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GALLERY 2013

mobilization

Mailboxes
+
1/6

Description of campaign/project


From the beginning our task was to encourage people to take back public places by unsanction repair/improvement of urban environment. But at some point we decided that to properly advocate peoples interests we need to establish connection/feedback from all the different groups of people (including kids and older people, who don't use internet and smartphones). As a part of series of May Intervention (http://eng.partizaning.org/?p=2475) and later series of Cooperative workshops in Moscow districts we installed 15 yellow mailboxes in different part of the city with the inscription that says: "Write what is missing in your area and drop a message in the box. We will make a map of the problems and wishes, we will try to fulfill them or find someone who could do it better than we could. The program Citizens for Citizens. We collect opinions, complaints and suggestions and try to execute them solely on enthusiasm. Nobody is paying us for it. So remember that the many things that bother you can be fixed by your own hands."


DIY-navigation, social media and other medias as a platform for discussion of complains and ideas from people. All the results we used during summer workshops in 2012 to advocate people's interests. In couple of the districts in cooperation with our friends and partners we established pop-up forums/cinema theaters made of shipping pallets to discuss mails and following interventions with locals.


Our main goal is to promote idea of grass roots/participatory urban re-planning and encourage people to fix issues or, at least, think of what and how things in the city could be improved not according to some experts opinion but to those, who will actually use it. We believe that people better know what their cities/districts need and our role is to properly moderate the process of their decision making. As a result of this half-year long experiment we conducted hundreds of mails that provided us information about real peoples needs. Some of these requests we used for our own interventions, some of them was sent to city authorities, who fixed some of them. Also we showed mailboxes and selected mails at the exhibition in the end of the year.


That people actually know what they want, that they smart and ready to work/help if you know how to properly ask them for.

Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

I am a big fan of participatory urban planning and I think it´s a very important approach. The city became a huge battle field, all kind of interest group, city administration and merchant are fighting, on a political, social and symbolic scale. It´s mostly the people without voice and who cannot raise their voice « in 100Pt. type » that are neglected. ("Until that glorious day for global communications when every man, woman and child can scream at or sing to the world in 100Pt. type from their very own rooftop": http://www.billboardliberation.com/manifesto.html)
What I really like in this project is that you did not « only » collected in a fancy way the voices of the unvoiced – but you also tried to realize the ideas and help these people. So the actual work had a real afterlife that perhaps and hopefully changed and influenced some peoples lifes.
Some nice "arty" projects that have been done together with inhabitants:
http://rebelart.net/passagier-13-gehtisch-und-stadtbeutel/0014597/
http://rebelart.net/adriana-ronzewska-kotynska-audiomurale/0014339/
http://rebelart.net/lule-reconsum/0013978/

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Entry details

Title

Mailboxes


Headline

Research based intervention project in Moscow


Concept author(s)

Sonya Polskaya, Shriya Malhotra, Anton Polsky (MAKE), Igor Ponosov, Kirill Lebedev (KTO)


Concept author year(s) of birth

1989, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1981


Concept author(s) contribution

Group of street artists, activists, art historians, tactical urbanists, and researchers based in Moscow. But we consider as co-authors all the people, journalists, and municipal deputies, who took part in our project.


Country

Russian Federation


Competition category

mobilization


Competition field

nonacademic


Competition subfield

activist


Subfield description

Partizaning is originally based in Moscow. We produce, document, and analyze different forms of art-based activism, interventions, and urban re-planning from around the world. We believe that increasingly shared sociopolitical realities and dissatisfaction can be strategically addressed using art-based 'partizaning' tactics.