As part of the Art Inside Out residency program, baucircus was invited by the region of Halland (SE) and the municipality of Falkenberg to look into inclusive and critical potentials of the abandoned site Gruebäcken. Gruebäcken is a water stream engulfed by dense vegetation adjacent to steep banks. It divides two different socio-economic worlds: villas on the east side and a social housing settlement on the west.
Working in a stigmatized area, we found ourselves dealing with issues of safety-feeling, xenophobia, arrival and social solitude. Not invited by the affected residents, we had to recast the project to break the top-down framing of our collaboration with the municipality. We started with ground zero: negotiating the role and importance of participation and engagement in public affairs. This project has not been a typical baucircus project. The unfamiliar context made us challenge our methods and adopt new approaches. Here, you will not find a fixed group of people participating from beginning to end, nor will you find one big construction site. We chose instead to be there, present for conversations, games, activities and whenever possible: actions. We focused on a strong collaboration with the local association of residents (Sloalyckans förening) and tried to bundle children’s energies into collective activities.
Finally, we were able together to make the greenery more accessible, connect both water banks, transform children’s stories and games into me(n)tal figures placed by the water and bring residents in direct contact with the municipality to learn how to practice their citizenry rights. These are the traces and connections we left behind for residents to pick up on and continue with in another chapter.
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