Stroll-fist time in public
Because of the pandemic, the open day was organized in a hybrid format, with two of the partners participating by zoom. Despite the non-ideal circumstances, more than 40 people were interested enough to show up in person and a few others were following the event online.
In the first part, the audience could get a general idea of the project and of the structure of the future course. Each partner gave a teaser of a specific aspect of the pedagogical content, thus we could hear about the relation between urban space and spatial justice, about the intricate ways the city is gendered, as well as about the importance of pocket parks and art in making the city habitable.
In the second part, two workshops were offered to those physically present. Participants played the game and stayed with us. In one workshop they were creating collective mental maps allowing them to think about spatial exclusion and inclusion. The discussions were lively. We learned for example that the tram line 6 is one of the most important organizing features of Budapest, that compared to India, the lack of public toilets is a scandal, while seen from Kirgizstan, Budapest is a heaven for those who are surprised by an urgent need while strolling in the city. We were also speaking about what practices, inhabitants, and urban spaces mental maps are making invisible.
In the other workshop, Urban meditation took place, participants were actually walking in the city, observing and observing themselves observe. After their return, they shared their impressions. Somebody said „I felt like I was in a Fellini movie!”. To finish in a poetic way, in the tradition of creative writing, the participants invented creative metaphors about the city:
"The city is like a street painting, because if we pay attention, the things we see in public spaces come together into a work of art."