Monday, May 10, 2010

Looking for alliances

A roundtable discussion about the concept and practice of the "right to the city", it's relevance in Budapest is held on 11 May at 7 pm in Kaszinó (Budapes, VII. Nyár str. 29.) . It is going to be a meeting of grassroots urban activists from various fields to see, what they have in common and how to work together to create a city for everyone.

- Social Activism
- Street Art
- Independent Media
- Automomous Lifestyle
- Squatting
- Guerrilla Gardening
- Urban Games
... and many more, what the participants are interested in.

Let's gather for making a city, where all of us have spaces to live, to work, to play and to love.

Monday, April 19, 2010

This right has to be made

An article about our project (Right to the City workshop) has been published on an international Humanist press website. You can read the text in English here.

Here is an other opportunity to hear about the workshop and the concept and also about participatory democracy in Hungarian from the broadcast of "Demokrácia Most" in Civil Radio.

Monday, April 5, 2010

RTC in the air

As it seems that a few people were inspired by the topic of this workshop. Here is an article and audio recording about our panel discussion in Sirály:

And the show goes on. The Hungarian group has been invited to speak about the event on Civil Radio, which is a local non-profit radio station, in a program called "Democracy Now". The discussion will be on the 14th of April at 7 pm to 8 pm.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Big Coming Out

One aim of the workshop was to show up some product which was done by ourselves and reflects to the concept of Right to the City. In order to present it we got the occasion to invite people for a panel discussion to Sirály Cafe, Budapest. Four members from the workshop talked with the moderator about the theoretical background, about practical methods and about personal experiences.

Diana Szántó, Tessza Udvarhelyi, Peter Michalik, Jitka Molnarova, Adam Zajac and Zsuzsi Posfai, photo by Misenka

After that an exchange of views took place between the speakers and the audience, which showed that a many people are interested and involved in civic movements in Budapest. As from the conversation was spotted the biggest problem of the non-profit organizations are the temporary existing resources and the lack of co-operation.

photo by Misenka

It's true that there were many similar round table consultations but nothing too much happened after that. In one hand there are many examples for the co-work of the locally fixed initiatives (e.g. 6th, 7th and 8th districts, in Budpest) but on the other hand the people have to learn that democracy needs active participation and so the NOPs are going to work more efficiently if they get the support of the organized minorities or of the whole society.

Besides the discussion we were preparing an exhibition as well. All of us had to take photos in our hometown about the appearance or the lack of this right we were dealing with. The main topics are the social processes of urbanization, changing spaces and reclaiming public spaces. The collection of the workshops's participants is open until 15th of April in Sirály Cafe (Budpaest, VII. Király street 50.), for more pictures visit our picasa album.

photo by Misenka

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Motivate ourselves at first

As long as we are members of a group, we picked up the general operation of a group: staying passive while a speaker is holding a presentation. It was a good experience for all of us to see, how the society (or smaller groups with different interests) might behave when they have to appear as one person. The majority stays silent as usual and we have to learn methods and exercises how to motivate it. The best way to do this is to practice on ourselves.
Let's start the day with warming up.

photo by Misenka

On junk-clearance day we had a little competition: to pick up as soon as possible something from the garbage lying on the street, which we find nice or interesting as soon as possible. The winner was supposed to be the one who is the fastest and who brings the best piece, but looking for rubbish seemed to be so exciting that we stayed outside longer and "fought" with the inhabitants for the treasure. Finally we just made an exhibition of them and started to use them somehow.

photo by mér ien

We also got the chance to practice alternative theatrical methods and prepare a public perfomance, which showed us how many ways exist to get the people involved in movements.

photo by Misenka

At last half of the gruop went to Blaha Lujza square to do some exercise. We approached the place separately and one of us started to train and tried to invite the others. It was a kind of test for the mass and I can say it was a success because, we got not just a participator but a trainer as well.

photo by Misenka

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Picture report of the workshop

Preparing for the welcome party, sight seeing at night, taking part in the cleaning day, working hard - that's what we are doing and also having fun :)

photos by Misenka & mér ien

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mapping the right to the city

After we got to know what was the root of the movement, right to the city, we moved to a more pracital side and took part in common activities.
How does this right appears nowadays in the real word? The teams of four people got the direction and some suggestions but we all had to follow our intuition and spend time to make recognitions. There were tours to the VII., VIII. and IX. districts and one other to Buda focusing on Moszkva square.

photo by Vítek

My group went to Ferencváros, saw a lot of reconstructions and also a lot of newly bulit houses. Even though I live in Budapest it was surprising for me how was the population and the environment in that area changed. The district is develpoing shaprly but in my opinion still not too friendly. It takes time until the people start to use it.

photo by mér ien

To reflect for the problems we visited NPOs from different fields: environmental and ecological organizations, social workers, cultural or art groups etc. what we are going to present to each other tomorrow.

photo by Misenka

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Conflict is good

On the second day we heard about the roots of the idea: the right to the city. The theoretical side of it was based on Henri Lefebvre and David Harvey thoughts. Three models came up: liberal, communitarian and radical or so called rebellist.
The first means that this right is passive, we have it individually. The second one says that the active participation in public affairs creates this right. There is one huge table, we just have to sit there and talk about the problems. It could let us believe that it is an easy going thing but it isn't. There are a lot of tables with different groups and different interests. The last one which is the newest prospective of the right to the city says that the conflict is good it and it is a process. You have to disagree and maybe force what you think, because this is the only way to find conclusion or some result.
It's also important to note that the different groups have different kind of power so there might be sides what need more support (e.g. disabled people or old ones). And don't forget that radicalism doesn't mean violence at all but means that you want to change the status quo. That's how you can bring a change.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Home sweet home

The countdown has began, we are moving into Casa de la Música which is a hostel very close to Budapest's inner city. It will be our home for the next ten days.

This place also works as a dance school, has event hall and a nice cafe as well which was designed by the Roham team. They publish a Hungarian language art and cultural magazine.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Preparing for the workshop

On the second meeting of preparation for RTC we collected ideas and information what might be useful in workshop: list of movies for the film club, problems for mapping the right to the city and organizations for the field trips as well. It seems that all of the programs are arranged and we will be very busy.

We are going to see the most beautiful and weirdest part of the city and to have a little taste from the night life of Budapest. So you will need a comfortable shoes, a camera and your fancy dress as well. We wont stop.