"LEAVE US ALONE" A MIRRORED FESTIVAL
PROJECT DEVELOPED DURING THE ARTIST RESIDENCY
10 JUN - 14 JUL 2019
WE ARE NEVER ALONE is a residency project curated by METASITU within the context of the second City Scanning Sessions urban festival, MANUFUTURING, in Ivano Frankivsk. Activists, urbanists, cultural workers, artists, architects, researchers, writers, theorists, performers, scientists, among others were invited from Ukraine and abroad, to come together for one month to develop, reflect, criticize, experiment, and suggest new forms of urban participatory practices. During this time, we established porous communities, among ourselves, and with others; groups based on affiliations and affections that were formed in the city - on purpose, as a necessity, or as a form of resistance.
During the residency our duo focused on the still running factory and its community of workers of Promprylad Factory which stand at a very precarious situation, as its industrial function gradually retreats, undergoing a deep social and built transformation.
We joined the workers in 2 weeks internship in the factory, working with them and observing their daily working routine and social rituals.
Our research aimed to shift the attention from the factory as a physical space, whose existence is measured and made accountable by means of quantification: production, costs, efficiency etc., to the social value that the factory is playing at the moment - ironically on the face of its impossibility to catch up with the current manufacturing levels of the market - still running to keep its community at work. We aimed at elevating these peculiarities, which essentially are banal in their isolated existence, but that all together give an honest image of the current present.
In an attempt to frame some of the reflections gathered during our action research in the (working) factory our proposal took the shape of a (mirroring) festival hosted by the workers of the (authentic) factory. A festival that acted, on the one hand as a celebration of this remaining and the peculiarity of its condition, and on the other hand as a (perhaps last) collective effort to mark a resistance in the current unfriendly environment for such a phenomenon.
We used the "protocol" of a festival to build up a program that eventually coexisted with the "City Scanning Session" Festival, hacking some of its programs from within.
The intervention was built with scouted materials from the factory, activating them for the one day festival.
More on the process here
"Leave Us Alone" is ironically used as the title of the festival in response to the name of the residency "We Are Never Alone", which we were part of during the creation of this work.