City Brussels, Belgium
A small square in a neighbourhood in Saint Gilles, Brussels, was recently rebuilt. Despite being equipped with some benches and being used quite regularly by teenagers to play football, it was primarily frequented by different, conflicting groups. The Ciclope Collective observed the development of the dynamics in the square from the windows of La Vieille Chechette, a bar-cooperative just in front of it where the members had started to go regularly in 2017. The bar plays a key role in the neighbourhood as a space for encounter and exchange, and to build social cohesion. The position of the square, which is at a crossroads between several streets that seem to reflect the different worlds that coexist in the neighbourhood, and the centrality of the bar combined to provide the perfect spot to set up a participatory project. A project for all, to make collective and creative use of public space for the common good.
Location A public space
Find a public space that can be used in a collective way by the neighbourhood, preferably a space with a potential that is unexploited, where different groups of people encounter each other, and that can be used to create something new collaboratively.
People Power Talking 'bout my generation
Involving people from diverse backgrounds and generations is the most important thing. Present your plan and vision clearly to the neighbours but, most importantly, listen to them! What are their ideas, and how can they meet in one collective project? These type of initiatives require active listening to different groups of people: children and teenagers for instance will have different views and wishes for a space than the elderly. Cinema has an incredible power in bringing us all together, from different cultures and ages, languages, life paths, faiths, etc. It can create an ideal space for sharing. Similarly, film-making (in all its forms) provides an ideal tool for co-creation in such a context.
Communication Get it on camera
It is very important, especially with a project that has to do with audio-visuals, to document the different steps on a camera (filming and/or taking pictures of key moments). It serves to feedback your partners and participants, to give a sense of growing of the project, and it has immense value to have this material at the end of your project to show the before, during and after. It's a multidimensional evaluation in itself as it serves to document the process to those that have supported you and you have to report to, and to those that have lived the project with to see the changes. Last but not least, all audiovisual material can be used to promote your project, invite participants, spread the word, and build appetite for future developments.