?lang=en Gaza-Sderot: gaza-sderot.arte.tv GDP Project: gdp.nfb.ca Bear 71: bear71.nfb.ca Sundance New Frontier: www.sundance.org/festival/film-events bear-71 Journées transmédia: www.rvcq.com/festival-30e/programmation evenements?ajax=0 transme...
influencing the storyline. The National Film Board (NFB) has just recently ramped up efforts with the release of Bear 71, the geolocalized and touching story of a grizzly bear in the Banff National Park (Canada). This project by Jeremy Mendes was recently performed live in Sundance’s New Frontier section (USA) and the Journées Transmédia (Québec). It’s the talk of the day in North-America.
your voice right now. Webdocumentaries are easily accessible programs challenging reality and thus play a substantial role in social change and civic participation. They can become means of emancipation, as much for the authors, the web viewers, as well as the people they portray. This is precisely why more and more independent authors and activists are waking up to the genre. If you have a good story to tell the world, see the Internet as a bazaar and get your hands dirty doing media design, check our website for more help on this topic. We are also hopping on the webdoc train. It’s just leaving the station and we have seen nothing yet!
Drawing on the latter, GDP by Hélène Choquette (NFB) - a one-year “live” documentation of how Canadians were faring with the 2008-2010 economic recession - attempted to move deeper into participatory storytelling. Protagonists and web users engaged in dialogue, thereby
A webdoc is something lively, it wants you to take part in it! You don’t need to think about all the technical parts of producing one for yourself, you can also contribute single parts to the webdoc experience of others. Most webdocs are team efforts anyway. A webdoc about your interests maybe already waiting for
12 | 13 u n e x p e c t e d
meaning n u o r a
art work www.deltaprocess.it www.scenocosme.com www.atm-productions.com
/// Words by Ruuta Vimba, Flaminia Klla /// Searching for dialogue with people rather than simply exposing artworks has led to merging borders between technology, visual art and music. Multimedia artists have shaped the former idea about frontal presentation of artwork into participatory spatial experience, deliverig Audio Visuals as well as kinesthetic experiences. Mašta continues to question the connection between art and activism, researching on the contact point where creative activism could be joined. This article is a reflection on experiencing participatory and interactive artworks where the time you spend alone is like a game, but playing together it’s already a movement. Master of the Russian contemporary art Sergei Bugajev aka Afrika, spotifies in his interview to magazine STUDIJA the creation of a new human being (without physical intervention) as an object of art, especially for avant-garde artists: “Within the frame of an avant-garde project everyone traditionally
tries to implement a new way of thinking, which can be divided into two types of expression. For example, we as Futurists or Dadaists with our declarative expressions can shout that we are about to create a new human being. Or otherwise we can, simply speaking, work with ourselves.” In this article we reflect on interactive art works where sound is created by people’s movement or the body language of visitors shapes the visuals. A touch, a whisper, the warmth of a hand, invisible electrostatic energy – it all contributes to the construction of meaning around an artwork created by artists and developed by visitors. Our interaction shows that every step we take mutates the environment. In the context of creative activism, interactive artworks give us the opportunity to understand that also the steps we do not take are significant in a shared story. It is the way one perceives him-/herself, the installation, the surroundings. It could a new practice, how to interact with the world.
Phonofolium. SCENOCOSME (FR) An installation where a plant in the pot is turned into a music instrument that reacts with sounds to human touch. Grégory Lasserre, SCENOCOSME (FR): "In our artistic work we are researching specific relations with the public. First, we want to create interactive space that is not frontal, where the relation between the visitor and artwork is more than standing still and watching. When we create an installation with sound, we want the sound to be everywhere. The second object of our artictic research is the humans' relation with their body, the perception of their own bodies in space. We are live bodies and in the installations of SCENOCOSME everything we can feel appears as sound, visuals, or other motion. Third is that, as we all know, the human body has electrostatic energy – a type of energy that is not visible – but our installations are designed to materialize the invisible. We try to imagine this energetic data installation... that's what we are trying to do since our first work."
Connective. DELTA. SelfComposer. PROCESS (IT/UK) ATM Productions (NL) Installation of light, shapes, movement and sounds, inspired by forms of communication and movement of the neurons, initiated and reflected by movements of the visitors. Silon aka Frederico Petrei and Phx aka Filippo Genesini, DELTA Process (IT/UK): Silon: "We can recompose – in my opinion, in an organic way – parts of ourselves which, if neglected, might bring us to complete destruction. In this case the dialogue is between humans and their extension – technology – which is part of their bodies as well as an arm and a hand are, but because of being perceived as detached, believed to be detached, is getting out of control and destroying us." Phx: "We do everything out of curiosity (..) People painted churches in the past; it used to take half a century, but now we see it stays forever. Now you paint a facade in a month and nothing lasts. Therefore, it could be a goal to create permanent installations as to involve those who, if anything, are not here now. This brings us to a group evolution because we are confident that there's potential to address a less artistic market."
Easy-to-control installation, where visitors manipulate audio and create music via moving hands. Jimmy Amantgali, ATM (Addicted To Music) Productions (NL) Easy-to-control installation, where visitors manipulate audio and create music via moving hands. "With this installation, I see people as co-creators. Let's say creators. I say this, because we had a lot of situations where the participator changed the music style. For example: we've uploaded a drum and bass track, but while playing with the track, the participators turned it into an hiphop track, or a hardcore house track. (..) I think the significance, in society, of creating space for interaction and participatory experiences is time. These kinds of installations are pretty new for people who are not busy in the art or technology scene. It's not always within reach. With a little time, however, these installations will be widespread and people will get more open minded. For example, I asked a lot of visitors: In what type of setting could such an installation be really helpful? A lot of visitors had no idea. When I gave the example of children that want to make music but have a disability (like unstable muscle coordination), all the visitors saw what such an installation could help this society."
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engineering /// Words by Ruuta Vimba ///
g n o r w g in h t o n is “I think there dose of paranoia” with a healthy
One rainy day Mašta visited a critical engineer Danya Vasiliev in his office studio in Neukölln, Berlin, where he works together with his engineering-colleagues Julian Oliver and Gordan Savicic. Together they have created such projects as NEWSTWEEK, NETworkshop, “The End of The Internet” and Netless. In order to set a framework for their activities, they have issued a “Manifesto of Critical Engineering”. With a cup of black coffee in the dark backroom of the studio we had a talk about their passion for opening technological black boxes that surround us all, challenging people’s perception and enabling citizens to create their own networks. RV: In the context of Critical Engineering you talk a lot about opening up black boxes. Can you explain what you mean by this and how your interest to open black boxes originated?
“I think I have been fascinated by technology since an early age. Being fascinated about technologies brings nothing unless you start to explore the technology, and one can only explore the technology by engaging with it and actually breaking things open (..) In order to see how things work, I have to take them out of their usual context, bring them from shop shelf on my desk and surgically open them up to see what’s inside. (..) Once I started doing this I discovered that in all technical devices there is much more than meets the eye.” (..)
“Any device looks like a black box, and in fact it is. Unless it’s opened you only see what the manufacturer designed you to see: it has six sides and maybe one button. If you don´t crack it open, it will stay a black box forever, something alien, something we are not supposed to see from the inside. And if we do open it we break a warranty and might even break a copyright agreement. You can not modify them because it’s the property of the company. So, if we buy something, we pay money for it, but in fact we can not interact with the device to use its full potential.” “But what interests me the most are the cases when the products (hardware) can be potentially used by somebody else, for example by the state, to influence their citizens. Even more problematic I find the culture of blindly believing everything what appears on your screen. People rarely realize that there are hundreds of computers working together to provide the content of what you actually see on your screen. At all of these computers the content can be modified. “Architecture of media has changed dramatically (..) Take distribution model of the newspaper for example - it’s very central and, in case of falsification, it’s kind of easy to find the source. In fact, it’s pretty hard to fake information in this one single chain. But in case of internet, this is way more complicated - the delivery mechanism binds together many computers and many delivery services whose inner workings and interlinking can be modified.”
RV: I met you in an art festival but your works are clearly devoted to exploring the technical environment. What is your background?
“I have never had any formal education on computer science. I have finished Academy of Culture in St.Petersburg, Art theory, and afterwards I have studied media arts in Europe. And then I got a Master’s Degree in Media Design. But most of my work practice is connected to digital practice. It fascinates me. I definitely come from the arts background. Art gives me methods, tools and thoughts. But I don’t find art being influential enough. It has lost its seriousness. It’s quite hard to communicate a message if you hide behind the curtain of art. I see technology as very important, though obviously I am using tools and methods from art (for example, intervention) in science. I do not hope to change the world, but I do hope to change the people. But I would like to be considered first serious, and only then provoking.”
this kind of feeling that nobody wants to hear this truth. Do you have these moments in your work as well?
“If you ask ‘Did you know that ...?’ people realize that they know nothing about the technological environment surrounding them and they become curious. But I can totally relate to these issues of ignorance and some people choosing to live in seemingly small and secure world. But especially young people, who are surrounded by all the technologies, must be more aware.”
“I do not hope to change the world, I would like but I do hope to change the people” RV: to ask you about
RV: You mentioned the perception of people. I have experienced from the work with Mašta, that sometimes people understand the complexity of the structure, how decisions are made, how banking system works, or in what circumstances our cheap clothes are produced, but there is
Newstweek - the device to modify news streams. What was the urge to make it?
“Well, basically NEWSTWEEK is a tool that would allow people to overwrite information in chosen webpages. You could look at it as a tool for fixing the facts in case you know that a certain source is or is not, providing the truth. Essence of this device is to start a conversation on how easy it is to replace information.” Danya Vasiliev - k0a1a.net Manifesto of Critical engineers - criticalengineering.org Newstweek project - http://newstweek.com/howto
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“Some technological innovations con tain hidden features, or hidden functions which end-users was not mad e aware of and which are in direct violation of end-user agreement, or privacy agreement, or one might even say, general human righ ts. For a critical engineer that is one of the primary goals - to expose these moments of deception, moments of in-balance between the human (user) and technology itself. So, I often see myself as a wat chdog, who is looking at the products, which are being given to us by manufacturers as Microsoft, Apple, and to break those black boxes open and to see what’s inside: how it actually works and what it actu ally does, not just by looking at its interface, its designed output or exp ected output.” (D. Vasiliev)
RING MANIFESTO FROM THE CRITICAL ENGINEE be the most transformative language
-The Critical Engineer considers Engineering to and think. It is the work of the of our time, shaping the way we move, communicate exposing its influence. Critical Engineer to study and exploit this language, each technological advance our - The Critical Engineer raises awareness that with techno-political literacy is challenged. of implementation’ to determine - The Critical Engineer looks beyond the ‘awe methods of influence and their specific effects. the production and consumption - The Critical Engineer observes the space between e, the Critical Engineer serves to of technology. Acting rapidly to changes in this spac expose moments of imbalance and deception. most desirable form of exposure. - The Critical Engineer considers the exploit to be the (J. Oliver, G. Savičić, D. Vasiliev. Berlin, October 2011)
FIXING THE FACTS WITH NEWSTWEE
K Newstweek looks like a simple wall plug that allow s anyone to modify the content seen on wireless devices. It consists of a router, some tools and software that can be found online (http://newstweek.com/howto ). As soon as someone connects to the wall plug and opens the websites of the biggest news agencies, the user comes across modified content. These modifications can be decided by the engineer herself. Challengin g the sources of information and promoting media litera cy, Newstweek contains a warning sign “causes critic al thinking”. This concept is awarded with several prize s but, most importantly, it is recognized by critical think ers around the globe as a powerful tool for providing an opportunity for citizens to have their turn to manipula te the press and to maintain their own networks.
F R FR
t r a t s s s e r p , in o c t r e Ins and enter freedom?
/// words by Laura Reti /// Everyone knows Pacman, the game with the yellow character eating its way through little dots, trying to run from the colorful ghosts chasing it. It can be nerve-racking, annoying, challenging. Now imagine a Pacman with the opportunity to eat non-stop, without enemies, without a limited amount of food... The dots always return after being eaten and the ghosts never leave their cage for hunting. Sounds like the perfect feast!
“It is Pacman with the ultimate freedom, divine in our consumerist society”,
as Jan van der Asdonk, sums up.
He is one of the Dutch artists from the Free-Man Team that created the game for the STRP Arts & Technology Festival 2009. “It all began with two broken arcade cabinets. Koert van Mensvoort, the other half of the project, came up with the idea of adapting the popular Pacman game. That is how “The Free-Man arcade cabinet” was born.” You insert any coin you want, be it five cents or one Norwegian Kroner, and you enter the heaven of limitless freedom and resources. A perfect reflection of our society’s most colorfully sparkling dreams, isn't it?
“At first glance, the word 'Freeman' has an extremely positive connotation”, Jan agrees, “but you are basically caught in the chains of infinite consumption.” And this is exactly the experience they want to offer to the visitors at their art installations: the game needs to be played for the people to feel the madness in this freedom. Participation, especially in art installations, was one of the aims for the Oddstream Festival 2011 in Nijmegen (the Netherlands). The event was held at the beginning of June, combining interactive multimedia art with non-mainstream music in an old factory with impressive natural surroundings. Artists frequently claim to be critical, to have given their works a deeper meaning: it just needs to be discovered. The concept of "interactive design" is certainly a different experience, another attempt to make people think through participation. And 'Free-Man' is a good example. Playing the game, one feels the pointlessness, the impending boredom. Your movements do not leave any trace; you wander around in senseless motion until you just realize the futility of it. In a society where 'Freedom' equals the ability to eat, buy, and thirst to possess more and more, Free-Man is an excellent metaphor for our own vicious circle. Here, the only way to ever escape it and end the game is suicide: you either just stop moving - and therefore stop eating, or you find your way into the cave of the ghosts. How sad, how true. “The Free-Man arcade cabinet”. March 2009. l de Conceived by Koert van Mensvood and coded by Pasca Guus Man. Design and fabrication by: Jan var der Asdonk, Baggermans, Jasper Dekker and David Menting man See more at: www.janvanderasdonk.com/2009/free“How-to”video: vimeo.com/3830656
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public space /// Interview Vlad by Karmen Špiljak, words by Alex Kemman /// Where does our trust in media come from? Why use and accept those big TV channels, newspapers who are often owned by moneyloving hotshots? Think of Berlusconi and Rupport Murdoch to name some high profile media tycoons. Think even bigger: Google and Facebook became our main source of information, but who rules them? Too often, people tend to forget big financial interests that lie behind the way ‘news’ is represented or even behind the choice of what is seen as news and what not. Surely, nowadays many realize that media is biased but still, which media feels more reliable? A newspaper with hundred thousand prints or some obscure blogpost regarding the same subject but with an contradicting message?
To understand the role of media, the (corrupted) structures within need to be exposed.
“While news is increasingly read digitally, it still follows a top-down distribution model and thus often falls victim to the same political and corporate interests that have always sought to manipulate public opinion.“ Quoted from the Newstweek project. Below are some examples of ideas to question the position of the media and keep newsmakers (journalists) and its receivers awake. Get inspired in the world of media-(h)activism.
Hack the media Hack the media Hack the media ZTOHOVEN One well-known example was initiated by the art guerilla group Ztohoven. They hacked the national weather forecast program to broadcast a clip of a nuclear explosion. Leading to, on one hand prosecution and on the other an award from the Czech National Gallery. Vlad was one of the participants of the action and explains the underlying idea.The purpose
was to draw attention to the power of media and its artificially created reality. They spent some time preparing the footage in a credible way, as if it would really be a part of the panoramic broadcast. “I hope nobody believed it. It would be absurd to think a nuclear explosion really happened in a small Czech village,” he laughed when referring to mash-up of a mushroom cloud and panoramic view of Krkonoše Mountains.
Hack the media!
THE YES MEN Another option is by making the media fall in their own traps. Think of the Yes Men. There is probably no need to introduce them, but just in case: The Yes Men do famous actions of faking company representatives and other badasses and in doing so, making it to the international media.
NEWSTWEEK Another way to change the media signal; Newstweek. A device that jams into the wifi signal that comes from newssites. See the Critical engineering article to get deeper in this technology and the underlaying idea. Newstweek also signals a word of caution that a strictly media-defined reality is a vulnerable reality; that along the course of news distribution there are many hands at work, from ISP workers, numerous server administrators and wireless access point owners.
Become the media! Another way is to become the medium. Either by using the format (spoofnewspaper or website) or even invent something new. The people from Ubermorgen.com take it one step further. They do not just imitate the format of the media. Whole new branches in media and its field of marketing are made. Their wide range of projects and actions are mostly related to new media. Often they question the way we use the internet and its commercial side, but their websites are broader then that alone. For example they made a scheme to break down Google, expose its digital dictatorship and give the internet back to the people. GWEI - Google Will Eat Itself. Here money is generated by serving Google text advertisments on a network of hidden websites. This income is invested to buy Google shares, thus Google is bought through its own advertisment profits. Eventually in about twohundred million years Google will be owned by the makers of the scheme who will give it to GTTP Ltd. [Google To The People Public Company].
Be the news hype!!
Vlad says that the action itself did not have deeper intellectual background. However, he often speaks of the importance of citizen’s personal responsibility to react critically to his or hers social reality. Ztohoven has done many other creative actions making people think of what happens around them.
They usually imitate what journalists see as reliable resources. They put on a suit and become the voice of a company or government, making unbelievable statements. In doing so, their political messages are embedded in such manner it fits to the system of media. Thereby exposing its weaknesses and even more, using the reach of the platform to spread their message. Amazon Noir “Some 3,000 digital copies of books were silently “stolen” from online retailer Amazon.com by targeting vulnerabilities in the “Search inside the Book” feature from the company’s website. A specially designed software program bombarded the Search Inside!™ interface with multiple requests, assembling full versions of texts and distributing them across peer-to-peer networks (P2P). Rather than a purely malicious and anonymous hack, however, the “heist” was publicised as a tactical media performance, Amazon Noir, produced by self-proclaimed super-villains Paolo Cirio, Alessandro Ludovico, and Ubermorgen.com.” (Amazon Noir website) The action was meant to discuss copyright and make people think of what you are actually paying for. Another and probably their most famous project was Vote Auction. As a US voter, you could sell your vote to the highest bid. They emphasized the link between money and democracy, ending up all over the news and even getting a lawsuit. See their webpage for a huge list of other inspiring ideas and projects.
All these creative actions criticizing media are done in very diverse manners but they have a similar functions and tactical manner. They confuse the structures of media, making us question what is reliable and what is not. In doing so, they awaken media consumers, criticise the structures and mechanisms of media and their so called independence. Old tactics from the Situationist International such as détournement and culture jamming are used in this age to spread critical messages. Hopefully the examples inspire you. Distorting the media is something we all should do once in a while as it tends to get lazy, and rely on untrustful and easy sources. By faking such a source the flattness of today’s journalism can easily be exposed. Even better, you can transmit the political message you think should be in the news. Just like hackers test the security of the internet, we as citizens should also question and challenge the established media. Even better, we should challenge the authority of new media and its entrenched marketing tricks in order to reclaim virtual public space.
REFERENCES www.ztohoven.com newstweek.com theyesmen.org ubermorgen.com gwei.org www.amazon-noir.com www.vote-auction.net
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GRLG //// Graffiti Research Lab. German edition. //// /// words by Silvia Font /// “Looking at the streets in a different way, making people turn their heads, bringing light to dark corners, getting into relationships with places. Hands and brains and tools, collaboration and inspiration, low tech with emotional high lights. High-tech, low-threshold.” GRL Germany member C3MY
raffiti Research Lab is an international network of street artists and media activists who are developing tools & technologies to bring graffiti into the realm of digital communication. Graffiti Research Lab started in New York and has ever since spread all over the world.
The first time we met them was during the media and arts festival Transmediale.11, where one of the GRL members was awarded for creating the powerful tool Graffiti Markup Language - today’s new digital standard for tomorrow’s vandals. This open source project wouldn’t have happened without computer gods. They created new applications in order to improve the visualization of data, while street violators contribute with capturing and sharing their tags online.
Thousands of tags have since been uploaded, analyzed and translated into Graffiti Markup language - universal, XML based, open file format designed to store graffiti motion data (x/y coordinates and time). As the authors say, “GML is intended to be a simple bridge between ink and code, promoting collaborations between graffiti writers and hackers.”
owever, the New-York collective has spread around the globe and, since 2010, five core members (SID, Pantone, ATOTHEK, Poni, and C3MY) are powering the Berlin Chapter. GRL Germany’s members have a wide variety of backgrounds in software development, interactive installations, street art and media arts. Together, they have completed several
successful actions, engaging the public through unexpected and challenging interventions in public space.
he philosophy is all about media empowerment, activation of public space, and participation. GRL Germany member ATOTHEK says it best: “We take the interactive installations and creative applications out of the dark exhibition rooms and fancy museums and present them into the public space, giving everyday people the tools and possibilities to create their own art, to voice their opinions, to express themselves ... basically GRL is what you make out of it, whether you create a tool or use tools that others created, you’re part of the community and you’re actively doing something- creating art and presenting it outside, reclaiming the public space.”
Find out more about GRL: graffitiresearchlab.com www.graffitiresearchlab.de Graffiti Markup Language: www.graffitimarkuplanguage.com
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GRL GERMANY GOES MOBILE:
Building the Light Rider /// words by Agent Scott ///
Following in the grand tradition of our sister cells in New York, Vienna, and Montreal, we have recently decided to build a Mobile Broadcast Unit - which we are christening as the â€˜Light Riderâ€? - a Copenhagen-style, front-loaded cargo bike, outfitted with a deep cycle battery, sine wave inverter, beamer, laptop, camera, and sound system.
digital kills the spraypaint? This Light Rider allows to do guerilla projections anywhere in Berlin, free of constraint. Usually, the technological and logistical constraints of producing digital graffiti make us less spontaneous than traditional graffiti. The technology of the cargo bike is powered with batteries and therefore does not need to worry about external power sources (ie: we do not have to ‘steal’ power from outdoor electrical sockets). The batteries allow the use of a computer and beamer for about three hours in total. The Light Rider allows Graffiti Research Lab Germany to respond rapidly to new developments in the urban ecosystem, and become a more flexible force within the intertwining systems of civic life. Digital graffiti has never been meant as a replacement for physical graffiti, rather an additional tool in the media age. As our cities become more and more wired
and connected, GRL hopes to respond to the digital media ecology with interventions that challenge dominant systems of participation and meaning-production. GRL Germany says: “We wish to make digital graffiti technologies more accessible to our community members in Berlin, especially those street and graffiti artists who would normally not have access to this equipment.” Once the construction work is finished, the creators of the Light Rider want to offer it for events of other artistic, social, and political groups. “Our hope is to find a wide variety of non-commercial uses for the bike, and that users display a diverse array of messages,” say GRL members. “We are also actively looking for street artists and graffiti writers who have ideas about how the bike could realize their digital interventions in public space.”
vandals go sustainable
public digs it
The Light Rider combines digital technology with pedal power in an interesting way. Not only is bike power an efficient mode of transportation for the city: it is sustainable. The allure of a cheap and highly flexible mode of transport for city life is nothing new. Especially with regard to cargo bikes, it has become even more popular recently. In combination with GRL’s tech set-up, the resulting unit becomes a blend of old and new, mechanical and digital, trendy and subversive.
Jesse Scott: “Our first action took place in Neukölln on June 17th, featuring over 60 members of the public that came to paint on the walls at Boddinstrasse. It was important that the unit was mobile, as our first planned location at Hermannplatz ended up in not ideal conditions, so we had to run with Plan B.”
cash for activism As usual, things don’t come for free - a least not in this case. So far, GRL Germany has secured support to purchase the bike and acquire most of the gear. Both the Awesome Foundation (Berlin) and Aktion! Karl-Marx-Straße have decided to the support the project. Since purchasing a bike and acquiring
technology is expensive, this was much-needed help. Now we are seeking community involvement in order to purchase a high-powered projector, with a public funding campaign active at www.startnext.de/lightrider. This will complete the set-up and make the Light Rider logistically autonomous.
Follow the Light Rider: Pictures and Video are available at www.graffitiresearchlab.de/light-rider/ Video from the first action on vimeo.com/25328668
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72 Hours with /// Words by Rubén Gómez García and Silvia Font ///
+++ Day and night, 72 hours non-stop - tied to a lamppost, placed in a street that could be in any city in the world. +++ +++ Subject to the passers-by or potential clients’ inquisitive, lascivious and reproachful stares, jokes, disdain, aggression, paid love and some isolated signs of compassion..+++ ope, there are more than +++ The UN estimates that in just Western Eur g for sexual exploitation. +++ 140.000 women victims of human traffickin
Human trafficking is a gross violation of human rights and one of the cruelest forms of gender violence. Raising awareness and society’s sensitivity to this issue was the aim of the campaign by the Spanish NGO Mujeres en Zona de Conflicto (MZC, Women in an Area of Conflict) and the design and communication agency A las 6 en la playa. Together, they created and developed this guerrilla communication action as part of MCZ’s campaign “STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION” that took place in the city of Córdoba (Spain) in 2010, where Vicky, a mannequin dressed as a woman wearing provocative clothes and make-up, was placed next to a lamppost and filmed for 72 hours, at which point the police took her off the streets. The intent of this action was to raise awareness of the vulnerability of human trafficking victims, and they achieved it. The resulting video of this non-profit and social art intervention, “72 horas con Vicky,” is as shocking as it is real because it shows how people
- men and women, families and youngsters - react when they see a doll that appears as a prostitute. The video was released to several TV news spaces and quickly spread over the internet. Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is gender-based violence related to the objectification of women’s bodies and seeing women as consumable commodities. It is one of the most common crimes worldwide and an extremely profitable business for mafiosi. Deep social, economic and gender inequalities, together with cultural and political factors make up a framework of vulnerability and violence that enables the exploitation and trading of human beings. Social organizations, like MZC, work to combat trafficking from a gender perspective and to adopt a human rights-based approach.
+++ Touched, kissed, slapped, undressed, photographed, and taken in parts. +++
” I’ve been treated like an object; I’ve been used and then thrown away”.
Read more: humantrafficking.org ONGD Mujeres en Zona de Conflicto (MZC): www.mzc.org.es Communication Actions by ‘A las 6 en la playa’: www.alas6enlaplaya.com Check the video “72 horas con Vicky” vimeo.com/15214529 Support MZC’s campaign: stoptrata.mzc.org.es
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/// Words by Kaj Derks ///
These are made for walking and that's just what they'll do “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” When Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto police officer, came to Osgoode Hall Law School at York University to give a lecture and advice on personal safety, he could never have expected the consequences of what he had say. “I’VE BEEN TOLD THAT I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO SAY THIS HOWEVER, WOMEN SHOULD AVOID DRESSING LIKE SLUTS IN ORDER NOT TO BE VICTIMIZED.” Sanguinetti later apologized -”I am embarrassed by the comment I made and it shall not be repeated,”- but it was too late. He had already revealed a widespread problem and lit the fuse for one of the most -at least quantitatively- successful feminist actions of the last two decades. That was January 24th 2011. Although his audience was small, about ten people, his words spread like fire. How could victims of sexual assault be taken serious when even those who are supposed to help adopt this rhetorical attitude? Who is suggested to be blamed in case of sexual assault? And what happened to the freedom of speech which the way somebody dresses goes under? Those questions and many more, were raised until april 3rd, the day that the world witnessed the first ever SlutWalk. The march started off with a demonstration. One of the cofounders, Heather Jarvis, gave a short but very clear speech of what SlutWalks stands for. She shouted through the microphone: “We are here to call foul on our protective services who, instead of making us feel safe, make us second guess whether we
should call upon them at all in time of need.” And explains that “being a slut is to be someone who is sexually confident, enjoying consensual sex and is deserving as much respect as the next person.” Than she continues: “We’re calling on our protective services to open their doors and join our conversation on how we can work together to eliminate the mindset that someone is deserving of assault simply based on their appearance.” To end with the catchy slogan “a victim of assault is never the one at fault.” Then, the over 3000 mostly sluttydressed people moved in a colorful demonstration to the Toronto policestation. From Toronto the movement spread all over Canada, the USA and finally, to the rest of the world. I even saw some media mentioning about one in Teheran but I think that was a joke. On its way, this wave of demonstrations tackled more issues than just the role appearance plays in a sexual assault. During the New York walk a sign was spotted saying: ‘WOMAN IS THE NIGGER OF THE WORLD’. This marked a turning point where the organizers became aware of the broader context of their campaign: the same thing that can be said about sluts can be said about racial injustice. Hereafter they published an anti-racism statement that was adopted by movements over the world.
The SlutWalks did also not intend to be a ‘woman-only’ movement. It’s meant for everybody who is sexually independent. Who said that ‘sluts’ could only be woman anyway? Friends, partners, brothers, sisters, parents and all others were invited to walk against victim blaming. The movement also crossed the border of sexes and it quickly was also embraced by the homosexual and queer movement, resulting in a high diversity in the demonstrations. If many slut walks have been very busy and successful in getting media-attention, there are also some criticism to be heard. Most of them have something to do with the main target of the movement, the acknowledgment that the way one is dressed does not reflect her (or his) crave for sex. Is it all about appearance? According to a column by Victoria Coren, a British writer, presenter and poker-star, Slutwalks are too much focused on appearance. She states that discussing the victims’ clothes in case of sexual assault is plain stupid, illogical and just irrelevant. Why protest against something that is already neither logical nor relevant? Although it might sound weird, the problem is that it’s not rapists who misinterpret someone’s clothes. It’s not them who see one’s skimpy clothes as a reason for assault, but the lazy minded observer who is too quick to draw conclusions. Although those might be very annoying, they are not of any danger in our daily life. However, it becomes dangerous when these lazy minded quick to conclusion jumping people are appointed jurors in court and let this illogical idea count in their verdict. Or as with how it all started, when this easy-conclusion idea manifests in someone who is supposed to be protecting the victim: a police officer in this case. To not blame anybody who has nothing to do with it, Coren advises all walking sluts to be very aware of who and what they are aiming their protests at. Besides, she continues, many people at the Slutwalks are protesting against the normal (non-violent) (men’s) interpretation of slutty clothes as flirty or provocative. “Oh, give the boys a break”, Coren says. Why would anybody want to dress skimpy if there wasn’t any connotation as ‘sexy, ‘hot’ or ‘kinky’ connected to it? And why would you stick a bunch of feathers in your but if nobody would give it a little extra attention or at least a longing look? Now, as the wave of Slutwalks is over, it’s quiet again. Did something change? I don’t know. Did everybody forget about it? No, certainly not. Because on the 3rd of April 2012, the sluts will walk again in Toronto. So be prepared for the next wave of women dressed in just a few clothes to roam the streets. I’ll be waiting, see you next spring!
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When the goes reality show /// Words by Francisco Pedro ///
“Who’s gonna stay? Only one will stay!” A well-dressed guy shouting into a megaphone is not the most expected scene during rush hour in the main train station of Lisbon (Portugal). “Vote now for your favorite immigrant! Save him from being kicked out of the EU!”, he calls out to passersby. Next to him are Abdul, Mamadou, Joyce and Dimitri. Their names are written on the signs they carry, followed by a short description. The four are locked with metal chains, their mouths covered and the eyes distressing.
Who’s gonna stay? Only one will stay!
Each vote is counted on a blackboard. Joyce is winning. Small flyers, handed out by members of the group, finally provide an explanation:
“Every person has the right to move freely, to change country and to seek happiness. What justifies the militarization of European boarders, and the construction of high walls that create gaps between peoples?” The text denounces European policies, calling for a more open and caring society. Europe’s wealth is locked inside deadly walls, and as migration policies become more repressive, activists find even more surprising and creative actions to oppose them. As the performers engage the people that are perplexingly watching the scene, many are willing to talk and discuss, even if some of them clearly seem exhausted from work and are about to miss the 18h35 train back home. This provocative and unexpected performance turns out to be a way of waking them up from a numbing routine. This same performance was held years ago at the ‘Couleur Cafe’, a big music and art festival in Brussels. “YOUR VOTE IS PRECIOUS!” the host of this dreadful show kept shouting. Hurrying on their way to one stage to another, the audience couldn’t help stopping and staring at the unexpected cage. There were four immigrants locked in desperately trying to escape. By adapting the reality show model, watched over and over on TV, these activists succeeded in catching the audience’s attention. Then, it’s all about the right message.
UNITED for Intercultural Action is a European network of hundreds of organizations working against racism, nationalism and in support of refugees and immigrants. Their numbers are staggering: from drowning in the Mediterranean to suicides in detention centers, 10 persons die every day thanks to Fortress Europe. (quote) If they get to the old continent, UNITED explains, “Migrants are wronged by a system that excludes them and ignores their rights. Visa restrictions, inconsistent regulations and the dark cloud of deportation are slowly murdering them, using weapons of policies.”
We are still campaigning. Why can’t you?” “Every year, we build more detention centers for immigrants, set up more restrictive and violent policies”, the flyer says. “Why imposing barriers for people while removing all borders for trade? We are still campaigning. Why can’t you?”
Every year, UNITED promotes the International Refugee Day and Week Against Racism campaigns. Following its leitmotiv “Think globally, act locally” UNITED promotes exhibitions and debates, carries out direct actions, and many other hundreds of actions are coordinated together with partner organizations all around Europe . “People are still drowning in our seas, still arriving at our shores with no future, still being turned away. Apathy is unacceptable, action is our only option (quote). We are still campaigning, why can’t you?”
On May 2011, a boat carrying over 70 people who flew from conflicts in Africa, found itself drifting in the Mediterranean because of some technical problems. Maltese and Italian coast guards were called for rescue. A helicopter and an aircraft carrier of the NATO passed by. By doing nothing, they all decided that these people far from being tourists on a cruise should die. The vessel was left to drift for two weeks. One by one, day after day, women, men, children and babies died from thirst and hunger. Only nine survived and were able to tell the story. While everyone applauded the Arab revolutions, no one seems to bother with more than one thousand people who have already drowned when escaping the conflicts in Libya and Tunisia. Bodies to be added to thousands more from subSaharan Africa. “When did we get so used to death? We have more human rights legislation than ever, but this couldn’t reflect less the reality. Will we act one day as if we never knew?”
UNITED FOR INTERCULTURAL ACTION is an european network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, that gathers more than 560 organizations from 46 european countries by linking local and national actions, they can generate european-wide solidarity and publicity, showing that there is an enormous amount of people that believe in an intercultural open society. More: unitedagainstracism.org
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3 Strategies of solidarity /// Words by Mara Linnemann, Kaj Derks and Ruuta Vimba ///
Surviving inside of Fortress Europe To successfully enter Fortress Europe is an achievement in itself, but surviving inside its walls is even more so. If you have managed to cross the border you risk spending days in camps and secret locations without knowing when or how you will be let out, becoming homeless or finding yourself in illegal work places for slave wages. In most cases, you will find yourself with some of your human rights somehow restricted. The fight against social exclusion of people labeled as refugees or immigrants is an ongoing struggle in Europe. Masta magazine has collected three stories from the solidarity movement:
1 Legal and organizational support – Network of political activism The VOICE Refugee Forum is a network of refugee political activists. It was born 1994 in the Refugee Isolation Camp Mühlhausen and has developed into a vibrant network of activists and supporters. By gathering information about different actions from different networks, the forum makes it easy to join for action. The network creates awareness raising campaigns and helps with gathering information about actions from different groups working with the topic. It also helps refugees with legal issues, gives support for self organization and invites to practical actions such as
exchanging specified food vouchers for money, giving refugees the opportunity to spend their money on what they wish. In Germany the refugees have faced isolation and poverty, problems reinforced by “Residenzpflicht” - a 1982 regulation that prohibits asylum seekers whose applications are still being processed to go anywhere without a permit. To follow the actions against this repressive law, simply visit THE VOICE REFUGEE FORUM online. In their newsletter, you get regular updates and can join activities to raise awareness on the topics of equality, integration and solidarity between people on both sides of the fence.
2 Practical support – Squatting houses and organizing patrols Migrants who try to get to the UK gather in Calais, a French city by the English channel. It is virtually impossible to cross the border without documents. People who do try are welcome neither in the UK nor in France. The authorities answer to the problem with a special police force that harrasses the migrants constantly, trying to make their life as miserable as possible, so that they would eventually leave.
They also squat buildings to arrange housing. The migrants have now organized themselves and discussed how to deal with repression. Recently they decided not to not run away from the police anymore and as a result the clueless cops just drove away because they were not prepared for organized resistance.
She believes that everyone should be free to go wherever they please.
Confronted with the harsh reality, Marie, who originally came to Calais to attend a solidarity festival, decided to stay in Calais along with a group of other young people. They decided to work together with the migrants to battle the repressive system. They decided to be open and work together with the migrants rather than getting organized in an existing NGO which has to operate within the system. The youngsters set up patrols to watch out for the police - to buy the migrants some time to escape the oppressors.
However, they live under a constant threat of the police. It often happens that Marie also gets beaten up by the cops, as she lives side by side with the migrants. Sometimes migrants ask; “Why do you help us, sleep with us in the streets and let yourself get beaten by the police, when you could just enjoy the luxuries of Western life?” Marie usually answers, with a smile, that she gets something in return: trust and friendship. Besides, she believes that everyone should be free to go wherever they please.
3 Social support – Underground Cafés Underground cafés provide a place for illegal migrants to socialize and feel appreciated. Due to the difficult conditions of living as an illegal immigrant it’s impossible to find regular housing, income and a social network. You always have to be cautious not to be identified as an illegal immigrant as this might lead to getting caught by the immigrant police and result in long-term detention before being send back to the home-country or being released back on the streets. To a large extent, the quality of their lives depends on solidarity. The underground cafés are not only places to eat, but also points to create a social network. Unfortunately, these
initiatives are as illegal as the people that they are aiming to help. Therefore it is impossible to mention concrete places where these activities take place. In 2007 the immigration Police raided a solidarity cafe in Utrecht after it was mentioned in a newspaper. This resulted in arrest of the volunteers and chefs who were threatened to be deported. However, if you know of a café nearby, you could find one and help out. Or if you know of an available space with a kitchen, you could maybe organize one yourself. You might not have to look far. These things can happen right under your nose, in your hometown.
READ ALSO: Solidarity Fund Website in Calais, France - calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com The VOICE Refugee Forum in Germany - thevoiceforum.org “What borders You need to cross to be free” - book by Loesje International, www.loesje.org/what borders
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Dare to ask! /// words by Janina Gutermann ///
Creativity, knowledge, social contacts and material resources: we have them in abundance. We all have latent knowledge that could be useful for someone else, but how could we make it accessible for others? Conversely, we sometimes face a personal dilemma or come up with a crazy idea, but we find ourselves going in circles. How should we decide what is the best solution or how can we turn ideas into reality and reach our goals? First, we usually ask our friends and families. However, as they are mostly like-minded, their answers might not widen our perspective enough. Sometimes we shun asking for help from our peers because we do not want to be judged by them. So how can we get input, something new and unexpected that gives us an impulse towards the right direction? Well, how about talking to someone who we don’t know, someone who sees our lives from an outside perspective and could thus bring unexpected inspiration? That’s what consultants have done for organizations and coaches for individuals for ages. That said, expensive coaches are not necessarily needed in everyday challenges. Ordinary people are nowadays highly knowledgeable and people in general tend to be ready to help one another. Furthermore, sometimes asking ideas from one person is not enough. Different
people from a variety of backgrounds could give much more diverse advice. So, ideally, we should find a group of strangers and, well, ask them. This is where the project “Durftevragen” (“Dare to ask”) started. Two years ago Juul Martin and Niels Roemen from Nijmegen, a small university town in the Netherlands, started to organise get-togethers of about ten individuals who needed solutions to their personal challenges. It is all about making things possible that you could never do alone or within your limited network. For example in Estonia a guy called Rainer Nõlvak, and his peers, wanted to do something about the trash in the environment. They realized that it would take at least seven years for them to clean the whole country of trash, and then they would have to start all over again. Thus on 3 May 2008, together with 50.000 volunteers, they cleaned all the Estonian forests at once. The idea did not only become a lasting annual tradition in Estonia but also a global World Cleanup event. This shows that these kind of individual dreams can be realized. You just need to ask for help and use social networks to make an idea come true. “Durftevragen” wants to offer people a platform to realize their small personal ideas or even big ambitions.
How it works People can sign up for a “Dare to ask meeting” via the website durftevragen.com. In the meeting each participant may ask any question they might have. Then other participants write down on a piece of paper their ideas of how to find an answer and hand it over to the person in need of help. So, there are no open discussions, just direct input and feedback. At the end of the meeting everybody takes home a good collection of new and often surprising ideas and advice to think about. The concept is success-oriented and non-commercial. There is no ideology or religion behind it. Juul Martin is really happy that their idea worked out: “Ever since we started many people have made the best out of the advice they’ve got at the meetings. More and more people have heard about the concept and joined in. Now we have Durftevragen meetings all over the Netherlands. Once we also met in Berlin”.
“The most important ingredient to a successful Durftevragen meeting is to expect the unexpected and to be open towards other people’s ideas”, Juul says and continues: “Participants decide themselves which thoughts, tips and recommendations they want to put into action. In most of the cases this leads to a good solution.” Durftevragen creates a win-win situation: Not only does every participant get support from others but they also get to help in turn, which in itself is a rewarding feeling as well. So far the Durftevragen meetings take place only in the Netherlands. Why not spread this promising concept and organise your own “Dare to ask” sessions?
Read on: The book on the topic you can download here for free (available onaly in Dutch): durftevragen.com/boek waarmakerij.nl A video about Durftevragen in Dutch: vimeo.com/16116099 Let’s do it! World Cleanup: www.letsdoitworld.org
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/// words by Kulturlabor Trial&Error e.V. ///
Swap Shop “
Everything is already produced. On this Earth, there is enough food, enough houses, enough clothes for everyone. But not everyone has enough money to buy it. However, we all do have time and knowledge. SWAP SHOP is a marketplace, where no money is used. The visitors can exchange their own items, time or knowledge in order to get other items, people’s time, or knowledge. There are no prices, customers estimate the value of their desired items themselves. NB! Swap shop is just another shop! It’s not a workshop. It doesn’t invite you to run inside and grab unnecessary things just because it’s fun. It offers you the experience of alternative shopping and invites you to estimate the actual value of things you share.
We hate shopping, love shopping, fall in the hands of shopping-daemon when there is a bad day, good day, any day. I personally love to go to the central market of the city and stuff my bag with vegetables and greens, served by chapped hands of farmers. What makes shops so attractive? I mean, it’s not like there is less stuff at home. But Mr Oscar Wilde used to say “anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination” - and, although I’m not sure he was refering to shopping, some diligent shopworkers in the USA already managed to put it on the wall of another contemporary temple. Well, let’s go back to home - cleaning wardrobes, bookshelves and kitchens (yes, all these pretty cups with last saison rose-pattern). Quite often, an idea crosses your mind: “wait, but someone might need it!” And this someone is not necessarily somewhere far
away - it might be your friend, neighbour, colleague, guy from next door. And there is for sure something you can get for those items - not necessarily an material item, but maybe new skills, or knowledge that could be handy on a cold autumn day, or a situation where a chair, a shoe or even a relationship get broken. So this is what SWAP SHOP is about. No money is accepted. It’s not a dump of unnecessary items. It’s an exchange service, that can be made anywhere, anytime. What is special about it is the opportunity to estimate the value of any item yourself. For example, you find a hat, that is obviously a very special hat. Maybe somebody has already exchanged a hat for three advices in the knowledge booth. But your hat is worth helping whole day in the shop ... You know, sometime, it’s just worth it.
How to TO FIND OUT, YOU JUST NEED: * a zone of “ITEMS” visitors as well as organizers are invited to bring things they don’t need anymore. It can be books, shoes, clothes … basically anything. Shelves, boxes and clothes hangers are also needed to display the items. Take into account that it should be easily visible and available to all visitors, regardless of their height. Shelves can be built from wood found on the street, or old pallets. Borrowing shelves from your friends is also an option. * a “TIME” workshop zone in the shop with materials and people with how-to knowledge. A visitor can buy time and get somebody to teach him/her how to make, for instance, a wallet from an empty tetra pack. The created items stay in the shop. A visitor can also pay with time, making item for the shop and then leaving it there. But time might not only be used for a workshop: someone might want to make sandwiches for others, or help to clean the shop.
* a zone of ”KNOWLEDGE” video booth with camera and opportunity to record video messages, where people share with knowledge useful tips and academic theories, jokes and shocking facts, practical demonstration on coolest dance steps, or how to tie a tie. Paying with knowledge means recording a message. If the visitor has bought knowledge, he/she can choose how many videos he/she has paid for. A cabin, or separated place is needed for visitors to record video messages, as well as equipment and software in order to shoot and play the clips. It’s suggested to separate the shooting place at least with a wall in order to isolate sound. A background (simply white, or with features) with lights and microphone is also very useful, as well as clear instructions on how to record video, where to press buttons, and how to watch videos. * the “SWAP REGISTER” - a place where people can write down their name, what they brought and what they took. You can also label every item, attaching name and short description and what the owner exchanged it for. Anyway, any registering method helps guiding people in the estimation process. PREPARATION WORK: 1. Gather a crew. 2. Find a venue. 3. Build the shop - for sure, some shelves, a workshop table and video booth will be needed. 4. Prepare the signs - shop should be as simple as a board game, so people can understand steps and actions without explanations. 4. Spread the word Well, what else ... good luck! Yours sincerely, Kulturlabor Trial&Error crew
This concept is initiated by Kulturlabor Trial&Error - www.trial-error.org implemented in multimedia festival transmediale.11 - www.transmediale.de as well as contemporary art fest SURVIVAL KIT 3 - www.survivalkit.lv
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is tagged with its geo-coordinates and all the latest information. “There is an enormous power trapped in these ruins and we aim to free this power up!! It won't be easy, but we want to try to reverse the trend and give a new life to these places” they believe. To reach that aim your help is essential! To share your findings of abandoned buildings and knowledge of places awaiting resurrection in your area, or to join the team, go to:
Mapping the Abandoned VOLUNTEER World with [im] for SAVING possible Living tropical dry Founded in Italy and based completely on crowdsourcing, [im]possible Living is a evergreen project that aims to give birth to the abanFORESTS doned real estate market and, hopefully, lead the transformation into a new housing development model. The [im]possible Living website and the recently developed iPhone App let users to map abandoned buildings that can be anything from former factories to old nobility houses, and from churches to apartment buildings. They can be located anywhere; in city centers, suburbs, on countryside, in the mountains or by the sea. Each building
Do you usually complain about the devastating effects that climate change causes to our planet but you feel there is nothing substantial to do from your apartment in a polluted city? Then you might want to volunteer in the Sadhana Forest community. The main project of this volunteer-based community, founded by Yorit and Aviram Rozin in Southern India, is the reforestation of 70 acres of severely eroded land; contributing to recreate the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest indigenous to the area. This forest type only exists in Southern India and Sri Lanka, and is close to total extinction. Only 0.01% of the original forest remains. Now is the time to keep this very rich and beautiful forest on Earth. Sadhana community practices an ecofriendly way of life including veganism, alternative construction, solar energy, biodegradable toiletries, and compost toilets. Accommodation for volunteers is in exchange for a 25 hour work week with additional community shifts which consists of cooking meals and cleaning after meals. Creativity and initiative are deeply appreciated. Especially ideas to improve the project and the community are always welcome.
www.sadhanaforest.org New Sadhana Forest project in Haiti: www.sadhanaforesthaiti.org
SUPPORT MAYA PEDAL Maya Pedal is a Guatemalan NGO based in San Andrés Itzapa working on sustainable development.
Maya Pedal makes life more comfortabel and more environmental friendly, by using old donated bikes and reforming them into Bicimaquinas (bicyclemachines). The Bicimaquina solves two issues. Firstly, it overcomes the limitations of electric energy as in being expensive or not accesible in the Guatemalan highlands. Secondly, labour intensive work such as washing, grinding or water irrigration becomes less time consuming and heavy. Their inventions are made by locally available materials and adapted to the local needs.
The project was set up in 1997 by a group of Canadians from PEDAL, an organization devoted to sustainable development. Maya Pedal became independent in 2001 and now works together with many local and international organizations. On their website they have a database with all the inventions they made, enabling inspiration for others. Besides making the bicimaquinas they also sell bikes and offer repair service, making the world a bit more green. How to help? Donate! Either by giving materials for the machines, like old bikes or general tools (See the wishlist on the website) or give them your money. Volunteer! Maya pedal works with locals and internationally volunteers.
CC COPY THIS FILM FESTIVAL
Barcelona Creative Commons Film Festival, BccN, is the worldâ€™s first film festival exclusively under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 License (Attribution/Non Comercial/Share Alike). The first edition was successfully held in 2010. It has spread through the net so quickly that cities like Madrid (Spain) and Lima (PerĂş) have already hosted their own CC Film Festivals, while proposals from Guatemala, Chile, Argentina and Slovakia are finalizing details for setting up the festival. The campaign CCWORLD seeks partners and collectives who would like to COPY this festival -provided that it is for non commercial purposes- all over the world. The BccN team will help you in the process.
Eat well and stay sustainable! Join CSA - Community Supported Agriculture.
We are what we eat. The Community Supported Agriculture projects are the best chance to eat fresh food, support farmers' communities and get learningby-doing experience in the countryside fresh air and happy mood for free! Through online platforms like LAND UND LEUTE in Germany or LOCAL HARVEST in the USA you can join CSA in only a couple of clicks. As a consumer and as part of the community, you can pay a membership fee as well as contribute with your work and have opportunity to receive a basket of organic vegetables and other farm products on your door step every week. The conditions differ from one project to another, but the core motivation of this movement is always the same: EAT ORGANIC, BUY LOCAL. International Foundation for Organic Agriculture is an NGO based in Bonn, Germany. You can find a great directory of over 750 CSA projects from 115 countries at their website: www.ifoam.org organic world directory index.html Join CSA:
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/// words by Emiel Visser ///
Go out and play Do you like playing games ? How about playing a ga me that makes you act in real life, a game th at rewards you for being kind, creative, crazy, or daring? Sounds good? Then share your experie nce with a group of people that are eager to put an unexpected twist to your ideas. Gamify your life, i.e. play a game in virtual life to make the re al life more exciting.
SFZero is a collaborative game of creative acts. Players can score points by completing tasks from an online list of ideas. These ideas can be anything: setting up a candlelight dinner in an IKEA showroom, having an email correspondence with a spammer, cycling a hundred miles, speaking with a telemarketer, exploring a building, you name it! Completing a task gives you points. However, there is a twist to it. Since it’s actually other people scoring your activities, it’s the unexpected, creative and inspiring tasks that will be rewarded the most. Take for example a somewhat ordinary task “kiss a girl”. Unexpectedly, a mother portraying her love for her baby girl and an artsy photo of a woman covered in lipstick-kiss traces became hugely popular entries. The simple concept has created a network of people with crazy, foolish and sometimes unimaginably witty ideas. These people are dedicated to inspire each other.
So 1. S you 2. ign u think F 3. ind p at this Do a t 4. cu ask sf0.o migh S tc 5. core men you rg olo ty Ge ru l a i k ou ta l e o py dd t o r e , or ou ict f b xp a r li ed on eri b u fe? to us enc nc h the po e o ga ints and f th me if y su em ! ou bm did it p so roof me thi of ta ng sk rea co lly mp co leti on ol (a sto ry,
ph oto s, a
vid eo )
photo in the backgrownd by Ana Correia ©
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Once upon a time GRL Germany teamedup with Shine in Decay for a day of LED-Throwie madness. We hosted a workshop and organized an intervention in public space at Berlin’s well-known Kottbusser Tor. An LED Throwie is a small self-contained light bomb - easy to make, joy to spread: Step 1. Prepare the materials: a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED, rare-earth magnet, 1-inch (2.5cm) wide strapping tape. Step 2. Fix the LED legs to the battery terminals: the shorter leg (cathode) should touch the negative (-) terminal, but the longer leg (anode) should touch positive (+) terminal (NB! Do not make oher way arround!) Step 3. Wrap: Cut off a piece of 1-inch (2.5cm) wide strapping tape approximately 7-inches (18cm) long. Tape the LED leads to the battery by wrapping tape 2-3 times around both sides of the battery. Keep the tape very tight as you wrap. The LED should not be flickering. 44 g r o w t h
Step 4. Attach magnet: Now, place the magnet on the positive terminal of the battery and continue to tightly wrap the tape. The magnet should be held firmly to the battery. If the magnet is stuck to a ferromagnetic surface, don’t pull on the LED throwie. Apply a lateral force to the magnet and slide it off the surface while lifting it with a fingernail or tool. Remember to keep the magnet away from conventional hardrives, credit cards and other magnetised data storage devices. Step 5. Toss the throwie: The LED throwie is ready to be tossed on to a ferromagnetic surface. Practice tossing your throwies. Work on your accuracy and your own personal technique. Every throwie won’t stick every time, but if you toss them gently, they will stick
eventually. Get them up high and in large quantities for greatest enjoyment. Step 6. Plan a campaign: Find a building or structure that will attract the magnets, form a crew, wait until night, and get some throwies up. If you do it around a crowd of people, they will probably try to join in. It can quickly decend into chaotic fun. Give a hand-full of throwies to a stranger and let them get involved too. Remember, Throwies are only a temporary alteration of your local environment. Depending on the colour, Throwies can last up to two weeks, but you aren’t going to cause any permanent damage, so most property owners won’t mind. And The NYPD loves throwies!
/// words by Haiku
aka. Agent Scott ///
Step 7. Other applications: Other than tossing it, you can also use your LED throwie to write in the air with light while taking a long exposure flick. You can put them on your bike as an additional reflector. You can put them on surveillance cameras to make them more visible at night. You can use them to play a version of bocce balls on a magnetic surface in the dark. Upgrades: You can make a better LED throwie by using shrink tubing on each lead to make sure they don’t short to each other or the battery. This upgrade will allow you to bend the LED so it faces in the direction you choose. You can also dip the throwie in epoxy, silicon or potting compound to make an all-weather LED Throwie. A resistor in series would allow you to increase the throwie’s shelf-life. Bigger batteries = longer life. Stronger magnets = increased stickability. You could add a solar panel, photocell, etc... Have fun! Pictures are from the workshop in Berlin, where people learned how to build these simple yet effective devices, and then set-off with a group of coconspirators to bombard the underside of the U-Bahn bridge at Kotbusser Tor. It was a highly successful day, with several members of the public joining in the fun of throwing the devices at the bridge to make them stick. The result was a glowing starry sky effect that lasted for almost a week. Because of the roughly 18,000,000 comments on Heise.de about what we were going to do about the batteries, GRL Germany member SID has built a Throwie Removal Unit (an extension painter’s pole with a large metal plate). It didn’t take long to remove them, and now we can recycle most of the parts for our next action.
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ds b r o w
Dead Drops 1. Find a discrete location 2. Drill a hole 3. Install a DeadDrop 4. Share your files 5. Add the coordinates online, so people can get your dead-drop!
Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl started the DeadDrops art-project in October 2010, while he was a resident student at the Media Art Institute EYEBEAM, in New York city. Aram conceives it as an ongoing and self-running art-project. DeadDrops is becoming a worldwide practice. It is sort of a hi-tech cross-breed of the spies’ Dead-letter-box practices and the trendy Geocaching, yet located in the urban landscape. Since there’s no Internet and IP addresses involved, there’s no chance of being identified nor tracked. It’s just about having fun, sharing files peer-to-peer, yet doing it anonymously. It can be used either as a guerrilla communication tool or just to make the city your playground. There’s also an online DeadDrop database where you can submit where you placed your files. Just keep in mind not to reveal the content online, ever!
Find the DeadDrops’ Manifesto and more How to Instructions at the project website: www.deaddrops.com Check some more media-art projects from Aram Bartholl: www.datenform.de LINK TO PICS in HR: www.flickr.com/photos/bartholl/sets/72157625142951009/
/// words by James Bar Bowen /// Moving messages, creative uses of washable ink form and function in harmony! The following two examples show how water-soluble inks can be used to educate, inform and entertain and change the world! Everyone knows that racists aren’t known for their ability to look beyond the surface. Even when they do, racists struggle to appreciate the stupidity of their ideology. The anti-racism group EXIT-Deutschland used this quality that racists so much treasure to make them look like clowns. They designed “Trojan” t-shirts to give away at the far Rightwing festival Rock für Deutschland (Summer 2011) with the slogan “Hardcore Rebellen, national and free”, complete with skulls’ flags and other paraphernalia so loved by racists, nationalists and xenophobes. The punters at the festival took them up and wore them proudly, then took them home. However, what they didn’t know was that the ink used for the “Hardcore” slogan was done with washable ink; beyond the outer surface was another, hidden slogan: “Was dein T-shirt kann, kannst du auch” (“Whatever your t-shirt can do, you can do too”).
The target group for these t-shirts is the lessestablished Right-wingers who may be looking for a way to distance themselves from the “hardcore”. Having washed their lovely new t-shirts, maybe those “Hardcore Rebellen” will read the new slogan and look beyond the surface. Poster leaks ink. Tanker leaks oil. Dogwoodinitiative.org, a Canadian environmental organization for sustainability, in conjunction with notankers.ca are campaigning in the strongest terms against the oil tankers spoiling the British Columbia coastline and oil pipelines polluting their rivers. They printed some posters with just a big black picture of a tanker on them. No words, just a big ugly black oil tanker. And, then they fly-posted them around Vancouver. One of the joys of living on the Pacific coast is that it rains - a lot. And, when it rains posters get wet. The watersoluble ink picture of a tanker begins to run. And run. And leak. And drip, covering everything underneath it with black. Fortunately this black liquid washes off, unlike the 100,000 gallons (nearly 500,000 litres) that ends up in our oceans every year. The posters are beautifully conceived, and the weather does the rest. Oil spills affect everyone. Take action at notankers.ca
Top: A pedestrian walks by as the ink drips down over the advertising posters beneath. Above: Notankers poster before and after. Photos by Carson Ting .
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New microrevolutionary project Mašta online handbook!
Triggering to move from thinking to doing, by sharing different methodologies, best practices, experiences, advice and anecdotes about creative activism as well as extracting tips and trick from our own experiences, we have tried to nail down the very essence of it through the perspectives of those developing the creative activism. Creating a direct dialogue with creative activist through interviews and insider stories from the field, the handbook opens the possibility of exchange of opinions information – motivations – techniques. And - the project it’s not finished yet! The Handbook is an open process so we are happy to receive more action reports and interviews from around the world. Spread the word around and don’t hesitate to send us your texts - we are looking forward to read them and share them with Mašta Handbook readers. How to submit content: - Contact one of the editors and speak about your idea for the article. The general editors email is: email@example.com, - Sign up for a user account here (mastazine.net/user), - Send in your article, it will be seen and edited or moderated by the administrators, and then go online in the correct section and shared with all Mašta Handbook readers. The handbook will be updated periodically, follow the information in our beautiful website (mastazine.net handbook)! The next pending deadline is 1st of September 2013! See you out there!
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- There are also printed copies awaiting to be picked up & distributed in libraries, project spaces, community centres, house projects and other places. Contact the Mašta Berlin friends from Kulturlabor Trial&Error (firstname.lastname@example.org) and lets find a way to make the magazine and reader meet!
Colophon All submissions are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, except when otherwise noted. You can use the texs and images for non-commercial purposes, as long as proper attribution to the cretaor of the submission, and the Mašta magazine is given. If you are in doubt, please contact email@example.com. We would appreciate to know, what you do with our work. The articles published in Mašta do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Mašta magazine. /// Publisher /// Mašta network feat. Kulturlabor Trial&Error e.V. /// Project management /// Julia Vernersson, Maria Perez and Kulturlabor Trial Error e.V. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Who did the magic?
Crew /// Editor in chief /// Ruuta Vimba /// Editors /// EditorRuben Gomez Garcia Silvia Font Kaj Derks Alex Kemman Francisco Pedro /// Art director/// Sandra Wiesthal // Art department /// Jasna Dimitrovska Jet Harcourt Chiara LaFera Federico Fusco /// Cover /// Liene Rubane /// Illustrations /// Bitxo Sarah Clement /// Blog power /// Malte Reißig Tom Buytaert Tau Pibernat /// Proofreading /// Marcia Burnier James “Bar” Bowen Astrid Helen Olden Tomi Astikainen Dave Iddon
/// Hi 5 to /// Friends of Kulturlabor Trial Error eV, Ye Too Ponese, participants of CreAction! project, Loesje International, Oddstream festival and Oddnews International Journalism Agency, Memefest and PINA Slovenia, all the Maštasurfers, creators of Open Atrium program, followers and volunteers, lovers, friends and families, everyone, who believe in Mašta through years and still remain reliable supporters, all the distributors and submitters (both covered in the magazine and on the site), all the submitters whose works haven’t made it into the magazine, everyone who inspire us to make this magazine and who helps the Mašta community to develop and grow in the way it does.