Performance Design as a Methodological Tool for Active Co-Existence in Contested Public Spaces
Marina's practice-led research asks what is the role of the performance designer in triggering active co-existence, in contested public spaces. The site of research is the south walled city of Nicosia, in Cyprus.
Nicosia is the last divided capital of the world and deals with debates in regards of equality and of use of space across ethnicity, class, gender and age, claims to territory and of national belonging, on a daily basis. The ethno-national matter tends to overshadow conflicts around the uses of public space. As a result, the interest of most members of the artistic community, whose work focuses in the walled city of Nicosia, has been directed towards the buffer zone and the conflicts that arise from the ethno-national matter. This enquiry acknowledges the importance and the affect of the buffer zone in Nicosia, which is still in place. However, the thesis chooses to focus on the urgent matter of the growing number of domesticated and privatised public spaces of the south walled city. Specifically, this investigation aims to find tools for the performance designer to play an active political role, through social engagement within these types of spaces.
The concept of agonistic pluralism is used to define the notion of active co-existence. The thesis employs theories on domestication, privatisation and gentrification to outline the types of contested public spaces that this research is referring to. By investigating the role of the performance designer as trigger, the research seeks to establish the contribution of the field towards socially engaged practices (agency of objects, agency of movement of bodies, agency of space, agency of the materiality). Through this practice, performance design is taken outside the theatrical orthodoxies, and applied into the urban milieu. By doing this, the enquiry contributes to the scholarship of socially engaged practices, and to the emergent field of expanded practices of scenography. This is achieved by using performance design as a methodology within socially engaged art practices.
This is carried-out by designing a series of tools for temporary scenographic interventions. The scenographic interventions can be applied to: 1) be used as methods of research by other artists and designers, whose practice is concerned with contested public spaces, to determine the needs and conflicts between the different users and stakeholders; 2) act as methods for social engagement and as triggers for active co-existence; 3) as educational toolkits. Finally, by identifying the role of the performance designer the research develops a manifesto for the role of the performance designer as social agent.
Hadjilouca, M. Panayides, O. 2017. ‘Branding collective actions: The analysis of Visual Semiotics used by active groups within the south walled city of Nicosia, Cyprus’. ICSVC Conference Proceedings.
Hadjilouca, M. 2015, ‘Enhancing Active Co-existence in Contested Public Spaces, Through Co-creation and Social Engagement’, Track 17, 11th European Academy of Design Conference Proceedings.
Conferences and Symposia:
d + ID Symposium, University of Greenwich London (2019), Paper presentation ‘Social Engagement and Active Co-Existence’.
COLLISIONS Research Festival, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2019), Workshop on Performance Design Methods.
Transformations: Arts, Cities, Mobility, Products, Services, Technology, RCA, (2019), Paper presentation ‘The Role of the Performance Designer Towards Triggering Active Co-Existence’.
3rd ICSVC Conference Cyprus University of Technology, (2017), Speaker and Paper Presentation, ‘Branding collective actions: The analysis of Visual Semiotics used by active groups within the south walled city of Nicosia, Cyprus’.
Porous Borders Symposium, PQ (2017), Speaker, ‘Performance Design and Social Engagement’ NORDES, 7th Nordic Design Research Conference (2017), Presentation at the Doctoral Consortium. 11th European Academy of Design Conference, Track 17, (2015), Paper presentation, ’Enhancing Active Co-existence in Contested Public Spaces, Through Co-creation and Social Engagement’.