Friday, September 28, 2007

Up to the him and her

Crowd Spree
Originally uploaded by zerodegrees
It is really weird if you think of it. During the last weeks I have been less occupied with daily practices like funding applications at work and have been able to take time for clarifying my thoughts, reading and talking to people. Taking part in PICNIC event was one of these clarifying experiences. As the Stranger Festival - my biggest project so far - keeps approaching, I find myself having a clearer idea on what I would wish to accomplish. Fab.

I wish to shift away from the organisation point of view and consciously take the angle of the individual. PICNIC was a good example of how the most innovative projects have managed to take personal needs and driving forces as the starting point rather than analysing different target groups or driving for the ultimate high-tech gadget. As someone said in today's workshop once again:"You know from the technical point of view, everything is possible."

I more and more feel like we should see the individual behind all their group belongings and foster experiences where people actually can choose the part of their identity they wish to perform. Concrete example: we should stop deciding that the way we approach a Turkish youngster is through their Turkishness and therefore limit them to their immigration background. We should find ways of working where people can tap in based on their current interests and passions and then get linked to other people with similar driving forces. We should build common ground through interest.

This does not mean forgetting notions of diversity and intercultural dialogue. By choosing where we put our efforts, we are able to build up a diverse audience in a way that is welcoming, non-patronising and participatory. In every action we should be able to answer two simple questions:
1. what does it give to the participant? Why would they do this?
2. how does it encourage interaction?

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