Wasteland Twinning hijacks the concept of ‘City Twinning’ and applies it to urban Wastelands in order to generate a network for parallel research and action. In October 2011 the initiators of Wasteland Twinning Will Foster, Matthias Einhoff and Lars Hayer will take part in the BaseCamp Stockholm residency at Intercult.
By subverting a concept which aims to parade a city’s more predictable and mainstream cultural assets and shifting the focus to Wastelands, questions of value and function are raised. From these questions, new practices are developed. Wasteland Twinning develops an understanding of the potential of these sites through cross-disciplinary models of practice. A hub wasteland in central Berlin has been established.
The online network www.wasteland-twinning.net functions as a catalyst for collaborative research approaches, critique and experimentation. Wasteland Twinning engages with the notion of wastelands as a complex inter-working of social, natural, and technological worlds and provides a unique link between people and landscape. This act of formalised solidarity between land and people will go beyond simple gesture to provide practical platforms for cross-cultural exchange.
Urban wastelands are at the centre of conflicts around cultural, economic and historical hegemonies.
The common notion still remains that wastelands are of no value until developed. However these types of spaces hold a unique and valuable role in the future of humanity as we question notions of progress and strive for more sustainable models of living.
Urban wastelands support inner city biodiversity, provide carbon sinks, improve hydrological attenuation, provide open space and represent freedom from the controlled built environment. As metaphors wastelands typify the cause and effect of our constant (re)development.
‘Promoting the idea of wasteland is obviously a tricky idea politically, since wasteland is a symbol of the withdrawal of the public authorities – withdrawal, not abandonment.’
Gilles Clément, 2008, www.blogsthema.marseille.fr