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Sounds of Our Cities - Sant Andreu, Barcelona

Sounds of our Cities is an European project of Cultural Cooperation carried out between City of Roeselare, Dear Hunter, Aalborg Universitet and Idensitat and partly funded through the Interreg Creative Europe program. It aims to explore urban areas, focusing on the locality, including local audiences and reflecting on cultural identity in relationship with the community.

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The central artistic activity of the project is the development of two locative sound art exhibitions, which will be embedded into specific sites in the urban environments of Roeselare, Belgium and Barcelona, Spain. Each exhibition will consist of ten sound pieces, one by each of ten artists chosen by an European open call. The production of the exhibitions will be preceded by social mapping of each of two selected areas by Dear Hunter, during which a collective residency for all artists and a curator will take place. The final results of each mapping process will be handed over to the artists and will highlight points shared by both localities.

The process of developing the artworks will focus on the locality, including the local audiences and reflecting on cultural identity in relationship with the community. The artworks will together create an aural melody that augments the cityscapes through personal experience,and will be delivered in a sound format accessible through a digital application on smartphone or other devices. The works will be site and time-specific and flexible in their interpretation to different audiences. An interactive ‘game’ version of the exhibitions will be created and embedded on the project’s website.

The process of creating the sound art installations, comprising a diverse cultural content, invites both professional artists and public participants to consider the aspects of their identity which reflect the intangible culture of the community they are a part of. The consideration of a local identity of the selected areas within the creation process of the exhibitions enhances respect for its inhabitants’ needs, promotes cultural diversity and stimulates public discussion.

SoOC demonstrates new methods of urban artistic intervention and hence broadens attitudes and awareness of how cultural operators can work within public spaces. Target groups can experience public art in an innovative way, and local audiences can contribute to its shaping. It is anticipated to foster a progressive attitude in how artists, cultural operators and audiences can produce and interact with cultural and creative content in public space through digital technology.
SoOC sees the cultural and creative sector (CCS) as having an intrinsic role in stimulating local communities, highlighting cultural diversity and instigating intercultural and transnational dialogue. This project works to leverage this capacity through the production of public artworks that will be delivered in a unique digital interface to wide and disparate audiences across five target groups.

About the neighbourhoods

Krottegem is a popular neighbourhood in Roeselare, situated in the east side of the city next to the railway station. The City of Roeselare decided to develop a plan of action called “Krachtgebied Krottegem” (Impulse Krottegem). Roeselare intends to approach the challenges in a positive way using the power of the neighbourhood, including inhabitants, local businesses and associations. For a few years local people have been taking initiatives to improve daily life in the neighbourhood. Initiatives were also taken to enhance the look and feel of the neighbourhood, organising cultural activities and community driven initiatives. From the City of Roeselare the idea of “The Sound of our Cities” as an art exhibition / festival fits into the Krottegem neighbourhood regeneration process. That this kind of activity can improve the image of the neighbourhood and the city in the wider region, and offers the possibility to attract new activities, investments and (creative) entrepreneurship.

Sant Andreu is a district in the northern part of Barcelona with an industrial tradition. The area's prosperity originally came from agriculture, owing to the water that irrigated the land along the banks of the Rec Comtal as it made its way from Montcada to Barcelona. In the 19th century, following the establishment of the textile industry, the centre of Sant Andreu was home to some of the most important factories of the day, including Fabra i Coats, La Maquinista, Fabricació Nacional de Colorants as well as a large number of smaller companies and workshops. In 1897, Sant Andreu was annexed by Barcelona along with other municipalities on the Barcelona plain, but to this day remains the former town with the strongest sense of identity. Sant Andreu nowadays is a modern and lively neighbourhood, with a growing population, new green spaces, a variety of community activities, preservation projects for heritage, and a modern take, understanding this heritage through culture, innovation and the encouragement of diversity.

Sounds of our Cities is an European project of Cultural Cooperation co-founded by Creative Europe carried out between City of Roeselare (BE)Idensitat (ES), Dear Hunter (NL), Aalborg University (DK), and associated partners: Impact vzw (BE) - De Spil Cultuurcentrum (BE) - BOHM BOHM ROOM (SE) - Struer Tracks (DK) - Master Degree in Sound Art of Universitat de Barcelona (ES).

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