Manifesto

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World Communal Heritage

* MANIFESTO*

Since the so called victory of western
neo-liberal capitalism, communal services and public space are being predatory privatized. It’s our task to stop the destructive appropriation of communal heritage by the tycoons! Before the words public and communal fade away from our vocabulary we want to remind of one great achievement of the 20th century: equally accessible public space. Here we are not referring to the public space as the place of representation for the state and its elites, such as public squares or state cultural institutions.
We think of the non-proprietary communal space created around the Modernist apartment-blocks often – though not always – built at the periphery of urban centers.
*
From France to the Soviet Union,
Modernist town planning and public housing
was driven by the idea of securing equal access to urban infrastructure, to light, air and green space. The solution were high-rise apartment-blocks that left a lot of open space for communal facilities such as schools, kindergartens, community houses with playgrounds, sports fields, pathways, and meadows in between the developments. These park-like spaces, immediately outside the dwelling, are available to all in equal measure and open for everybody’s use.

* Let us constitute those open spaces
as political space!  *

There are no safeguards or fences that
could slow down your pace! You can gather together without paying a fortune for the gentrified lifestyle in the inner-city! The openness, porosity and communicability of Modernist social architecture and
landscaping that takes shape in a wealth of
free space, pedestrian pathways, bridges, passages, niches, little woods and bushes
is giving possibility of direct action,
so let’s take it:
*

* Between the blocks, social movements are born! *

Obviously some part of society perceives this potential as a security risk
that is hard to control. In former welfare-states, Modernist multi-storey apartment-blocks are being violently condemned and – like the Heygate Estate in London – are being torn down to make room for new buildings for wealthier clients. According to the same profit-driven logics, the city authorities in former socialist states sell open communal spaces to private investors that use them for the purposes of individual exploitation.
*
The World Communal Heritage campaign supports communities and individuals that want to organize and take action to prevent the destruction of communal space in their neighborhoods.
*
We affirm the idea of common goods that are
managed by the community and we acknowledge the communal as heritage that must be further developed by the community – and not by individualistic interests.
*
Therefore we call to organize and to take over the future of the communal spaces in our hands!

*

Join in the World Communal Heritage Campaign! * * *

Any communal, open space can be nominated by citizens, individuals, groups or communities as World Communal Heritage.

We initially present several spaces that bear the attributes of World Communal Heritage. These are communal spaces in the following micro-raions, housing estates or satellite towns: Botanica, Rîşcani and Buiucani in Chişinău (Moldavia), Heygate Estate in London (United Kingdom), Block 70 and Block 63 in New Belgrade (Serbia), Gropiusstadt in Berlin and Langwasser in Nürnberg (Germany).

We invite everyone interested to nominate and affirm their additional suggestions!

You can use the stickers, the logo and material for the initiation of a new campaign anywhere in the world.

You are invited to self-organize and to install a panel indicating that a space is acknowledged as World Communal Heritage Site as shown on the pictures from New Belgrade and Chişinău.

World Communal Heritage is an initiative by Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić to affirm the open spaces of Modernist urbanism
as non-proprietary communal heritage.

*
* *

Svetsko komunalno nasleđe

* MANIFEST*

Od takozvane pobede zapadnog neoliberalnog kapitalizma, komunalno održavanje i javni prostori se predatorski privatizuju. Naš zadatak je da zaustavimo destruktivnu aproprijaciju komunalnog nasleđa od strane tajkuna! Pre nego što reči „javno“ i „komunalno“ nestanu iz rečnika želimo da podsetimo na veliko dostignuće XX veka:
svima dostupan javni prostor. Pod time ne podrazumevamo javni prostor namenjen afirmaciji države i njenih elita, kao što su trgovi
ili državne institucije. Mislimo na nevlasničke komunalne prostore stvorene oko modernističkih stambenih blokova, često – iako ne uvek – sagrađenih na periferiji urbanih centara.
*
Od Francuske do Sovjetskog Saveza, modernističko urbanističko planiranje i socijalno stanovanje pokretala je ideja o obezbeđivanju jednakog pristupa urbanoj infrastrukturi, svetlu, vazduhu i zelenim površinama. Rešenje je bilo izgradnja visokih stambenih blokova, koji su ostavljali dovoljno slobodnog prostora za komunalne kapacitete, kao što su škole, obdaništa, mesne zajednice, igrališta, sportski tereni, prolazi i poljane između zgrada. Ti prostori, slični parkovima, odmah pored mesta stanovanja, dostupni su svima u jednakoj meri i otvoreni za svačiju upotrebu.

* Izgradimo od tih
otvorenih mesta politički prostor! *

Nema tih čuvara ili ograda koji mogu ograničiti naše kretanje!
Živimo zajedno, družimo se, i ne dozvolimo da nam neki uzrupator naplaćuje prostor i podmeće džentrifikovani stil života. Otvorenost, propustljivost i komunikativnost modernističke socijalne arhitekture i pejzažnog inženjeringa, koji dobija oblik u bogatstvu slobodnog prostora, pešačkih staza, mostova, pasaža, niša, šumica i žbunova, otvara mogućnost direktne akcije. I zato, preduzmimo je:
*

* Između blokova, rađaju se društveni pokreti! *

Očigledno je da jedan deo društva želi da ovaj potencijal pretvoriti u bezbedonosni rizik, koji je teško kontrolisati. U bivšim državama blagostanja, modernistička stambena naselja se snažno kritikuju– kao Hejgejt u Londonu – i bivaju srušena da bi se napravio prostor za izgradnju novih naselja, namenjenih bogatijim klijentima. Prema istoj logici, koja se rukovodi profitom, gradske vlasti u bivšim socijalističkim državama prodaju otvorene komunalne prostore privatnim investitorima, koji ih dalje koriste za potrebe individualne eksploatacije.
*
Kampanja Svetsko komunalno nasleđe podržava zajednice i pojedince koji žele da se organizuju i preduzmu akciju kako bi sprečili uništavanje komunalnog prostora u svom komšiluku.
*
Afirmišemo ideju zajedničkih dobara kojima upravlja zajednica i u njima vidimo komunalno nasleđe koje dalje treba razvijati zajednica, a ne pojedinačni interes.
*
Zato upućujemo poziv na organizovanje i preuzimanje budućnosti komunalnih prostora u naše ruke!

*


Pridružite se kampanji
Svetsko komunalno nasleđe!
* * *

Građani, pojedinci, grupe ili zajednice mogu imenovati kao Svetsko komunalno nasleđe bilo koji javni, otvoreni prostor.

Za početak, predstavljamo nekoliko prostora koja nose atribute Svetskog komunalnog nasleđa. To su komunalni prostori u sledećim mikrorejonima, naseljima i gradovima- satelitima: Botanika, Riščani i Buičani u Kišnjevu (Moldavija), Hejgejt u Londonu (Ujedinjeno Kraljevstvo), Blok 70 i Blok 63 u Novom Beogradu (Srbija), Gropiusštat u Berlinu i Langvaser u Nirnbergu (Nemačka).

Pozivamo sve zainteresovane da imenuju
i afirmišu svoje dodatne predloge!

Možete koristiti nalepnice, logo i materijal za pokretanje
nove kampanje bilo gde u svetu.

Pozvani ste da se samoorganizujete i postavite tablu koja pokazuje da je prostor prepoznat kao mesto Svetskog komunalnog nasleđa, kao što je prikazano na fotografijama Novog Beograda i Kišnjeva.

Svetsko komunalno nasleđe je inicijativa Rene Redle & Vladana Jeremića, koja afirmiše otvorene prostore modernističkog urbanizma kao nesvojinsko komunalno nasleđe.
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15 Responses to “Manifesto”

  1. steve edwards Says:

    Owen Hatherley has written 2 books you should check:
    Militant Modernism and a Guide to the postwar Ruins of Britain.
    Steve

  2. hey, i only just discovered the website, glad to see heygate’s up there (btw it’s not in east london but southwark, south london)
    ps i used to live in ‘old belgrade’ so never experienced belgrade blokovi. i still have odd reactions to some tower blocks, as some, here in london, are fully ‘boxed’ and created to discourage any human interaction. oddly enough, one of the things i love about where i’m living now (on a council estate in south london) is the fact you can breath, there is an amazing amount of space around the buildings, full of possibilities.

    • hey, thanks for writing! I felt very much at home at elephant & castle when we visited southwark… probably we have seen the neighborhood for the last time, we heard that everything will be torn down. I had a look at Peoples’ Republic of Southwark, what exactly is it about? Have you lived in Belgrade for a longer time?

  3. Nebojsa Milikic Says:

    I propose the modern suburb of Iasi (Romania) and Bulevar de Chimiei
    http://www.world66.com/europe/romania/iasi/getting_around. But I wouldn’t be interested in the coding of this urban environments as a “heritage”, since such terminology employes historization and conservation. It would be more a “good practice example” : )

    • You are absolutely right and I’m happy you mention it: Of course it’s not about the conservation of these buildings nor the green spaces. We want to hack the conservative meaning of heritage and to transform it into action!

  4. i grew up in belgrade and lived there for 24 years!

    people’s republic of southwark is about sharing information/knowledge/skills, ‘calling a spade a spade’ when needed, getting people to do stuff together, questioning authorities, whoever they may be etc.

    heygate is amazingly unbelievably green (there are lots of beautiful mature trees + small gardens etc) and yes they’re knocking it down because, basically, the people who lived there weren’t quite the right kind of people for southwark council. that’s what it boils down to.

  5. …here I’m in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where lots of natural and historical places have been taken by capital! How can we build a movement to join forces? Please let me know so I could get in touch with some friends and let them know about it…Thanks in advance for the info…

    • Hi there, I don’t know whats exactly going on in Santo Domingo. In Europe we have the situation that since communism fell everything is getting privatized and communal is almost a bad word here! The combination “communal heritage” is irritating… Do you have such kind of “communal heritage” in Santo Domingo? Social housing blocks? Actually our campaign is not about protection of cultural heritage or nature, but about communal space. That means space that people share together, use together. Non-proprietary space. What would that be in Santo Domingo?

  6. Nebojsa Milikic Says:

    Just to add that the name of the mentioned Iasi modern suburb is The Upper Tatarasi and this is the building on its entrance http://www.world66.com/europe/romania/iasi/lib/gallery/showimage?pic=europe/romania/iasi/building_in_vasil

  7. Nebojsa Milikic Says:

    Well, it is really what I’ve sent though it is not the given building that I propose for the “protection” but the entire suburb of Upper Tatarasi… I hope I would be able to gather more images from the suburb itself, while the building in the Vasil Lupu street might serve as a “guard tower” of the protected area : ) as far as I remember it is from this exact building that one can properly observe and admire the Upper Tatarasi communal project!

  8. Hi,
    you may want to have a look at our documentary project re:centering periphery, where we are often meeting the topic of communal patrimony under threat by capital. It is a documentary film series about modernist ideology, its architectural outcomes and related everyday life practices of the inhabitants.
    http://www.oginoknauss.org/blog/
    I also suggest the case of Alamar in Cuba, although very peculiar: on one side, its communal potential was never fully developed , and on the other, the liberal threat still is not present in Cuba… online version of our film here:
    http://www.oginoknauss.org/blog/?page_id=1229
    The DVD can be ordered

  9. Thanks for your proposal! I’ve had a look at your projects – very interesting! What will be your next destination?

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