→ Spring School 2019
→ Весенняя Школа 2019
→ Kevätkoulu 2019
Working title of the workshop: Obshchenie
The main aim of this workshop at the Reconfiguring Territories Spring School is very simple: to feed ourselves and the whole group. We will use this necessity as an excuse to explore our own as well as local habits and preferences that start with food and dining but tell a lot about class, cultural backgrounds, feelings of home and political inclinations. Let us carefully scavenge our surroundings for matters to bring to the table: radishes and cucumbers from the supermarket and a local dacha; eggs from a nearby farm; sakuski and toasts; lunch offers; Turkish pizza and Chinese takeout; undervalued grandma pastries from around the corner; overpriced puree soups from the university cafeteria; basement shops and banquet halls; strange jars in cyrillic with surprisingly familiar contents. Let us try to trace meanings, feelings and causes within every bite.
The symbolic title of the workshop is borrowed from the Russian language via sociologist Alexei Yurchak’s book “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More” (2005), which highlights modes of (mostly kitchen-related) communality inherent to slavic values and the Soviet socialist order (albeit in problematic manifestations). We will try to create an ongoing, open-ended obshchenie – “both a process and a sociality that emerges in that process, and both an exchange of ideas and information as well as a space of affect and togetherness” – to get a better taste of the legacy of these values and history within the local context, and how we (as an international group of progressively disposed designers residing in Narva for a week) relate to them ourselves.
Participants of the workshop will be encouraged to contribute with recipes and ideas for “setting the table” to prompt discussion among the group during dining times.