The idea of community participation monuments is to change how we create public art. Go to your city centre or local square – who are the monuments/public art about and who made them? Does that king on a horse represent your life or the life of your ancestors? The purpose of community participation monuments is to put ordinary people’s history and lives central to what art is shown in our shared spaces. In the process, the people effected should do the shaping, designing and building. Monuments are always political and tell a story, the question is whose story? Community participation monuments are about getting organised, doing it on the street, and owning our public spaces and our stories.
Solidarity Park May 2016 (ongoing). This project is building a memorial monument to International Brigadistas of the ship Ciudad de Barcelona that was sunk in the Spanish civil war. The project method is to have mass participation in the process of creating a memorial. Over 1,000 local and international people have created art and participated directly in creating the monument. There is a parallel international schools project which has a direct involvement in designing the memorial monument. There have been a number of exhibitions showing the process of the work the latest being Brigadistas Return. The first stage of this project raised €20,000 from crowd funding. The second stage which is funded by the local council has now started. The physical monument is forecast to be completed by May 2021. See website for more information.
Periphery is the centre May 2019 (ongoing) – is a community art project to create participation monuments in Gothenburg, Sweden. There are presently two connected projects running, one in Angered and other in Rannbergen.
The people who live on the periphery of Gothenborg are the centre. They are the life blood of the city. By ‘periphery’ it is meant not just physically those who live in the working-class housing estates that surround the city but those who are on the periphery in general, whether it be by class, gender, race, or social situation, like refugees and immigrants. This project is about saying those that are pushed to the edge of society should be recognised, for we are the majority. We run society. We are the centre.
The main idea of the artwork is to celebrate our unity and diversity and together create a monument to struggle and internationalism of the people of the periphery.
Rannabergen Project –
Angered Project –
Murdered for Painting, July- 2019, Stockholm
On July 8, 1973, in Uruguay, Walter Medina, 16 years old, was murdered by police. He was shot in the back when in protest he was painting “constitution popular” on a wall.
Walter Medina was politically active, wrote poetry and played theatre. Over 5 days in the streets of Stockholm Rob carved a stone wall in Walter’s honour. We had public participation and importantly the family’s involvement. The process ended in an arts festival with many other participants creating protest art.