In the second week of the CCCB’s “Culturenauts” activities, the project titled “Waking up the City” has been programmed from 6 – 10 July. Through workshops, the relationship between children and the city and its environment is explored by means of experimenting with the invisible urban structure and flows in public space.
The city is not only what we see with our eyes. Our surroundings consist of other stimuli apart from visual ones, but we frequently overlook them. Pedestrian crossings, traffic lights and maps can, with few exceptions, only be interpreted through sight. Nevertheless, our experiences in public space are also constructed by the other senses. There are sounds that quickly lead us to places in our cities, for example the noise of a market, the ringing of church bells, and even the contained silence of a library. Similarly, smells play a highly important role in the relationship between the body and the city. Each space and even every moment of the day present different olfactory experiences.
The children taking part in the “Culturenauts” activities organised by the Education section of the CCCB have been experimenting with the senses in games and workshops in which they discover a range of sounds and smells which have helped them to imagine urban settings and public spaces. Similarly, the different groups have designed neighbourhoods containing these sounds and smells, after which they have completed them with cardboard houses and also delimiting private space. All the neighbourhoods thus designed have come together as a big city.
The activity seeks this “awakening” in the children, encouraging them to discover the city’s spaces, basing this on a logic that moves away from the usual interpretation in which sight is the predominant sense to explore the city through their other senses. The workshops have been conducted by Arcadia Ars Inn, Sensorial Theatre, which works on creation in theatre for experience.
Guillem Pujadas Jané
Translation: Julie Wark