July 8th, 2013 – Today we get into the groove of hot afternoons and late nights with our first day of the SpaceID training in the southern part of the city center. The trainers introduced the participants to how we run a training course – lots of hands on learning, artistic practice, and engaging directly with the city around us.
We limbered up our minds and tongues by looking at the parliament buildings of our respective countries: Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain. Viewing the imposing structures, we noticed first the commonalities – wide footprints, large and impressive stairways, armed guards, and the kinds of people who tend to hold power in those places… white, wealthy, and male more often than not. We used this exercise to think about power that we see invested in the built environment and how that impacts us socially.
Turning our lens inward, we each drew on a sheet of paper our “favorite shoes” and what they “look/smell/sound/feel like.”
We got espadrilles that smell like the sun and high heels that look like extravagance…already starting to see the personalities peek through!
This exercise encouraged us to think in terms of metaphor and narrative – a skill we will need later in the week as we go out into the city streets to ask questions like How does gender show up in the trees and grass? or What rules of sexuality are communicated by the buildings and people surrounding me?
We were kind to the participants today because the rest of the week is going to be full and long, with lots of adventures in the city and deep critique of the public space we inhabit.