On the network: Reclaiming words

Workshop: Engaging with Territories
Organisers: Bert Villa, Licia Soldavini, Patrick Hubmann
Guests: Alessandra Pomarico, Andrea Capaldi, Marie Vanderghote, Sofia Costa Pinto, Elisa Saturno
Date: 29/10/22

Constructlab’s work addresses communities, amplifying low voices, creating or strengthening alliances. It also addresses territories, making them visible, accessible, understandable in different ways through new narratives and constructed infrastructures.

What exactly are community and territory? We took the opportunity of the Constructlab Symposium to seek answers together with guests who have worked with us in the past, on a very diverse range of projects across Europe. Through their lenses, in practice and theory, we wanted to question, problematise, deconstruct and reconstruct these two words that are the coordinates of much of Constructlab’s work.

With Alessandra Pomarico (Free Home University, Lecce, Italy), Sofia Costa Pinto (Ensaios e Diálogos Associação, Almada, Portugal), Marie Vanderghote (Broei, Ghent, Belgium), Andrea Capaldi (Mare Culturale, Milano, Italy), we recognised the power of words like territory and community, the discomfort of using them in some of their current meanings, the need to reclaim them from those who have co-opted them and made them problematic.

We discussed how they can be transformed and lose their vagueness and indefiniteness when they are associated with sustainable relationships in time and space. We imagined their expansion, how territory becomes the planetary, how community embraces the more-than-human. We shared our tools to achieve these goals: cultivating permeability and horizontality over efficiency. Learning from indigenous communities, their cosmovisions and cosmopolitics. And also learning among ourselves, through moments of self-reflection like the symposium, in resonance.

Engaging with Territories was part of the digital symposium ‘On the network’ that was flanking the launch of the new Constructlab digital networking platform which is supported by the Fond Soziokultur with funds from the Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR.