Les in/occupant.e.s is a project that addresses the geography and choreography of public spaces. The name of the project refers both to the notion of occupation and the notion of circulation.
Concept and implementation: Alberto Franceschini, Ingrid Cogne, Ruggero Franceschini.
In July 2021 we organized a 2 week research residency in the city of Treviso (I) with 3 main activities: gathering knowledge, experimenting practices, encountering peoples.
The 1st week we dedicated time to expand our references regarding practices of occupations, as well as improving our understandings of the notions/concepts of public and common spaces - be it in the field of Art, but also in architecture and city planning, or concerning urban practices. This process was facilitated thanks to the hosting institution "Artika Eventi". Together, we also created a toolbox of questions and a protocol to collect data, that was refined and pushed further along the entire process.
The 2nd week was dedicated to pursue the collecting of data based on the principle of spoken meeting with passers-by, building on three starting questions and supported by a map. The interviewed people help us in finding loved, hated, secret, special public and common spaces in the specific context of Treviso. In parallel, we started a series of try-out of activities we would find interesting, relevant, or amusing, to change the perceptions one may have on the ways in which what is “public” - in other word, collective, shared, common - can become a space of activities that goes beyond “passing through” is. Little by little, the collection of data and the tryout of practices became intertwined, which allowed us to playfully combine our new knowledge and experience (in)to forms of interaction with an audience.
At the of the research - residency we organized an event for two groups of audience in order to revisit with spectators two different itineraries in the city centre of Treviso. Our aim was to share and involve the audience in our practices of public space. The event finished with a final gathering, during which the prototype of “Les in/occupant.e.s Kit” was presented, The kit is a folder which contained some materials that can be used for practices of occupation and that could be used by the audience to try and discover their own practices of occupation.
We created furhtermore a sort of Manifesto of the project (which was contained in the Kit). The manifesto stated the important conceptual points of “Les in/occupant.e.s” but it also offered a description of some of the field-practices explored in Treviso, a protocol of conversation to facilitate a collection of data when encountering passers-by.
The project got very positive feedback and some of the persons interviewed are now following the project on social media. We among others communicated the project on a dedicated Instagram account (@lesinoccupant.e.s) to share with our followers pictures of our practices in public spaces.