Studio SYN wins the Designing the Urban Commons competition!

Rainbow of Desires- close-upRainbow of desires

“Rainbow of desires” is a set of small pavilions installed in the open spaces of the Rhodes estate in Dalston. During a period of three months the pavilions are doubling as performative devices and workshop spaces based on the techniques of the theatre of the Oppressed and spaces of communal everyday life (public seating area, an open kitchen, an exchange library, a cinema). The central space becomes an active public space and the central stage of forum theatre, hosting the open performances. In the Theatre of the Oppressed, the audience becomes active, such that as “spect-actors” they explore, show, analyse and transform the reality in which they are living –the reality of living in a social housing estate, a currently ‘endangered” type of space in London through processes of privatisation, and gentrification. The social housing tenants often find themselves silenced and unable to react to the deterioration of their environment, their social marginalisation and their imminent evictions. We propose a periodical workshop with the social housing tenants based on Boal’s techniques that use theatre as means of promoting social and political change. “Rainbow of desires” creates social, cultural and material value for the community of the estate residents. The material refers to the actual space, the open space of the estate that turns into common space. The social value regards the sharing of experiences, desires and affects, the strengthening of the community. The cultural value is created through the theatre; it is the culture of the estate, of social housing, of its residents, the stories of everyday lives, of exceptional events and of their struggles, it the their shared history as a collective asset. A commons whose main values, empowerment and resilience stay in the hands of the commoners once the “Rainbow of desires” moves to a different estate.

 

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