Global Network for citizen participation. Valencia. October 2010

Global Network

for citizen participation

Direction: Domingo Mestre

Programming: Ángela Molina F.
Coordination: : María Gómez-Lechón & Silvia D. Melgar

Free entry. Limited capacity

Sala Parpalló (c/Alboraia, 5)
Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia (c/ San Pío V, 9)

registration form

Students of Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (1993 syllabus) may gain 1 credit of free configuration for at least 20 hours attendance at the obligatory sessions.

The need to get all individuals involved in the construction of social issues is one of the pillars on which the  democratic ideal of citizen participation rests.  At the present time, easy access to new technologies gives rise to new forms of interaction and collaboration that go beyond every known frontier, including those that used  to exist between avant-garde art and popular culture. Thus, just as important museums share the limelight on the Internet  with anonymous virtual files, there also exist modest down-to-earth initiatives, closely linked to the idiosyncrasies  of the territory and its people, that take on an aesthetic significance  akin to the great works of art, although they obviously  do not share their market value.

A socio-cultural recognition that they obtain, precisely, because those who engage in these practices do not,  in most cases, aspire to anything more than a smile of self-esteem among those who still do not know the meaning of this word.  Within this sphere, one of the most interesting initiatives is this event: the Free University for Collective Construction (Unilco-Espacio nómada) [Unilco Nomad Space]. A project created in Seville, based on successful experiments incorporating artistic competences into the field of social work,  which designed its own methodology: social illusionism.

It is a strange work method, based on participatory action research (PAR), which defends the need for science to engage with social movements and other people in the construction of forms and experiences that will bring dignity to people’s lives.

An admirable goal that we want to extend to the field of art and technology in this event.


Unilco-Espacio nómada comprises a series of collectives scattered around different countries  in Europe and America. Some of its members will meet  in this event (Argentina, France, GB, Mexico and Spain) to share their experiences and present their models to local citizens and collectives. As well as representatives  of Unilco, theoreticians and artists in whose activity and trajectory social commitment is a priority, have been invited to participate. The activities, organised by Sala Parpalló, are structured in different formats: discussion panels (open to citizens),  lectures and ludic/relational activities. The aim is to increase both the emotional and intellectual connections of these collectives, and discuss the needs, difficulties and possibilities that arise when implementing specific projects.

Tuesday 19 October

Sala de Nuevos Medios. Sala Parpalló.
10.00 am to 1.30 pm. Discussion panels. Open doors.
Art and town planning based on social illusionism: Gestures, meanings and imaginaries.

Assembly hall of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.
5.30 pm Experiences, lectures.
Emmanuel Arredondo. Unilco-México/Cuernavaca. Encouraging self-management in community life in San Antón, Cuernavaca, Mexico.

6.15 pm Experiences, lectures
Javier Encina & Begoña Lourenço. Unilco-Spain/Andalusia. Story-telling as a technical tool and its application in Órgiva.

Assembly hall of the Institut Français in Valencia.

8.00 pm Lecture.
Catherine Charlot-Valdieu. Econeighbourhoods,Instruction manual.

Wednesday 20 October

Sala de Nuevos Medios. Sala Parpalló.
10.00 am to 1.30 pm. Discussion panel. Open doors.
Popular cultures, ordinary spaces and times in relation with new technologies.
Assembly hall of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.
5.00 pm Experiences, lectures.
Leo Ramos, Unilco-Argentina/Resistencia. DIY for activists.

6.30 pm Experiences, lecture.
Xelo Bosch & Cyrille Larpenteur, France/Paris. Social DIY, beyond the Illusion of art.

8.00 pm Experiences, lecture.
Daniel G. Andújar. Black holes, cartographies of information.

Thursday 21 October

Sala de Nuevos Medios. Sala Parpalló.
10.00 am to 1.30 pm
Discussion panels. Open doors.
Principles, techniques & tools of social illusionism.

Assembly hall of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.
5.00 pm Experiences, lectures.
Mª Ángeles Ávila Castro & Javier Encina, Unilco-Spain/Seville. Transference of the experiences addressed in the 21st century.

6.30 pm Experiences, lectures.
José Antonio Castro Pérez, Unilco-España/Málaga. Flexibilisation of structures by Public Administrations. Experiences in Málaga.

8.00 pm Experiences, lectures.
Michel Maffesoli. The constructive illusion: Towards a world of imaginary.

Friday, 22 October

Sala de Nuevos Medios. Sala Parpalló.

10.00 am to 1.30 pm.
Discussion panels. Open doors.
Transversal tools (technical tools) and organisation & diffusion of common cognitive abilities.

Assembly hall of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.
5.00 pm Round table.
With the participation of: Iñaki Bárcena (Parte Hartuz, Basque Country), Begoña Lourenço (Granada), José Socas (The Canary Islands) & José Zavala (Great Britain). Moderator: Almudena Rodríguez.
Experiences in community mediations

6.30 pm Round table.

With the participation of: Liliana di Negro (Urbomaquia,Córdoba, Argentina), Carolina Golder (GAC,Buenos Aires), and, from Valencia, Almudena Caso (photography workshop in Nicaragua),
Inmaculada López (Unilab project) and Salomé Rodríguez (El Pou del Quint, Mislata).
Moderator: Íker Fidalgo. Experiences in public art & activism.

8.00 pm Lecture.
Pedro G. Romero. The canon from the bottom: Estampa popular, Gong, e-sevilla.

Saturday 23 October

Sala de Nuevos Medios. Sala Parpalló.
10.00 am to 12.00 pm.
Conclusions of discussion panels.Open doors.
How do we want to keep connected?  What technological and methodological tools would we need for this? How are we going to do it?

12.00 to 2.00 pm.

Desayuno con viandantes.

Lindy Hop & Action of Citizen Participation.

Washing our dirty linen in public together.

The group Desayuno con viandantes will be  in calle Alboraya (between Convento de la  Trinidad and the park in calle Poeta Bodría),  so you can pick up a mug, a chair and some breakfast and join us in a morning full of surprises, While we are having breakfast, the Lindy Hop group Spirit of Saint Louis will be dancing in the streets round about. Besides, with the excuse of the breakfast, Sala Parpalló asks all the neighbourhood to collaborate in the vindicating artistic action:  “Washing our dirty linen in public together”.
Anyone who wishes to participate may bring some old garment of clothing and hang it on the clothes lines stretched along calle Alboraya for the public to use,  or hang on it a piece of paper with something they want to say  about the neighbourhood. Another option is for people to hang clothes on their own balconies.

The Alboraya district will be the first in the city to form part of this sort of artistic event, which will  be documented in video and photographs.  The intention of this is to set an example of what active  citizen participation means for a district.

* The clothes hung up will be donated to the needy or a charity organisation.

Assembly hall of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.

6.00 pm Lecture.
Pantaleo Elicio. The participatory territory as a space for experimentation; evaluation of knowledge, construction of common issues and economic revitalisation.


Catherine Charlot-Valdieu

Catherine Charlot-Valdieu is an economist and  president of the Sustainable Urban Development  European Network (SUDEN). The author of two fundamental books about econeighbourhoods: Ecoquartiersmode d’emploi and L’urbanisme durable. Her work addresses mainly sustainability in cities and she has faith in the econeighbourhood generation that will compensate for the excessive construction generated at other historic moments.

Daniel G. Andújar

A visual artist and independent consultant on issues of  free software and the Internet. Most of his projects promote the critical participation of citizens in political and cultural  issues by showing up, by means of his own trademark,  Technologies to the People, the power structures hidden  behind promises of false freedom and democracy  that accompany the mass implementation of new  technologies.

Michel Maffesoli

A sociology professor at the Université Paris Descartes – Sorbonne. Émile Durkheim Sociology  chair at the Université de Paris V (1981). Editor of publications like Sociétés or Cahiers Européens de l’Imaginaire. Director of the Centre d’Études sur l’Actuel et le Quotidien (CEAQ) at the Sorbonne and Centre de Recherches sur l’Imaginaire at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. He has been awarded prizes like  the Grand Prix of Human Sciences by the Académie Française (1992) for the book La Transfiguration du politique. He has published numerous books that have been translated into several languages.

Pantaleo Elicio

An independent consultant for small and medium sized companies on subjects like new technologies and social or labour  relationships and a member of the Collège International de  Philosophie de Paris. He has also worked for the laboratory of  Acma Robotique Renault and has coordinated university  research about the evolution of work and cognitive productivity  in the Paris region.

Pedro G. Romero

A visual artist who has worked for many years on  projects related to the study of interactions between  art and popular cultures. Among these, we would like  to give special mention to Archivo F.X., a project in which  he has been addressing the subject of iconoclasm since 2000 and  La noche española. Flamenco, vanguardia & cultura popular. 1865-1936, the results of which could be seen at the Museo  Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 2000.

Participants from the Unilco Network

· Leo Ramos. Resistance.
An architect and founder of the Unilco-Argentina group, which works on participatory art and architecture developing “tools” for social movements.

· Liliana di Negro. Córdoba.
An artist and professor at the National University of Córdoba, a member of the Urbomaquia collective, which works in the sphere of public art and cultural activism.

· Carolina Golder. Buenos Aires.
An artist and professor at Buenos Aires University, a member of the Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC) and the Mesa de Escrache,  which works with citizen collectives for memory and justice.

· Xelo Bosch y Cyrille Larpenteur.
Visual artists who have gone from public art to projects of participatory action research (PAR), focusing their attention on the furtherance of popular wisdom.

Great Britain
· José Zavala.
An architect, with a Master’s Degree in Dwelling & Urban Planning (AA), a doctoral candidate in the Architectural Association and director of the company Econovate Ltd. He addresses the transformation of the public space by means of sculptures and public equipment made out of recycled materials and by processes involving citizen participation. .

· Emmanuel Arredondo. Cuernavaca.
An architect who works on environmental issues based on popular cultures and with people from the community.

· Mª Ángeles Ávila Castro. Seville.
A social worker who forms part of the original group that designed social illusionism, based on the defence of popular arts and cultures as a methodological resource in the field of social and community interventiona.

· Begoña Lourenço. Órgiva (Granada).
A social dynamics practitioner; who is working to implement the project called Municipio andaluz sostenible (Sustainable Andalusian Town) .

· José Antonio Castro Pérez. Málaga.
An economist, who works to promote local participatory incentives. 

· Iñaki Bárcena. Basque Country.
The director of the Department of Political Sciences at the University of the Basque Country. A member of the Parte Hartuz collective, a group dedicated to research and training that runs a master’s degree course on community development and has had several experiences in participatory democracy.

· José Socas. The Canary Islands.
A participation technician at the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. His job is to produce self-management processes for young people in community contexts.

· Salomé Rodríguez. Valencia.
A visual artist who forms part of the citizen collective El Pou del Quint for the protection of farmland as cultural heritage, which developed from a workshop she set up in MIslata Town Hall.

· Almudena Caso. Valencia.
A cultural manager. She will present an experiment carried out in Nicaragua comprising photography workshops designed for the development of critical thinking based on Paulo Freire’s pedagogy.

· Inmaculada López. Valencia.
A visual artist. She will present the site-specific Unilab project, proposed as a management unit for the future network and as a nomad laboratory of participatory action research.

Desayuno con viandantes (Breakfast with Passers-by)

A group made up of architects and artists of different  nationalities who live and work in Valencia.
One Saturday a month since 2009, this group has held  a participatory breakfast in a public space. In this way,  they retrieve the tradition of taking over the streets to turn  them into meeting points for different collectives and citizens.  The breakfasts are fun and the form they take depends on the place  they are held. In this way the streets of Valencia are activated  and citizens are made to realise who public spaces belong to.

Lindy hop: Spirit of Saint Louis

Lindy Hop is a dance style that became popular among  Afro-American dancers at a dancehall called the Savoy  Ballroom in New York. Today Lindy Hop is a dance with  thousands of fans all over the world, who take part in  international workshops, where they swing for days on end. Barcelona is one of the cities in Europe where Lindy Hop is  most popular. 

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