Open Futures, still here to be claimed consists of photographs of large vacant urban areas in nine capitals of the Western Balkans, including Belgrade, Tirana, Zagreb and Sarajevo. Beside documentation and archive, the project also has fictional dimensions. Although the sites are architecturally empty, they are full of stories. Each of these sites gives a condensed recollection of societal interest during previous socialist decades such as programs planned, investments and investors envisioned, and designers invited or competing. But, for some reason or coincidence all remain unexecuted--still to be claimed. At the same time current attempts to build on these sites reveal today's investments in society--foreign money, tycoons, privatization process.
These sites can be loopholes, virtual spaces, that catapult us into some of the most important dimensions of the local context. They let us read their past interruptions, changes of plans, political systems, ownerships, ideologies and visions through the accretion of time in material and immaterial evidence. And their empty, yet not intentionally undeveloped, status pressures them as the signifiers of the potential futures to arrive.
Starting from these story-telling voids, an imaginary map of real places is constructed--an ultimate fiction which combines all vacant spaces into “strategic emptiness," a potentiality yet to be constructed.
STEALTH.unlimited (Ana Dzokic and Marc Neelen) is a practice based between Rotterdam and Belgrade. They use participatory and knowledge-based models of action, dissolving lines of interdisciplinary fields, incorporating visual culture, urban research, spatial intervention, cultural activism.
STEALTH shapes opportunities where various fields of investigation can meet and where thinking about possible future(s) of the city are mobilized.
Visit stealth.ultd.net/stealth/ to learn more.
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