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Ptarmigan is no longer operating in Helsinki.

Ptarmigan existed as a project space in Vallila from 2009-2011 and a mobile curatorial/creative platfom until 2014. We no longer exist as an organised collective, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced as Ptarmigan during these years.

Some of the people who were involved with Ptarmigan are now operating Temporary.

Projektid

Ghettos anim
The City Ghettos of Today

THE CITY GHETTOS OF TODAY SUMMATION 2013-2015

Short description of the project

At the heart of the project lies a desire to redefine and re-examine the concept of ghetto in the context of today’s closed migrant districts. Through artistic creation and the sociologic research we aim to create a space where the story of Europe’s migrant ghettos can be examined and discussed. How do we talk about “ghettos” today and is it possible to redefine the word itself? What role does the existence of the ghetto have in constructing the European identity? What are the reasons for the phenomenon of the ghetto in contemporary Europe? Is it a co-operation with traditional society or simply a part of the anonymous city lifestyle? What characteristics define these migrant districts throughout Europe today and how do they connect to the collective memory of Europe’s past? The project consists of a series of workshops open to the local communities in different European cities – Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki and Berlin. Each workshop, run by artists and cultural operators, will be concluded with an art installation and debate on the themes of the project. The final event of the whole project – an art installation and debate that will collect the materials from all the European workshops will take place in Warsaw in January 2015. The project will involve artists, cultural operators as well as academics and social workers who will explore the theme of districts with large concentrations of migrants (the districts where they live, work, or study) in the European cities. The interdisciplinary feature of the Strefa WolnoSłowa foundation is reflected in the character of the project which combines academic and theoretical approaches to the problem with the artistic and cultural creation. Through artistic and academic research the project aims to explore the theme of migrant ghettos of today, reflecting on the various definitions and visions of ghettos within the contexts of Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp.

 

THE CITY GHETTOS OF TODAY comprised of 9 events

 

1. The project kick-off event took place in Bologna, Italy, from October 9th to 13th, 2013.

Participation: The event involved 71 citizens, including 5 participants from the city of Warsaw, Poland, 5 participants from the city of Milan, Italy, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 4 participants from the city of Paris, France, 4 from the city of Helsinki, Finland, 1 participant from Zurich, Switzerland, 50 participants from Bologna, Italy (between them Italians, migrants and refugees originally from Afganistan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Iran, China, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan, Camerun, Palestine, Marocco, Congo)

Short description:  The participants of the meeting discussed different points of view on the phenomenon of ghetto in their local context and created a detailed timetable of work for the coming months as well as discussed the articles – the results of the research part, their construction and content. The meeting in Bologna consisted of the discussions between the rappresentatives of the partner organizations on the project planning and methodology and of the activities open to the local communities - a debate on the theme of the contemporary ghettos in Europe, key-note lecture of Franco La Cecla, creative music, theater and video workshops and of the interactive installation presenting the first work in progress workshop results.

 

2. First city in the range of seven cities visited by The City Ghettos of Today project, Paris, France from March 9th to 23rd, 2014

Participation: The event involved 120 citizens, including 7 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 3 participants from Milan, Italy, 3 participants from Berlin, Germany, 6 from Bologna, Italy, 4 from Helsinki, Finland, 1 participant from Cyprus, 96 participants from Paris, France (between them French, migrants and refugees originally from Mali, Algeria, Moldova, Colombia, Chile).

Short description: The aim of the event was to open a debate comparing the situation of the city ghettos inside Paris and in the peripheral areas of the city. The different art methods aimed in describing the phenomena of city ghetto and in showing it deep social, culture and philosophical consequences. Participants saw how to process real human stories and sociological research in art. The final event of the workshop, open to the public, brought the problem of city ghetto to local community, media and authorities. From 9 to 23 March, The City Ghettos of Today’s international artistic team was in residence at Paris’s Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration (Museum of Immigration History) in order to create and present the first phase of the ambulatory performance-installation. This inaugural event explored the phenomenon of ghettoization in two neighbourhoods located in France’s Ile-de-France region: the Goutte d’Or in Paris and the Quartier du Parc in Nanterre. Coordinated by the Paris-based company Check Points, this double exploration showcased the collaborative work of locally based artistic researchers who were brought together prior to the European team’s artistic residency with the help of cie Check Point’s local partners (between them Université Paris 8, the association Atouts cours, Les Equipes de Développement Locale based in both the 18th arrondissement and in Nanterre). During the collective outing of the project meeting in Paris on 22nd of March, participants had the opportunity to view the in-progress installation, attend the performance, participate in a roundtable discussion and enjoy a convivial meal together with the artistic team.

 

3. Warsaw, Poland form May 6th to 17th, 2014

Participation: The event involved 93 citizens, including 5 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 3 participants from Berlin, Germany, 3 participants from Paris, France, 4 participants from Bologna, Italy, 2 participants from Milan, Italy, 1 participant from Palestine, 75 participants from Warsaw, Poland (between them Poles, migrants and refugees originally from Ukraine, Bielorus, Russia, Colombia, Marocco, Chechenia, Vietnam, China)

Short description: The City Chettos of Today in a Polish environment, used artistic exploration as a means of exploring the multiple meanings that the term “ghetto” evokes in the context of contemporary Warsaw. Over the course of the event, participants and members of the public had the opportunity to take part in the numerous theatre, music, sound design and video workshops that make up the programme. Led by members of the project team in collaboration with the State Ethnographical Museum in Warsaw as well as with the Refugee Centre in the Targowek district, this dimension of the project placed the voices of refugees and migrants at the heart of this process of artistic discovery. By conducting interviews and artistic workshops in groups, ‘Miranda gazes upon the sea’ created a space in which to reflect upon the presence of immigrant minorities in Warsaw: do these immigrant populations form inaccessible enclaves? Or, on the contrary, do they form relationships with Polish nationals easily? This project also considered how Polish populations see foreigners and examined their reactions to the presence of migrant communities in Warsaw. As such, events taking place during the first stage of this residency equally provided a space in which both Ukranian and Vietnamese, immigrants, minorities and refugees populations living in Warsaw were able to add their voices to this debate, namely, through participatory artistic workshops. Additionally, artists from the artistic team and workshop participants of the project met a journalist and activist, Jan Gebert. The meeting enriched the project research by addressing topics concerning the Jewish community living in modern and pre-war Warsaw. Combining theatre, visual arts and music, the workshop’s crowning moment was an interactive installation entitled ‘Miranda gazes upon the sea’, which took place on 17 May at the State Ethnographical Museum as part of The Night of Museums.

 

4. Bologna, Italy from June 24th to July 6th.

Participation: The event involved 78 citizens, including 5 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 3 participants from Milan, 3 participants from Paris, France, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 2 participants from Helsinki, 3 participants from Antwerp, Belgium 60 participants from Bologna (between them Italians, migrants and refugees originally from Afganistan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Iran, China, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan, Cameroon, Palestine, Marrocco, Congo)

Short description: The aim of the event was to focus on various forms of camps for migrants and political refugees located in Italy, Europe and Africa as contemporary ghettos. Project interviews focused on an Afghan camp in Patras, a refugee camp on the borders of Sierra Leone, a center for identification and expulsion (C.I.E.) in Bologna, and on a prison in Libya. The methodological hypothesis was to listen to those who had lived in such contexts, and through the reflection and analysis of anthropologists, sociologists, political geographers in dialogue with artists, to deconstruct those structures into constituent elements, with particular attention to categories "similar" to those of narratology (eg characters that act, typical dynamics, types of conflicts, structures of life experiences, objects). During the second week, participants and organisers used the key words emerged in such categories as stimulations for art workshops involving nearly 100 participants and embraced practices of writing, video, theater, illustration, and music. The final performance, which involved around fifty participants-actors from fourteen different countries, was titled ‘An Island is Full of Noises’, which is a verse from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Viewed through this Shakespearean lens, the "camp" signaled a form of isolation whilst simultaneously emphasizing a richness of possible voices and interpretive keys. The performance took place in the prestigious setting of the Cortile del Pozzo (Courtyard of the Well), the courtyard of the town hall of Bologna.

 

 

5. Helsinki, Finland from September 8th to 20th. 2014.

Participation: The event involved 73 citizens, including 5 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 3 participants from Bologna, 1 participant from Milan, 2 participants from Berlin, 2 participants from Paris, France, 1 participant from Antwerp, Belgium, 59 participants from Helsinki (between them Finnish, migrants and refugees originally from Somalia, Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, Chechenia, Senegal)

Short description: The Helsinki-situated project part of the international The City Ghettos of Today invited organizations and individual citizens to construct together meaningful experiences and artistic expressions related to the concept of ghettos. In Helsinki, the limits between groups of people are not physical, nor as notably spatial as in some other cities. Approach to the theme in Helsinki focused on knowledge, practices and skills that become isolated, when people move to Finland from other countries. The ghettoization is a process of searching for a group among which it is possible to share the wisdom and values that are not recognized elsewhere in the society. These invisible ‘ghettos’ are thus also sources of unknown skills and hidden knowledge. After Paris, Warsaw and Bologna it was Helsinki´s turn to received the installation that was travelling from one city to another, transforming its contents in each city. From 8th to 20th September, the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today led a process of workshops to reconstruct the installation inspired by encounters that offer different views to the local context of migration. During the process, locally created audiovisual contents were replaced the contents coming from the peer cities of the project. More than a ready work of art, the installation was a travelling tool for exploring the theme during the collective period of creation. The installation was constructed in the Cultural Centre Stoa in Itäkeskus and performances related to it took place in shopping centre Forum in the centre of the city. The process started with encounters with individuals belonging to different groups of migrants. Based on these interviews and the pre-work of the local team, audiovisual content was created in the workshops and located in the installation structure formed by different sized tubes. The tube structure also served as a scenography for the performances that had been created related to the installation. Seminar and public debate took place on September 16th 14- 18 at Lavaklubi, the stage club of the National Theatre. It was entitled ‘Global Pasts, Local Presents’ and presented case studies of The City Ghettos of Today project in the different European cities involved in the project: Paris, Warsaw, Bologna, Helsinki, Milan and Berlin. Researchers and artists from these cities described their local approach to addressing the concept of ghettos, the communities and partners with whom they have worked and the preparatory work in view of the project’s installation in their city. Cities that have already realized their installation illustrated with video samples how the preparatory process contributed to the installations and performances.

 

6. Milan, Italy from October 9th to 19th, 2014.

Participation: The event involved 84 citizens, including 3 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 7 participants from Bologna, Italy, 2 participant from Berlin, Germany, 2 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 3 participants from Paris, 2 participants from Anwerp, Belgium, 65 participants from Milan (between them Italians, migrants and refugees originally from Senegal, Marocco, China, Somalia)

Short description: The Milan stage of the project involved a collaboration with the Teatro degli Incontri (TdI), a group comprising twenty citizen-actors, including women, men, young, migrants. Working with the international artistic team, the TdI group brought their individual contributions related to the theme of contemporary ghettos to fruition in a final installation and performance; the sum of a year's journey. These individual contributions were rooted in on-the-ground investigations into low-income housing suburbs of Milan which took the form of a collection of interviews and audio- video impressions. The result was the production of the performance ‘Chiusi Dentro’ (‘Locked Inside’). ‘Chiusi Dentro’ was performed during the Milan residency in the courtyard of a council building on the outskirts of Milan and was filmed by The City Ghettos of Today international artistic team. The TdI group also collaborated with City Ghettos network to produce original writings, fragments of plays and songs. Continuing the project’s exploration of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, the Milan residency broached the subject of contemporary ghettos by focusing on the figure of Caliban: the charming stranger requiring education and taming. Explorations took place at the Paolo Pini in Milan.

 

7. Berlin,Germany from November 11th to 13th, 2014.

Participation: The event involved 67 citizens, including 6 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 2 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 2 participants from Paris, France, 4 participants from Bologna, 1 participant from Milan, 1 participant from Anwerp, Belgium, 51 participants from Berlin (between them Germans, migrants and refugees originally from Poland, Iraq, South Corea, Chile, France, Greece, US, Turkey, Netherlands)

Short description: The workshop opened a dialogue between participants on living in city ghetto and isolation of migrants and their status in Berlin. The different art methods describde phenomena of city ghetto and showed its deep social, culture and philosophical consequences. Participants saw how to process real human stories and sociological research in art. The final event of the workshop, open to the public, brought the problem of city ghetto to local community, media and authorities. The focus was placed on the urban and social changes which are currently affecting the city, such as gentrification and the resulting displacement of low-income inhabitants, often including those with a ‘migration background’. Former immigrant and poor districts often associated with the idea of ‘ghetto’, like Kreuzberg or Neukölln, have received unprecedented hype and developed into magnets for tourists and real estate investors during the last five years. Over the course of this, these districts, once the furthest limits of West Berlin and now central districts in the reunified German capital, have been increasingly populated by a new wave of immigrants. These newcomers, primarily from comparatively rich Western countries, active in the creative industries and often using English, not German, as a working language stand in stark contrast both to the pre-war German residents of Kreuzberg and Neukölln as well as the first wave of post-war immigrants, coming primarily from Turkey. The local partners OnElf Theater and Performance Collective and the English Theatre Berlin  International Performing Arts Center together with the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today invited, through an open call, an heterogeneous group of participants based in Berlin, ‘old’ and ‘new’ Berliners, from Germany and from beyond, to work and reflect on the changing living and social conditions in the city. Starting from the stories and biography of the participants as a representative ‘sample’ of contemporary Berliners and in a provocative relation with one another, a collective, controversial and lively portrait of the city was created.

 

8. Warsaw, Poland from January 15th to 24th, 2015.

Participation: The event involved 87 citizens, including 3 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 5 participants from Paris, France, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 11 participants from Bologna, Italy, 10 participant from Milan, Italy, 1 participant from Antwerp, Belgium, 55 participants from Warsaw Poland (between them Poles, migrants and refugees originally from Ukraine, Bielorus,Russia, Colombia. Marrocco, Chechenya, China, Senegal)

Short description: The January residency of The City Ghettos of Today project in Warsaw provided a synthetic overview of the project’s residencies over the past year in Paris, Warsaw, Helsinki, Milan, Berlin and Bologna. During the event, Warsaw’s State Ethnographic Museum welcomed artists, local researchers, coordinators as well as participants from all cities, all of whom took part in the project at some point during its year-long run. Over the course of this ten-day event, both foreign guests and Warsaw-based members of the public had the opportunity to take part in a number of practical workshops at the State Ethnographical Museum of Warsaw in the fields of music, theatre, sound and video. Participants were equally invited to take part in transforming existing audiovisual and textual material connected with migrants and refugees emanating from previous workshops in cities across Europe. Using artistic activities as a focal point, these workshops addressed the multiform ways in which migration has shaped Europe over the years as well as the different ways in which EU citizens have reacted to the presence of newcomers from Asia, Africa, Middle East and East. In this vein, The City Ghettos of Today used the language of art and of the theatre to explore different facets of immigration in Europe, ranging from personal testimonies to legal and administrative issues. Inspired by testimonies culled from cities across Europe over the course of 2014, Europe Island showcased personal histories, songs and short videos of migrants from Congo, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Vietnam, Palestine. This showcase took the form of an interactive installation that was held at Warsaw’s State Ethnographical Museum on 21 January 2015.

 

9. Paris, France from February 9th to 13th, 2015.

Participation: The event involved 63 citizens, including 3 participants from Helsinki, Finland, 4 participants from Warsaw, Poland, 4 participants from Bologna, 3 participant from Milan, 2 participants from Berlin, Germany, 4 participant from Anwerp, Belgium, 43 participants from Paris, France (between them French, migrants and refugees originally from Mali, Algeria, Moldova, Colombia, Chile)

Short description: The conclusive and evaluation event of The City Ghettos of Today project in Paris provided a synthetic overview of the project’s residencies over the past year in Paris, Warsaw, Helsinki, Milan, Berlin, Bologna and Antwerp. During the event, Immigration History Museum welcomed artists, local researchers, and coordinators from all cities, all of whom took part in the project at some point during its year-long run. Over the course of this three-day event, both foreign guests and Paris-based members of the public had the opportunity to take part in an open discussion at the Immigration History Museum in Paris about the project artistic and research outcomes. Public was invited to see the audiovisual materials connected with migrants and refugees issues emanating from the creative workshops in cities across Europe. Using artistic activities as a focal point project addressed the multiform ways in which migration has shaped Europe over the years as well as the different ways in which EU citizens have reacted to the presence of newcomers from Asia, Africa, Middle East and East. In this vein, The City Ghettos of Today used the language of art and of the theatre to explore different facets of immigration in Europe, ranging from personal testimonies to legal and administrative issues. Inspired by testimonies culled from cities across Europe over the course of 2014, Island Europe showcased personal histories, songs and short videos of migrants from Congo, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Vietnam, Palestine. This showcase took the form of a presentation and an open discussion that was held at Immigration History Museum on 11 January 2015.

 

10. EXTRA EVENT. Antwerpen, Belgium from January 27th to February 8th 2015.

Participation: 87 citizens.

Short Description: Partners in Antwerpen: KunstZ with partners MAS – Museum ann de Stroom, Matterhorn, Demos, Atlas, University of Antwerp.The City Ghetto's of Today will look at various European cities to the contemporary interpretation of the concept of 'ghetto'.
The City Ghetto's of Today is an artistic and sociological research.
An international project team creates together with the participants from different communities a place to look for stories, interpretations and issues on migration and diversity.The project visited Bologna, Paris, Warsaw, Helsinki, Milan and Berlin.
Under Sail performance is the Antwerp edition of The City Ghettos of Today. On the eighth floor of the MAS, overlooking the city and harbor, the students of the kunstZacademie show the result of the workshops.

 

 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission can not be held responsible for the information contained therein. Project co-funded by the European Commission - Europe for Citizens Programme and with the support of the Evens Foundation