October 17, 2021 → Who Are We #5 Spot on Economies at PACT Zollverein

From October 1st to 17th 2021 we took part in the residency programme “Spot on Economies” at PACT Zollverein in Essen (Germany). Curated by Livia Andrea Piazza in collaboration with Juliane Beck and Stefan Hilterhaus, this year’s program brought together artistic, theoretical and practical positions on economies.

Deepening the practice of and research conducted within our Who Are We initiative, over the course of two weeks we had the possibility to stretch our tentacles in many directions, exploring fields or directions in which to develop in the future: we researched genealogies of FLINTA* (art) spaces, built up a library of theoretical experiences, researched institutions and agencies that could be able to support us, cultivated a space for self-care for us and the other residents.

On the weekends we had the chance to participate in a very interesting and varied public programme: we confronted the neo-liberal system based on scarcity with an activism of abundance (Valeria Graziano and Giulia Palladini). We staged a Common Wallet, imagining how to unlearn negative associations between money, precarity and taboos, and replace them with practices of radical trust. Finally, we talked about the necessity to decolonise the faculties of economy (Surbhi Kesar and Ingrid Kvangraven).

The atmosphere of mutual support, trust and exchange with the speakers, the local team at PACT and especially with the many residents has been a continuous inspiration and fundamental to the development of our research.

Who are We? is a discursive, self-reflexive event format that strives to accompany its participants’ independent spatial and artistic practices of sensible, urban transformation. Its first session happened in 2020 in Berlin. The initiative aims to encourage a discussion on collaborative organisations: Who belongs to them? What are the existing power structures? Which communication and decision-making cultures are prevailing?  Which projects, spaces, cities “we” design and build accordingly? How do they influence the way “our” city is produced and represented?

by: Licia Soldavini & Mascha Fehse