1st August - 5th of September, 2021, Altstetten, Zurich
Neighbourhood of Commoning is a participatory project that explores “commoning” of space in collaboration with the citizens of a neighbourhood. A commons space is a bottom up organised public space. It creates a sense of ownership, belonging, and negotiation. The project was developed in the frame of the About Us! - Festival.
The project addresses the growing individualisation of western cities and the fact that physical space is mostly privatised or regulated by the government . So how can we initiate spaces that bring together all kind of people and are based on the sense of ownership and self-organisation?
During a one month residency in the city part Altstetten in Zurich citizens of the neighbourhood were invited to rethink the idea of private property and to offer their private spaces for collective activities. Throughout our stay we have employed various ways to reach out to the citizens and share our ideas on the topic of commoning. We spoke to people on the city squares and streets, send out written invitations, und organised several collective dinners in public space.
Commons in Altstetten
Throughout our stay we encountered a number of people who opened their resources to us, including a space for us to live and kitchens that we could use to prepare the public dinners. Our most inspiring encounter was with Clint who we met on Linden square. Clint was interested to support our project and soffered his private apartment for the collective activities in the neighbourhood.
At the About Us! Festival weekend we presented a short film that documents our journey in Altstetten, and people could visit Clint’s apartment, that was open to the public throughout the day. In the apartment we shared food and initiated a conversation on the topic of “opening your door to strangers”.
Citizens of Altstetten, Pankaj Tiwari, Dimitri van den Wittenboer
Pankaj Tiwari (artist), Dimitri van den Wittenboer (artist), Anastasija Pirozenko (cinematographer), Anna Woesner (scenographer).
About Us Festival, Altstetten, Zurich
About Us Festival, Zurich (about-us.ch)