Sunday, 26 July 2009

Makkah Beautification Project

Design team: Hafiz Amirrol, Sabri Idrus, Nasir Baharuddin

Competition WebsiteMakkah Beautification Project

Pyzdry Festival - The Communitarian Neighborhood Concept

Abstract from the full article of Pyzdry Day Festival, Poland
July 11, 2009 is the official day for the small town of Pyzdry in Poland. The artists-in-residence team from Malaysia is very fortunate to have arrived in this laidback, sleepy town on the day where the community of Pyzdry goes out and celebrate the commemoration day of their neighborhood. All preparation were done early in the morning – banners, tents, stalls, emergency posts, a small concert stage, etc. were being put in place and constructed by the community themselves, reflecting the strong bonding of the society, which was a by-product from their experiences of going through difficulties and hardships during the wars. Communitarian structure forms their social organization and from this structure, almost each family units and individuals understand and respond to their responsibility towards the community and neighborhood. Younger generations from big cities like Warsaw and Poznan return to their village – some arrived in style with convoys of super bikes, some took the almost dilapidated old bus service (which our team travel in together with them), and some even made their way by hitch-hiking tractors, trucks and so on. Observing these people, we can understand that no matter who they are and from which level of society they come from, the celebration day assimilates the people as one – the community of Pyzdry. From the large diversities and contrasts of different layers of the society, the appearance of social organization forms the concept of the spectacle, which if being referred from a historical point of view, is part of a class struggle – a fight for social justice in the living age of modern society. “One of the most remarkable characteristics of human nature is,” writes Hermann Lotze (1817 – 1881), a German philosopher, “alongside so much selfishness in specific instances, the freedom from envy which the present displays toward the future”.  This celebration of freedom is evolving from its position of relative insignificance, to becoming a tool in shaping a society, which in the words of Guy Debord (1931 -   )the Society of Spectacle. This spectacular feeling is being expressed not only during the night of celebration, where concert performances, dances and cultural events took place, but was also being expressed by the community during the preparation of the event itself. Like modern society itself, is at once united and divided, struggles between forces. These struggles have been established for the purpose of running the similar socio-economic and political system. The globalization phenomena, which is more likely is the capitalism invasion towards the world had caused social justice being left at a dilapidated condition. From these processes of ups and down, the society have formed a system of understanding between themselves, thus simultaneously resist the global phenomenon of capitalism.

The full article will be published soon

Residency Program Pyzdry

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Warsaw: Everyday Life as a European Social Imaginary

Abstract from the full article of the Warsaw - Pyzdry visit. 
Product of the imagination has been one of the significant contributors to the development of cities and its by-products. We shall begin with something of a schematic gesture for laying out some of the terms for everyday life in the context of today’s Warsaw – a city that has experienced series of wars under the control of the churches, monarchs, commonwealth union, the Nazi and the communist bloc of Soviet Union. From the observations, we have analyzed three areas where ‘everyday life’ and ‘modernity’ coalesce in dynamic ways – war (destruction), patriotism (rebuilding) and socio-cultural commodification (celebration).
We are living in an ever-changing world where technology and social pressures are increasingly dictating our way of life. With technology progressing faster than ever, and economic demand infiltrating our daily activities, we are forced to adapt to this way of life in order to keep up with our ever-changing world. Cities, at the same time, are experiencing changes as well. In the long term, we need to allow our cities to adapt and change with us. Otherwise, their inability to adapt and be flexible to our changing needs will cause them to become ruins, maybe together with its civilization.
From here, we are trying to see how art and architecture responded to the three conditions mentioned in order to survive these demands. First we need to study on the importance of the war events of World War I and World War II, its emergence as the socialist People’s Republic of Poland within the Eastern Bloc under the strong Soviet influence, and until the Revolutions of 1989. In other words, the first chapter will have wars, the rise and fall of regimes, social injustices, death camps, genocide, blanket bombings, concentration camps and so on as its background. These will bring us to what comes after it; discrimination, austerity, patriotism, rebuilding, reconstruction, celebration, and so on in the events of reshaping everyday life, and most importantly to ideas about everyday life. 

The full article will be published soon.