Contatto is a new culinary culture that advocates a change in the current culture of food, challenging the existing one, which neglects essential sensorial experiences.

How many times we hear or read around us: ‘do not touch’. We would never say do not look or do not hear: so why do we think we can divorce ourselves from this one essential sense? Touch is a direct tool for knowledge. And tactile sensations cannot be expressed by words: we can understand them just by feeling and experiencing them on our skin.

Contatto provides a new approach to the materiality of food, proposing new ways for food preparation and consumption. Aiming to get to the essence of the human-food relationship in its most genuine level, Contatto removes unnecessary mediating components’: the objects that create a distance between the body and food such as cutlery, plates and some preparation tools. Instead, preparation and consumption focus on the hand, extending taste to the realm of touch. Using the hand as a surface where food is placed, the ‘touches’ (the way the courses are called in the Contatto culture) are built on this surface of our body, generating new gestures, etiquettes and a new vocabulary, challenging existing ones.

The action of serving becomes an intimate gesture between the ‘toucher’ (who is serving) and the ‘taster’ (who is eating), an asking-giving ritual.

During the Contatto eating experience the ingredients are placed on your hand by my hand. While the ingredients are moving from my hand to yours, you are being touched.

The toucher positions the ingredients directly on the taster’s skin, in a choreographed series of gestures, moving from the hand of one taster to the others. Even if not touching each other, the tasters are getting closer to each other: the toucher is guiding them in the same movement, they are part of the same choreography. Touching them one after the other is also creating a bond between them, feeling the same tactile sensations and emotions on the skin. The taster becomes an active participant of the process of preparing, serving and eating, reducing the distance that is a characteristic in a traditional western restaurant.

Contatto asks to push the boundaries of our comfort zone.

Removing the ‘barrier’ between the materiality of food and our body created usually by plates and cutlery, Contatto brings another layers of involvement in relation to food, our body, emotions and senses.

It is not just an eating experience, it involves an intimate rediscovery of senses and tactility, becoming a sensorial celebration of food and the action of eating. And those intense emotions will permeate and stay longer on skin than the ingredients do. I truly hope in a future you will be touched by Contatto.


Future of the High Street

‘Re-imagine’ potential uses of vacant spaces on the high street

As a result of global economic downturn, out of town and online shopping, and rising rents in London, the face of the high street is changing. Across England the rate of shop vacancies stood at 13.3 per cent at the end of 2014 [1]. These vacancies create a downward spiral for the local retail sectors as shop closures reduce footfall. Both sides of the political spectrum recognise this change as important due to its social and economical value, however, too often financial gain is placed above social value.

Where the GLA (Greater London Authority) is promoting culture as important to the high street, as it ‘could increase house prices by up to 30 per cent’ [2], communities are losing control of their own high street. There is an opportunity to challenge this situation by re-imagining the potential uses of these vacant spaces on the local high street. What can replace the social glue that high streets have provided for communities in the past?

Future of the High Street is not another pop-up shop. Based on pure social curiosity, the project looks at a more inclusive alternative to the redevelopment of the high street. During six weeks residency as part of a regeneration programme in Romford, a space has been created that could have multiple uses and house several local businesses on an hourly basis. The project challenges the notions of time and value, while testing systems of sharing in today’s economy. By participating in the project, the local community has been invited to experience the alternatives uses.



Mother Tongues – making sure migrants aren’t lost in translation

Mother Tongues is a proposal for an open source network of digital phrasebook addressing migrant communities lack of language skills.

Started as an implementation of phrasebooks being distributed in refugee camps to facilitate communication in the absence of interpreters, it aims to become a service supporting migrants’ settlement in European cities.

In times of migration crisis, it aims to facilitate communication in emergency situations as much as fostering social inclusion while accomplishing daily life tasks. It also empowers individuals to contribute to the social good of their local community, by using cheap tech, off-the-shelf components and relying on a non-commercial, open source infrastructure.

The network consists of a series of digital devices streaming translations as digital content – written text, audio recordings, icons – broadcasted by media wi-fi servers scattered around the city and readable through any laptop or mobile device. Basic unit of the project is in fact a “tongue”: an open source single board computer (Raspberry pi) connected to a SD card, a wi-fi dongle and a USB charger. The SD memory contains the content being broadcasted and users can access it by just connecting to an open wi-fi, without need for Internet or apps.

Tongues can be placed in specific locations where migrants are required to interact with locals, without an interpreter, using specific vocabulary. Asking for directions at a train station, enquiring about their rights with a lawyer, describing their symptoms to a doctor. The interface displayed on a smartphone connected to any “tongue wifi” allows to browse existing translations and add new ones. Tailoring the service to the needs of the community using it.

Friction Atlas

The scripts of law are drafted into our public bodies. They define movements and gestures, unconscious reactions, behaviours and anticipations. What happens when the laws become a game? What happens when we redefine the rules as the visible surface of a playing field, blurring the distinction between unthinking movement and a conscious submission as participants?

Everyday, citizens perform, on public surfaces, synchronised routines of elaborate moves. Through the simple act of walking in the city, we log into a system of rules and constraints, codes that regulate the circulation of citizens within urban space. They are sets of instructions, conditional statements, ultimately incorporating power; a structural force that plays into everyday life. 

The act of assembling in public space is both an individual and a group activity, involving figures, interplay and synchronisation. The resulting patterns and choreographies extend beyond exceptional events, to the most mundane of activities. It is not uncommon in the media, for example, to spot demonstrators keeping their march to one line, standing on the sidewalk, in Washington DC. Any reading or picnic gathering over twenty persons in one of New York City’s parks requires a special event permit. In Sweden, you might need to apply for a permit to dance in publicIn Cairo one is allowed to spontaneously discuss public matters only if there are fewer than ten people. Some regulations surely sound sensible, some bizarre, many are contested and strongly conflictual. 

Friction Atlas — a project initiated in 2014 in Ljubljana and expanded in Athens and Melbourne — aims to make regulations — always implicitly present in any public space — explicit and legible through graphical devices. Through the engagement of the public, we attempt to make the dynamics of authority become not only visually but also physically discernible.

In each city, we drew full-scale diagrams onto the pavement of public spaces to illustrate the rules that control their uses in overlay with rules of other cities, such as Genoa, Cairo, Washington, Stockholm, Sydney. We sampled from different cities in order to show not specific conflicts, but the pervasivity of minor and daily frictions. We deliberately designed and arranged situations — collectively organising an environment and a play of events — that then resulted in actions, dérives, crossings of the city. We invited the public to assemble, to participate in staged choreographies, to discuss, and reread the urban space, highlighting some of its hidden aspects. 

 The way the urban is regulated still lacks tangible representation; law is often too murky, while ungraspable, to be discussed. Designed interventions can help in bringing to the foreground what is otherwise lost to view, neglected, otaken for granted as someone else’s problem — too thin, shadowy, banal, and invisible. When the structure and the activity of a system is exposed it becomes legible. The experience of the urban environment grants citizens a degree of agency when the resulting mental maps can be operationalised, to enable reprogramming, hacking, and deconstructing.

Understanding law as a human artefact, Friction Atlas highlights some of the regulations invisibly traced upon any urban surface, as in a playing field. Through graphical devices and performative practices, it reshapes local laws into fully visible agents, providing possible models for opening up to new forms of civic and aesthetic engagement with hidden or abstract layers of the city.

Friction Atlas was initiated by Paolo Patelli and Giuditta Vendrame of design and research collaborative La Jetée for BIO 50, the 24th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana (18.9—7.12.2014). It was further developed within the Adhocracy Athens programme (29.4—4.7.2015) and the Performing Mobilities festival (17.9—31.10.2015) and in Melbourne, Australia.

Realism, Fiction and the Machine

Experimental Machine-Vehicles (M-Vs) are effective intervention tools to draw out knowledge and stories from a participating public. This is because M-Vs can create a dynamic multiple interplay of realism and fiction within the everyday performance of the city- the triangulation of Realism, Fiction and the Machine. The experience of realism and fiction exists in all aspects of life.  Everyday we continuously engage with fiction and realism in deliberate and unconscious ways. Questions emerge regarding the nature and efficacy of the realism to fiction mix across a range of categories of experience. Although difficult to quantify at this point in time, it appears that different categories of activity are best facilitated by their own particular mix of realism and fiction.  Further, the productivity of this mix appears to be maximised when the fiction component is at its strongest and simultaneously the realism experienced is also at its most dependable best. It also appears that there are a number of integrating or facilitating factors that influence the take up of this reality/fiction mix. These range from the generality of the environment in which the experience is taking place, to the specifics of M-Vs that are employed to generate actions and reactions. M-Vs can be used to facilitate greater knowledge (realism/data) and stories (fiction/unconscious) from a place/location, exposing, amplifying, intervening with and energising this reciprocal relationship between realism and fiction in the city.

(Provisional title) ‘work/ labor’

My art practice explores the field of tension between, on the one hand, art practices with a curatorial character (practices of showing, juxtaposing and connecting) and, on the other hand, art practices that are directly developed within the social fabric. The hypothesis is that although both approaches stand in opposite relationships to the institutional, they show a similar emancipatory desire and formulate a renewed view on the democratic functioning of the political space. Avoiding to make a distinction between the symbolic/linguistic qualities of a work of art and its societal vigour, my work aims to connect the putting on display of (the curating of) and the caring for (the curing of) the public space.

Under the provisional title ‘work/ labor’ I connect five carpentry students from a local vocational school, the two gallerists from the art gallery Transit Mechelen and myself, the artist. I asked the students to fabricate a display-case / box in which different documents that are related to the project (its creative/ economical/ art-historical process) can be showed and stored. One of these documents is a film registration of a performance that took place during the annual open house of the school. The performance consisted of the reading by the students, the gallerists and myself of a theatre dialogue written by a scriptwriter. The script, which presents the negotiations between the students, the gallerists and myself about how profits will be divided in case one of the boxes would be sold, has been discussed and agreed upon by all parties involved.

The work connects and juxtaposes multiple spaces and environments, notably the living environment of the students, the vocational school, the gallery and the Art-Collectors environment, the intimate space of the sculpture, the ephemeral art space etc. It evokes multiple ‘agonistic’ spaces that can be related to radical pedagogies and radical politics.

(Provisional title ‘work/ labor’, 5 wooden boxes, different documents: posters, texts, objects, memory stick/ film. The work is still in progress but will be finished by August 2016)



a DIY user manual for art practices in urban regenerations

by Irene Pittatore
Curator: Nicoletta Daldanise
With the collaboration of Lisa Parola, Luisa Perlo (a.titolo), Giovanni Semi, Alberto Vanolo (Turin University)
Publisher: Archive Books

The project stems from a comparison of two artistic experiences. Firstly, one between Irene Pittatore and Annelies Vaneycken, which was focused on regenerative urban interventions carried out at Porta Palazzo, Torino, during the international programme Viadellafucina A.I.R., in 2012. Secondly, an on-site investigation dedicated by Irene Pittatore and Nicoletta Daldanise to the dynamics of regeneration which involved citizens, cultural operators and artists alike in Mitte, Kreuzberg and Neukölln (Berlin).

The artist’s book – that will be published by Archive Books, Berlin – explores the reasons, as well as the consequences, of the public administration and investors’ choice of using inexpensive “young creativity” in urban regeneration projects in a period of socioeconomic crisis. Teetering over the potential contaminations between art practices, the social realm, public entertainment and spontaneous socio-cultural embedding, an artist, a sociologist, three art curators and a geographer discuss regenerative practices, strive to put the puzzles together and compare controversial case studies.

The final form the book took on is one of an instruction manual, without instructions . A “performing book” under development (to be), making the reader part of a journey between Torino and Berlino (To/Be) that became object of study, production and comparison of experiences of “public art” between these two cities – whether fruit of a rigorous research and production programmes or extemporaneous interventions in response to trend and/or convenience.

What does carrying out interventions in an area under regeneration mean for an artist? Who is responsible for the promotion of urban regeneration plans and who are they for? Just what responsibilities does the artist have to him/herself, the citizens and the patrons? Is the artist aware of the risks in gentrification as well as the economic implications involved in requalification programmes?

The key issues are eviscerated through interviews, essays, workshops, talk groups, photographs and on-site visits. This “half- written” book, with numerous blank pages at the disposal of both theorists and practitioners, has the scope of stimulating debates, from the pure and simple process of storytelling to pin-pointing critical instruments and a reference language to share.

A BOOK TO/BE’s structure and division into chapters is based on the operative and interpretive methodologies generally adopted in the production and presentation of this type of artistic intervention in the public sphere, i.e. long premises, participatory research and public confrontation, documentation of the territorial and scientific context under discussion.

Further information is available on line at: www.abooktobe.wordpress.com


The project has been set-up with the support of:

– the 2013 session of DE.MO./MOVIN’UP, under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – the General Management for Cultural Heritage and Landscape, Fine Arts, Architecture and Contemporary Arts – the General Management for live performing arts and GAI – Italian Young Artists Association
– The cultural Association Kaninchen-Haus, programme viadellafucina twinning residency, set-up and organized with the patronage of the Compagnia di San Paolo and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Artisanship and Agriculture Torino
 – Archive Books, Berlin.

And has taken part in:

– Festival Architettura in Città, Torino (2014 and 2015)
– We-Traders – Swapping Crisis for City, Torino (2014)
– University of Torino – Sociology of Urban cultures course (2014)
– kunststadt stadtkunst 62 magazine, the information service of the “Kulturwerk” of the bbk Berlin (2015)
– the Swiss television RSI – Space for Culture, curated by Alberto Vanolo and Irene Pittatore (2013)


PROJECT_16 began at the beginning of 2015 with a simple question: ‘How would you like art to engage with your city in 2016?’. Comprised of three site-specific projects in the streets of Lahore, São Paulo and London, PROJECT_16 commissioned artists engaged with participatory practices to reflect on questions of public space and its audiences. Emerging artist Paula Nishijima (Brazil), Emma Smith (UK) and the recently created Awami Art Collective (Pakistan) propose A project for people I don’t know, Chora and Black Spring respectively, in which they directly engage audiences of their cities to discuss art, their locality and the state of the world.

PROJECT_16 Lahore

Black Spring by Awami Art Collective, 2015-2016

Consisting of an almost 2000m web of lights, Awami Art Collective’s Black Spring connects the rooftops of the haveli (townhouses) of the Taxali Gate — one of the entrance of the Walled City that hosts the historical ‘red light district’. The luminous orange web evokes the colour of the upcoming Metro Line and the urban development projects and government regulations, which are changing the character of this ancient city and affecting its inhabitants.

Officially banned in 2011, Basant, a popular kite flying festival, is one of the events prohibited for security reasons. During Basant the local residents of the Walled City used to gather on the rooftops of the townhouses to fly the kites or enjoy the spectacle. In addition to recall the Metro Line, Black Spring was conceived as an initiative to bring back the local community to the rooftops of the Walled City to remember the celebrative spirit of Basant. To gain access to the rooftops the members of the collective gradually built a direct relationship with the local residents who actively participated in the making of the work. As a result, the intervention became an opportunity to raise awareness and share concerns on the current urban development and government regulations. On 13 February this year, the date the kite festival used to happen, the orange web installation was light up.

An 11 mins. film documents this process and includes some of the conversations between the members of the collective and local residents. The memories of Basant together with the consequences of the urban developments of the area interweave throughout the conversations. Through this collection of oral history and hopes for the future of the city, the documentary bears witness to a community that thrives through collective efforts.

PROJECT_16 São Paulo

A project for people I don’t know by Paula Nishijima, 2015-2016

In Brazil, Paula Nishijima proposes A project for people I don’t know. Composed of a two-day happening in São Paulo and an 18 mins. film, this work is the outcome of a two-year research project initiated with the Goethe-Institute of Brazil and developed through the collaboration with PROJECT_16’s curators.

With almost 600,000 visitors, the exhibition Frida Kahlo — connections between surrealist women in Mexico at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, is the occasion chosen by the artist to engage new audiences of her city and address questions of the use of public space and the role of art. On 19 December 2015 and 10 January 2016, thirteen people queuing to get into the exhibition were selected to talk to thirteen people leaving the show. They didn’t know each other; they were connected online. Scripted at some points, these conversations between strangers created mirror-spaces to counter two different temporalities and spaces. Drawing on psychoanalysis, the action gave voice to the audience to reveal the common expectations and anxieties of the people who form the queue and their journey from the street to the space of the gallery. Through these interactions, the happenings highlighted the audience’s unique position as a community in the public space and the potential for them to share thoughts while they are waiting. In this process, the online became the starting site for socialisation.

Whereas in the happenings the artist passed the three questions posed by PROJECT_16 onto to the audiences; this 18 mins. film presents the artist’s direct response to them. Rather than a documentary of what happened at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, the film unfolds as an extended part of Nishijima’s work, as her personal account of the state of art and audiences in her city. ‘How are these people trying to be part of their city?’ — poses Nishijima — ‘What do we want to show to ourselves and others by going to these exhibitions?’. In so asking, the artist deconstructs and reassembles the conversations between strangers in a new narrative, one that amplifies the project’s scope from the art and anthropological spheres to the political one. ‘To me’ —says the artist— ‘the political dimension of São Paulo as a city matters to understand why the audience of blockbuster exhibitions keeps increasing’.

PROJECT_16 London

Chora by Emma Smith, 2015-2016

Taking the concept of ‘cosmopolitanism’ as a starting point, Emma Smith proposes Chora. Composed by a one-day happening in the streets of London, a workshop at the Royal College of Art and its online manifestation, Chora is an invitation to reflect on our shared humanity.

Related to a previous thought experiment in September 2015 at Kunstmuseum Luzern, the work was initiated on 9 February 2016 through a happening in Trafalgar Square, the historic epicentre of London from which all distances to other cities are measured. The point marked by a plaque on the floor at the southern edge of Trafalgar Square served as a site to test the public nature of the city space and the modes of contact and exchange it affords. From this symbolic location, the artist started the dissemination of ‘chora’, a term derived from Plato as pertaining to a third space beyond the city. Through her interpretation of the Platonic ‘chora’, Smith proposes to found a new state, ‘a state of mind’ solely dependent on the power of thought, as a way of enabling the possibility for a global citizenry, free from conditions of citizenship, definition or border.

Based on this notion, passers-by were invited to take part in the artwork by means of taking a minute to imagine what it means to them to be a citizen of the world. What does it mean to have a global citizenry based on difference? What is the role of the city space? Through this happening, manifested as a ‘state of mind’, Chora’s meaning and actuality became entirely dependent on each person thinking it and as numerous and various as its participants.

As a way to capture the traces of this thought experiment and spread further the notion of Chora, participants are invited to post their silent pictures online and follow Chora’s social media accounts (@GloablChora #GlobalChora); sites that don’t post anything but just collect followers. In so proposing, the artist expands the scope of the work to the extended public domain of the World Wide Web. So Chora’s existence is established, consolidated and circulated online.


Curated by Lavinia Filippi and Amanda Masha Caminals

Conceived as curatorial research to challenge the principle of the ‘contemporary’ exemplified by biennales, PROJECT_16 is the first initiative of a network of artists, designers, curators, audiences and professionals from different domains to discuss, share and plan for the future through art. Developed by Barcelona based designers Eva Domènech, Laura Quintana and Claudia Oliveira, the website acts as a public domain where to address the query ‘what do we want to add to the world and why?’ (Maria Lind, Art Forum, October 2009).

Just Do It! Creative Strategies of Survival

JUST DO IT! Creative Strategies of Survival brings focus to local small scale businesses in Johannesburg and highlights the challenges and chances that they face through artistic interventions. Collaboratively with emerging South African artists the project engages with Spaza Shops in the township of Alexandra in order to learn more about this small scale entrepreneurship. Investigating daily activities, marketing strategies, social interaction and alternative business models the artists developed creative interventions that were presented in a month-long exhibition in and around the participating Spaza Shops. All projects were realized collaboratively with Spaza Shop owners, customers, employees and families. During the one month exhibition period, creative skills workshops with the local community were conducted by the participating artists.

In Johannesburg people show an enormous creative potential to invent their every-day life. One invention is the Spaza shop that is unique to South Africa. These shops grew as a result of sprawling townships under apartheid that made travel to formal shopping places more difficult or expensive. Spaza shops function as local convenience stores that initially were predominantly in the townships but nowadays are spread all over the country. There are about 100,000 Spaza shops in South Africa today with a collective annual revenue of approximately US$1 billion. Spaza shops are typically family-run businesses that are part of the house, or are kiosks in front of a private home, and are constructed out of any material available.

Spazas are not simply suppliers of goods, but take on the role of social spaces where the family gathers during working hours (often 24/7) and friends and neighbors stop by to have a chat and a cigarette. There is a growing awareness of the importance of the Spaza retailer as a marketing channel among manufacturers and producers. Coca-Cola and SABMiller (South African Brewery) are some of the very few companies doing deliveries to Spaza shops.

One of the main problems experienced by Spaza owners is increased competition with too many shops operating in too small an area. Limited financing is also a problem. Another threat Spaza shops are facing presently are the shopping malls that are being built in the townships. Supermarket chains offer cheaper products and therefore present a huge competition to the Spazas. More and more Spaza shops are closing down which not only means a lack of income for many families, but further a loss of community gathering spaces and the disappearance of a culture particular to South African townships.

The idea for the exhibition Just do it! stems from a fascination with the ingenuity that one sees in all aspects of daily life in Johannesburg, and a desire to further investigate how creativity informs the operations of these stores. Spaza shops themselves are small artworks and it is the personal stories of the people running these businesses, as well as their efforts, that deserve to be showcased.

In our globalized economy it is easy to take the individual in the complex network of trade, goods, and labor for granted. What does it actually mean to be a Spaza shop owner? Where do the goods come from? How do shop owners deal with competition? How many people need to survive off the small income generated? What are the social and economic networks in the local as well as in the global arena? And what can we learn from them?

With these questions in mind, the exhibition is designed in the township of Alexandra in close participation with Spaza shop owners and users. Working in Alex is challenging, delicate, and necessary at the same time. The township is located in the north of Johannesburg right next to the city’s financial district—Sandton—one of the most upper class neighborhoods and the country’s connection to the global economy. People from Alex commute to Sandton to work as waiters, cleaning ladies, or other service-related jobs. Alex is a semi-formal township and it is very unlikely that the normal Jo-burger would visit the township.

Breaking the boundaries between these two neighborhoods and their inhabitants while expanding those of formal exhibition spaces like galleries and museums, the exhibition took place within the parameters of Spaza shops in Alex. Visitors to Just do it! were asked to interact with the reality of the space and the site-specific interventions. Unlike the re-produced reality of a gallery space, the visitor had to engage with the Spaza’s community: the shop owners, family members, and customers.

The concept for JUST DO IT! Creative Strategies of Survival was developed by Katharina Rohde and was winner of the apexart New York Franchise Program 2011 that further funded the realization of the project in early 2012.

An Exhibition curated by Katharina Rohde. 
Featuring works by artists: Buhlebezwe Siwani, Keabetswe Mokwena & Reatile Mokwena, Claire Rousell and Sipho Charles Gwala.

Reconstituting ‘dwelling’ for the landless

The forest, lakes and wetlands that lie across the Great Lakes of Eastern Congo, Northern Rwanda and Southern Uganda are the dwelling space for tens of thousands of hunter-gatherer communities, yet many of these spaces have been reclaimed and appropriated by the state as sites of natural resources. Such resources are exploited through economic ‘development’ programs promoting industries of tourism, extraction and energy over the physical and spiritual well being of hunter-gatherers. As hunter-gather ancestral lands are re-territorialized, livelihoods, cultural and social relations are often dissolved; today these communities have some of the worst socio-economic conditions across East Africa.

Displaced hunter-gather communities often re-build transit shelters close to the edges of former lands, permitting intermittent access to resources albeit illegitimately. Shelters are built in a manner familiar to these communities – seemingly temporary and from freely sourced materials of clay, grass and wood. These dwellings are often targeted by the state (as ‘primitive’) and destroyed, with communities today forced to live and re-integrate via government approved ‘modern’ dwellings, yet without equal rights to land (to farm), employment and education.

This project is the first part of a long-term research question to explore the notion of ‘dwelling’ from the hunter-gatherer perspective, towards challenging definitions of what ‘development’, as a mutation of modernity, can mean and often does. This research hopes to destabilize and disempower such broad, totalizing definitions that drive practices of ‘development’ and to redefine and reconstitute these terms in a manner in which non-western communities concerns are heard.

This project works with displaced hunter-gather communities and human rights groups between Rwanda and Uganda.

The first part of this research (the reconstituting) takes the basis of what is called ‘participatory rural appraisal’; a group action where sites of value in the surrounding area are recalled through memory, mapped and discussed. The map in this case takes the form of a large-scale 3d model of communities’ former ancestral lands made on site from parts constructed and transported from the UK.

This mobile model as map has been designed, fabricated and reduced to fit within the weight and dimension restrictions of airplane luggage (i.e. within a suitcase under 20kg); in negative form of molds so that it can be re-made and repeated by the community; and in a module and technology that is familiar and affordable to local communities -the scale of a local brick, made from clay and water.

The activity of mapping cultural values begins to question state claims to common landscapes of forests, lakes and wetlands as economic resources, whilst giving light to former hunter-gatherer practices, beliefs and resources that could drive new activities and forms for a multi-scalar landscape to settlement design strategy. In addition this cultural mapping connects and overlaps with on-going international land-advocacy projects for hunter-gatherers that make legal claims to land lost as a consequence of modernization and ‘development’.

The design and acting out of this event is part of a broader critique of how ’development’ processes prioritize western over non-western knowledge that can have the sum-effect of rendering community participants as passive observers, bringing discussion to how power and knowledge relate to structural inequality.

Over a 10 day period this model was re-made onsite and mapped by a small displaced community in Rwanda.