ARCHITECTURE [discussion] FUND

AGNĖ GAISRĖ, EVELINA ŠIMKUTĖ – COMMUNITY SPACES

file_15738131011547847344.jpgFoto: Ričardas Rickevičius

BETWEEN BUILDINGS: LANDSCAPE, PUBLIC SPACE, ENVIRONMENT

03 DEC 2019 / 20:00 / Miesto Laboratorija – Antakalnio g. 17, Vilnius

Why the talk is inspiring?

Although the responsibility for the design, its delivery and maintenance of urban open spaces in most cases fall under the scope of local authorities and hoards of professionals working for them, we, the city dwellers, guests and strangers, are the ones who use them. This talk, dedicated to two outstanding community-led projects – Miesto Laboratorija in Vilnius and Šilainių Sodai in Kaunas, will centre on urban spaces that are initiated, created and looked after by local communities. During the evening we will discuss what rights to urban space do local residents and communities hold and question if bureaucratic structures and professional omniscience is always capable to assess the different and differing needs of the ones who use urban spaces.

 

AGNĖ GAISRĖ, EVELINA ŠIMKUTĖ

How the speaker is exceptional?

For last 15 years Agnė Gaisrė has been working in non-governmental sphere. She is an advocate of gardening in urban spaces, or even in one’s balcony, and leads the courses related to it. In 2015 together with a team she founded the educational community centre Miesto Laboratorija.

Miesto Laboratorija is a team of initiative community members who established and have been operating the modern and environment-friendly educational community centre Miesto Laboratorija in Antakalnis neighbourhood in Vilnius. Here the green initiatives and practices that are easily applicable in a busy life of every city dweller are presented and nurtured.

Inspired by environmental protection culture from Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, we aim to spread these ideas among our local community and promote sustainable living, responsible use of environmental and energy resources and urban gardening.

The members of Miesto Laboratorija are united by their passionate engagement with environmental protection, effective energy use, creation of sustainable society, and many other similar themes.

Evelina Šimkutė is an artist and cultural producer working with socially engaged art and creative placemaking practices. Since 2015 Evelina is leading ‘Šilainiai Project’ – creative platform in housing estate of Šilainiai, Kaunas, which focuses on active engagement with the site and local community through a variety of creative processes – collaborative archives, workshops, artist residencies, talks and events. 

In 2018, together with sustainability practitioner Rūta Lukošiūnaitė she has started working with Šilainiai urban gardening community and established a project Šilainių Sodai (Šilainiai Urban gardens). The project aims to work together with Public Institution Kaunas Fortress Park in joint efforts to adopt Kaunas Fort No. 8 for community needs, encouraging healthy living, physical exercise and meaningful activities for local community members. 

https://www.facebook.com/silainiusodai/

Lietuviškai

ARCHITEKTŪROS [pokalbių] FONDAS

 

AGNĖ GAISRĖ, EVELINA ŠIMKUTĖ – BENDRUOMENIŲ ERDVĖS

TARP PASTATŲ: KRAŠTOVAIZDIS, VIEŠOJI ERDVĖ, APLINKA

Gruodžio 3 d. / antradienis / 20:00 / Miesto Laboratorija – Antakalnio g. 17, Vilnius

Agnė Gaisrė, viena bendruomenės erdvės Miesto Laboratorija įkūrėjų, bei Evelina Šimkutė, menininkė, bendruomeninės sodininkystės projekto Šilainių Sodai kuratorė, pasakos apie bendruomenių kuriamas, kuruojamas ir prižiūrimas miesto erdves.

 

Už paviršutiniško techninio kraštovaizdžio ir viešųjų erdvių įvardijimo „sklypo sutvarkymu“ ir siauro šias erdves kuriančių veiklų apibūdinimo „želdynų projektavimu“ slepiasi daugybė turtingų ir sudėtingų aplinkų bei erdvių, formuojamų skirtingų natūralių bei kultūrinių veiksnių. Jų kūrimas, gyvavimas ir nepaliaujama transformacija – gausybės skirtingų veiklų rezultatas. 26-asis „Architektūros fondo“ pokalbių ciklas siekia tyrinėti miesto ir užmiesčio erdves kuriančias, formuojančias bei artikuliuojančias veiklas ir apžvelgti skirtingus bei sudėtingus kontekstus, kuriuose jos veikia. Šių pokalbių tikslas – spatirti, kokias kultūrines ir aplinkosaugines vertes kuria kraštovaizdžio architektūros, bendruomeninės bei meninės praktikos, kokią prasmę jų veiklų rezultatai turi skirtingoms viešąsias erdves naudojančioms žmonių grupėms. Kviesdami pašnekesiams su žinomais menininkais, kraštovaizdžio architektais, architektais, vystytojais ir bendruomenių atstovais tikimės, jog šis ciklas lankytojus paskatins kritiškai įvertinti vietinės kultūros santykį su kraštovaizdžiu, viešosiomis erdvėmis ir aplinka bendrąja prasme bei kūrybinėmis veiklomis, kurios ją transformuoja.

Kuo pokalbis įkvepiantis?

Nors miestų atvirų erdvių projektavimas, įrengimas ir priežiūra yra miestus administruojančių instituticijų bei joms dirbančių profesionalų atsakomybė,  šių erdvių naudotojai esame mes visi – miestų gyventojai, svečiai bei prašalaičiai. Klausydamiesi istorijų apie du sėkmingus bendruomeninių erdvių projektus – „Miesto laboratoriją“ Vilniuje ir „Šilainių sodus Kaune –  kalbėsime apie sėkmingas bendruomenių inicijuotas, kurtas bei prižiūrimas miesto erdves. Diskutuosime, kokią teisę į miesto erdvę bei jos kūrimą turi gyventojai bei bendruomenės ir kritiškai nagrinėsime, ar biurokratinės struktūros ir ekspertinė visažinystė yra visad pajėgios įvertinti įvairialypius skirtingų miesto erdvės naudotojų poreikius.

Pokalbį moderuos kuratorius Povilas Marozas

Kuo pašnekovas išskirtinis?

Agnė Gaisrė daugiau kaip 15 metų dirba nevyriausybiniame sektoriuje, propaguoja daržo mieste ir netgi balkone kultūrą bei veda mokymus šia tema. Nuo 2015 m. kartu su komanda įkūrė edukacinį bendruomenės centrą „Miesto laboratorija“.

„Miesto laboratorija“ – tai grupė iniciatyvių žmonių, kurie kuria modernų ir aplinkai draugišką bendruomenės edukacijos centrą Sapiegų parke, Antakalnio mikrorajone, Vilniuje. Čia „auginamos“ ir pristatomos žaliosios iniciatyvos ir praktikos, kurias savo intensyviame gyvenime nesunkiai gali pritaikyti kiekvienas miesto gyventojas.

Įkvėpti aplinkosauginės kultūros pavyzdžių Amsterdame, Kopenhagoje ir Berlyne, norime juos perkelti ir į mūsų bendruomenę bei šviesti ją darnaus gyvenimo būdo, aplinkos ir energetinių išteklių tausojimo bei modernios daržininkystės mieste temomis.

Organizacijos narius vienija bendros idėjos – aplinkosauga, efektyvus energijos panaudojimas, tvarios visuomenės kūrimas ir pan.

Evelina Šimkutė yra meninkė ir kultūros prodiuserė, dirbanti su socialiai orientuotais meniniais projektais bei užsiimanti kūrybinės vietokūros veiklomis. Nuo 2015-ųjų ji vadovauja „Šilainių projektui“  – kūrybinei platformai, įsikūrusiai Kauno Šilainių mikrorajone. Šis projektas skirtas skatinti aktyviems saitams su vieta bei vietine bendruomene, įdarbinant įvairius kūrybinius procesus: koloboratyvių archyvų kūrimą, kūrybines dirbtuves, meno rezidencijų, pokalbių bei renginių organizavimą.

2018-aisiais drauge su tvarumo specialiste Rūta Lukošiūnaite pradėjo dirbti su Šilainių miesto sodininkystės bendruomene ir įkūrė „Šilainių sodus“. Šio projekto tikslas – dirbant kartu su Kauno tvirtovių parku pritaikyti Kauno 8-ojo forto teritoriją vietinės bendruomenės poreikiams, populiarinti sveiką gyvenimo būdą, fizinį aktyvumą bei prasmingas bendruomenines veiklas tarp vietinės bendruomenės narių.

https://www.facebook.com/silainiusodai/

Šilainiai Urban Gardens

For the past year I have been working with Šilainiai urban gardeners community, aiming to save and develop urban gardens in Kaunas Fort no. 8. It is a start of a long, hard journey, however this year brought some positive change and respect to senior gardeners, who have been growing food in the neighbourhood for a very long time.

This is a video from this summer events in Šilainiai Urban Gardens at Kaunas Fort no. 8 (middle part in English).

Some of Lithuanian press covering the garden developments:

https://www.tv3.lt/naujiena/lietuva/1012370/kaunieciai-sumane-kaip-gyvenant-mieste-tureti-savo-darza

https://www.15min.lt/gyvenimas/naujiena/laisvalaikis/is-emigracijos-sugrizusi-kauniete-puoseleja-silainiu-sodus-kaimas-mieste-kodel-gi-ne-1038-1167414

https://www.diena.lt/naujienos/kaunas/menas-ir-pramogos/miesto-sodai-silainiuose-daugiau-nei-paciu-uzauginti-ridikeliai-920665

https://kauno.diena.lt/naujienos/kaunas/miesto-pulsas/londona-iskeite-i-silainius-ir-svajoja-apie-zemes-lopineli-salia-senjoru-darzu-884654

 

Young Ideas – Inside the Creative Mind

December 29, 15:00 I will be giving a talk at an event called ‘Young Ideas – Inside the Creative Mind’ at ‘Ideas Block’ Vilnius, address: Pylimo g. 60, 01337 Vilnius, Lithuania.

I will be presenting the work done this year and a project continuing in 2019, collaborating with a fantastic team of people passionate about urban gardens.

Be the first to learn about the direction Šilainiai Project is taking next year!

2018 work has been made possible by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture artist stipend. Thank you.

 

Event information:

End of the Year celebration – two days with art, philosophical and material talks, conversations, ideas and coffee at Ideas Block cafe and creative space.

What are the future ideas? How does the young local creative scene look like? We would like to invite you to explore these ideas together with us through the arts and music, creative philosophy, sustainability, technology, the community and more. We’ll be searching for ways they shape our societies. Inevitably setting ideas in motion.

We will talk with a number of guests about the meaning for the creators: touching on culture, creative education and freedom of mind among others. This will be an expedition into ideas and people through different fields and philosophies.

[Young Ideas – a series of cultural and artistic events focused on development of contemporary and innovative ideas, as well as supporting young, up and coming artists, musicians and makers. The project is partially funded by Vilnius City Council.]

Free entrance.

The talks will be held in English.

Saturday (29th of December):

15:00 Šilainių sodai -> Introducing #silainiusodai: Urban gardening in the microdistrict -> Evelina Simkutė. Silainiai Project

LTK_Originalus_Logotipas_anglu_web2

 

Street Art in Šilainiai

Silainiai_elektrines_KONKURSAS_maz-205640.jpg

Calling all street artists!

Šilainiai Project is collaborating with Kaunas street art festival NYKOKA and inviting you to produce work in Šilainiai! There are five buildings to choose from, images and more info can be found on NYKOKA website: http://www.nykoka.lt/silainiai/en/

We are waiting for your sketches until August 20th via email labas@nykoka.lt ,please put ‘Šilainiams’ in the title.

It is going to be the first legal street art project in the neighbourhood and we are very excited!

Important: Please message us if you need contextual information about the site. We can meet up and show you around! silainiai@outlook.com

Šilainiai Project team

Šilainiai [Fortas] Project

July 15, 14:00-16:00

Address: Kaunas VIII Fort

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/120071465250072/?active_tab=about

Event partners: Kaunas Fortress Park and „Kaunas 2022“

2014-10-15 VIII fortas (17 of 29)

Photography by Elijus Kniežauskas

 

Press release (Lithuanian only)

ŠILAINIAI [FORTAS] PROJECT

Eksperimentinė instaliacija Kauno VIII Forte.

 

Dalyvauja menininkai:

Lahestan (Aleksander Haugen) (Norvegija) – improvizuotas elektro-akustinis garsas;

Paul Takahashi (Prancūzija) – performatyvi piešimo ir garso interpretacija;

Rees Archibald (Australija) – audio instaliacija.

 

Renginio partneriai – Kauno Tvirtovės Parkas ir „Kaunas 2022“

 

Viva la resistance!

Šilainių mikrorajonas, 2017m. liepos mėnesis.

Įvykio vieta – PARIS / CITADELLE NO. 8

Dar 1862m. žemėlapyje pažymėta Paryžiaus karčema ir kaimas / dingusi ir tik keleto senbuvių atmintyje išlikęs pavadinimas. Išnykęs blokinio absoliuto šešėlyje.

Citadelė / aštuntas fortas ant Milikonių kalvos,

1900m. – 1914m. Pirmas pasaulinis karas / apleistas / ir neapgintas. Taikus ir laisvas / kūrybinės rezistencijos fortas – anuomet tik vienintelis sprogimas, atsitraukiančios caro kariuomenės, susprogdinęs parako sandėlį ir sugadinęs vandens drenavimo sistemą.

Neapsemtos liko tik kareivinės;

Pirmas cementas Šilainiuose.

Pirma elektros lemputė.

Pirmas požemis.

 

Linkuvos dvaras – Napoleono kariuomenė

Caro kariuomenė                      Link – Ten.

 

Rezistencijos ir revoliucijos forma.

 

Pirma. Manifestas.

Antra. Vėliava.

Trečia. Įsitvirtinimas.

 

Bastilijos griuvėsiai panaudojami naujoms rezistencijos formoms – kūrybinei laisvei reikia autonomijos ir paslapties. Slėptuvės ir Viešumos. Manifestui nereikia sienų. Menui reikia.

Kartais net požemio. Akustinės erdvės. Smalsuolio ir įsibrovėlio.

Kažkokioje neįprastoje erdvėje.

Įpročio įveika.

Suplevėsavus vėliavai, šalia blokinio absoliuto,

Citadelės požemiuose

Rezistuojanti kūryba.

Nuolatos šalia.

Miegamojo erdvės.

 

O juk šios kareivinės ir buvo skirtos miegojimui – saugumui / prieglobščiui.

„Netrukdykite sapnuoti“ – šaukia rezistentas.

 

ŠILAINIAI PROJECT 2017 Events

I am thrilled to announce this year’s creative actions timetable. Some dates are still to be confirmed and I am sure more events will pop up, but this looks very exciting!

MARTYNAS_01_web.jpgImage: Martynas Kliučininkas, 2017 (Šilainiai Photo school workshop)

ŠILAINIAI PROJECT 2017

16 June – Šilainiai Project happening at BeePart in Vilnius, Lithuania / Culture night

14 July – Šilainiai [PARIS] Project

15 July – Šilainiai [FORTAS] Project

July – October – Šilainiai Photo walks and workshops at schools (dates to be confirmed)

August – Šilainiai Project artist residencies and ‘Tea with the artist’ meetings (dates to be confirmed)

11 September – Šilainiai [RESEARCH] Project

4 December – 31 January 2018 – Šilainiai Photo exhibition at Šilainiai library

 

This year Šilainiai Project artist residencies are partly financed by the Lithuanian Culture Council and Šilainiai Photo project is partly financed by ‘Initiatives for Kaunas’ and the Lithuanian Culture Council. Thank you.

The European Capital of Culture 2022 – Kaunas!

Kaunas2022

Image: judges visiting Šilainiai Project last month. Artwork by local artists Lukas Šiupsinskas (sculpture) and Tadas Šimkus (drawings).

Kaunas has been declared the European Capital of Culture for 2022. 

At this point I would very much like to thank the most resilient, hardworking home team, my creative colleagues and everyone who supported Šilainiai Project through it’s first couple of years. It has been a surreal experience and I cannot wait to start this new chapter for the project.

Next five years the activities in Šilainiai will continue and expand into other neighborhoods. I am very pleased that Šilainiai Project was one of the inspirations for ‘Fluxus Labs’ that are part of Kaunas 2022 programme.

“The Fluxus Lab, involving both local inhabitants and international cultural workers, are state of the art of creative participatory neighbourhood development.” – The Selection Panel’s report Final report, available: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe/sites/creative-europe/files/ecoc-2022-lithuania-selection-report_en.pdf

This is a huge challenge and an immense opportunity, that can only be achieved by working together. So let’s start a conversation: https://www.facebook.com/FluxusLabs/

 

ARTICLE IN ESTONIAN URBANISTS´ REVIEW U

KAUNAS – PRESERVING, REDEFINING, REVIVING LITHUANIA’S FORMER CAPITAL

by WILL MAWHOOD

Rethinking a neglected sleeping district
with Evelina Šimkutė

Playground by Evelina Simkute, 2012

Playground by Evelina Simkute, 2012

Much like all other large cities in the Baltics, Kaunas was very different at the start of the Soviet occupation from at the end. Soviet planning moulded, reshaped and greatly expanded the city, and their parting legacy to the city was the sprawling residential district of Šilainiai. Constructed in the ‘80s on a hill remote from the city centre overlooking the River Neris, its towers provide a home for over 70,000 people. The district, like many Soviet-era projects elsewhere, is often dismissed and demonised by those who focus on its grey, frequently dilapidated appearance and impression of monotony and neglect. But for artist Evelina Šimkutė, who was born and grew up in Šilainiai and has recently returned to live there after more than a decade in London, it’s an inspiration and a muse – and making the most of the creativity of the people who live there is her passion. As well as using the district in her artworks, Šimkutė organises photo walks and workshops for local people, and has recently started a residency programme, enabling artists from elsewhere to spend time working in Šilainiai.

Can you talk me through what led you to set up the project?

I grew up in Šilainiai and as an artist I have always been inspired by the site. I was documenting life in Šilainiai for eight years via photography and, whilst living in London, I also made series of sculptures, installations and videos about it. Each time I went back I saw changes and felt it was important to capture them. Nobody else was doing it.

So I started talking to the local residents. Senior residents were happy to share their eye-witness accounts of what the site was like before Šilainiai district was built, and those life-changing stories encouraged me to “dig deeper” – capture, archive, present, and start a conversation. Before the development of the panel-housing district in the ’80s, Šilainiai was considered to be a countryside on the outskirts of Kaunas, with small villages and two large townhouses (Linkuvos andSargėnų dvaras) with vineyards and beautiful gardens. Noblemen of the time used to spend their summers there.

I knew that if I didn‘t do something, very soon these stories would be lost. So I started running photography workshops in local schools and held public photo-walks in Šilainiai, where I met a lot of incredibly talented and driven young people. I learnt about the lack of encouragement and appreciation for their creativity, lack of platforms to share their work and ideas. Also, people who lived in Šilainiai for many years, expressed the wish for “somewhere to go locally”, and for accessible cultural activities in the area where they lived.

There are about 55,000 residents in Šilainiai, but no cultural centre. The library is the only non-commercial place to meet. As a result, this summer I set up a series of activities both in public space of Šilainiai and in the library: artist talks, screenings, performances, walks, exhibitions, poetry readings… Artists from different parts of the world came to live and work in Šilainiai. And so the project started.

What are things you’re particularly proud in achieving?

I am particularly proud of the conversations that have been developed with the local community. Some extremely important themes have surfaced, starting with notions of home, emigration, value of creativity for self-identity. I hope to delve into them deeper next year. Also, I feel very humbled that the project has inspired creativity among the local community.

A series of brand new works – paintings, poetry and other texts have been created. And most importantly – I am very happy for the new connections made – between myself and local residents, as well as connections between different creative people in Šilainiai, Kaunas and nationwide. It is very special to observe new friendships or creative partnerships forming.

What is the impression that people in Kaunas have of Šilainiai? How are you trying to change that (if you are)?

I guess people in Kaunas might see Šilainiai as a grey sleeping district with lots of shops where nothing much happens.

I am genuinely curious about the district: what was here before it was built? How did it look like? Who lived here? What was going on? Who lives here now? How is it changing? Why? What is happening now? What is not happening? Why? How can we use this site for creativity? What work does it inspire? And so on.

What can Kaunas offer that other cities in Lithuania (or elsewhere) can’t?

Kaunas can be old-fashioned and progressive at the same time, there are a lot of clashes of ideas, styles and layers of history, it is a little bit quirky and raw and that’s what makes it unique. It is honest and real. It is surprising for those, who take time to know it. It takes time to know it. It is grey and green. This constant state of flux, the vibrancy and the urgency makes it inspiring.

I get a sense that Kaunas is reviving after a long period of being in Vilnius’s shadow. Would you agree with this?

I do remember having to constantly travel to Vilnius to see movies or exhibitions and it did seem that the cultural investments were made into the capital “by default”. Young people wanted to move there to study, work and live. But the situation has changed dramatically in the past ten years. There are a lot of progressive, innovative and creative people living in Kaunas who know the town inside out, who are embracing and reviving it. It is very exciting to be in Kaunas right now.

Full article: http://www.urban.ee/issue/en/19#