Our sister charity, Fablevision, in partnership with artists in Sweden (Gothenburg and Stockholm), Poland (Gdansk), Belgium (Ostend), Greece (Livadia) and Ireland (Limerick), and Govan-based artists from the Riverside Solidarity project, will be sharing practice and learning new approaches in these post-industrial locations. The theme of participatory art practice is memory: what has formed and shaped the ideas of local people who have witnessed and experienced the impact of industrial decline and now look out on a distinctly post-industrial world. Each of these cities – members of the EU River Cities Network – has its own particular story to tell about the impact of long-term industrial decline.
The aspiration of the project is that this work will impact on future planning and policies in a manner which acknowledges – in the built environment – the heritage of such places both nationally and internationally.
There will be two artists’ residences in Govan with visits to the other cities involved to learn and be inspired by their example. The artists will work with local communities as well as politicians, planners and stakeholders. In the example of Govan, the artists will focus on the traditions of weaving, shipbuilding and engineering, which have played such an important role in shaping the memories of local people, the built environment and the landscape.
The premise is that just as we as individuals carry the markers of our origins and place in flesh, bone and memory, so these places carry similar markers in the water, buildings and landscape. By understanding these links, we can use the past as an instrument for constructing a new vision which can galvanise these communities into creating a better future. Just as there is a lore of the land, so there is a lore of water.