We promote the culture of small groups, local projects and spaces, and interpersonal communication. Every individual is important.
As a social and cultural being, each person depends on and interacts somehow with space. Public spaces which surround us become 'part' of us, and have an impact on our life, mood, and prospects. If these spaces are harmonious and created with care for real people, and not in the interests of bureaucratic institutions, political parties, and corporations, then they can encourage us to meet, communicate and interact. Conversely, if we treat these spaces personally, with love, care and creativity, we can build small yet effective bridges to confront cultural and social segregation.
According to the outstanding urbanist Christopher Alexander, the construction of humanized spaces and landscapes provides people with the possibility “Not only to love the places where they live, but even to love each other. These matters are all connected. If you live in a system of boxes, as most people do, you can barely struggle to achieve an effective life.”
This platform is devoted to those who create private initiatives and interact with spaces around them. Across many different countries, there are small projects, local activities, and the initiatives of residents, spanning the worlds of business and art. Unfortunately, these experiences are often situated in isolation. However, learning about them can significantly expand our vision of Europe and the World. As cultural managers and curators, we have been working for many years in Russia and Ukraine. Our experience and integration with the media and social networks in these countries will be a strong connecting point for further contacts throughout our network.
It is an unfortunate truth that many people are not only unaware of projects occurring thousands of miles away or in neighboring countries, but also on the local level. If you were to open a cultural cafe or local private museum in some town in Ukraine, it could be a very exciting experience to discover fellow enthusiasts in the Czech Republic, for example. The opportunity to share experiences and problems with them would be available, as well as the possibility of mutual growth. Becoming aware of other social grassroots activities can prove both useful and encouraging. Consider those struggling to rebuild a ruined public bike path in Warsaw, or the residents of Seville who created a garden in an abandoned railway station - life is full of such acts of bravery. If you are a musician in Russia, it could be very useful for you to learn about the existence of an independent venue somewhere in Germany, in order to hold a concert there. Cultural encounters can be surprisingly unexpected and powerful.
Such experiences can create sustainable grassroots networks, the necessary basis for real democracy. “We need to build Europe united in diversity; a Europe which is strong with small players from local and regional communities,” says Polish activist Lech Walesa. We wholeheartedly embrace these values with a strong desire to both contribute and spread them far and wide.
PeopleLoveSpaces.net is a non-profit media and is published by independent journalist Maxim Silva.
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