MIASTOmovie 6: STREET
We dedicated MIASTOmovie 2018 to the street. The history of cities is the history of streets as well. For the centuries, all the city parts leaned their communication function on the street. Even if we have canals, like in Venice, the function itself is not changing. Both narrow, middle aged alleys and wide trackways from the same era were used for sharing informations. People not only used them for travelling but also for communicating with one another. City communities used to spent all day long on the streets, especially, that they were lacking luxuries at they own space with thatched roof.
Jane Jacobs at the opening of ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ writes: ‘Streets in cities serve many purposes besides carrying vehicles, and city sidewalks – the pedestrian parts of the street – serve many purposes besides carrying pedestrians. These uses are bound up with circulation but are not identical with it and in their own right they are at least as basic as circulation to the proper workings of cities’. For many years public space was created on the street, it was like some sort of agora, centre for ideas and news exchange. Thanks to that the local identity and social affiliation were developing. Social and cultural role of the street was well seen on the boulevards and wide alleys that were perfect for taking walks and meetings.
All of these traditions were broken by the 20th century which came with the radical changes for a city. The era of motorization has made the streets subordinated to the car traffic. Reorganisations and developments of city arteries were made under the dictates of ‘throughput doctrine’. It came along with the functionalist idea of modernism – cities were supposed to be divided into dedicated areas. City organism has been made into serving peoples, in big steel machines, easy transportation from one A to B. But the century that we live in, and it’s been lasting for almost two decades, comes with the renesanse of various ideas of what the street should serve for. Nowadays cyclists, pedestrians and even animals want to get back on the street. We want to be present there in more significant way. In modern city discourse we get to meet the ‘streetfight’ narration Just like in the book written by Janette Sadik-Khan, which by the way has a subheading: ‘Handbook for an Urban Revolution’. Strollers of digital era are taking over downtown boulevards. They are documenting, with their smartphones, all the street emotions or they’re looking for some hidden trophies. Shopping centers are slowly losing on its attractiveness in favour of shopping streets.
As it often comes with city revolutions Poland is not in the first row to make changes. We are giving up the field to such cities as New York, Kopenhagen or Bogota. But even in our country the idea of returning the city to people, in this meaning cyclists and pedestrians, is getting more and more popular.
A real truism would be to say that all ideas should be adapted wisely and with the respect for local specificity, historical conditions, lifestyles and even wealth of the citizens. We hope that the 6th edition of MIASTOmovie, titled ‘The Street’ will become one of many little rocks that will help to build happy city, as Charles Montgomery would say. A city that is more diverse, that becomes attractive and engaging, city where people spend time together in public spaces.
Our event is primarily a field for presenting films, mostly documentaries, but we treat the cinema as a starting point for discussion and reflection on the city subject. We prepared dedicated theme section (more HERE) which, together with freshly set up competition for the best documentary on architecture and city, is providing the core for MIASTOmovie. But film screenings are only a part of our festiwal. The movie ‘Waiting for Barcelona’ will be accompanied by discussion about not so well known sides of Catalonias capital – the director and Aleksandra Lipczak (the author of ‘Ludzie z Placu Słońca’) will join us. Citizen Jane: Battle for the City screening will be held together with a debate on regaining Wrocław for pedestrians. Our starting points would be Vital Little Plans.The Short Works of Jane Jacobs and Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan. Grzegorz Piątek from Architectural Centre and Tomasz Stefanicki, pedestrians officer in Wrocław City Council will join us that evening. The screening of Brasilia. Life after design, a documentary showing everyday life in the capital of Brasilia, will be supported by a lecture given by Michał Wiśniewskie about Nowa Huta in Cracow. As you will see complex thinking from the era of socrealism is somehow connected with the new type of urbanisty brought by the modern brazilian metropolis. Florida Project will get a commentary from Aleksandra Czupkiewicz and Łukasz Wojciechowski who will show how the chaotic space – without the streets that we know – is created in Sean Bakers movie. (more HERE)
MIASTOmovie will also bring many events that are not strictly connected with movies. STREETdata – meetings; presentations of art works, research projects, scrutinities and evaluations – will be one of them. It will be held in Recepcja (Ruska Street) – a place of open discussion by day and party spot by night. This is also a place where we’d be finishing our days, experiencing festival events one more time. The editors of Radio Luz and Tracks & Recreation duet are some of many to take care of the audio and visual settings. We will have a chance to experience a vouging show – street dance style that came to us from New York. The next attraction would be walking tours through the streets of Wrocław. We will visit downtown area of Kleczków, where we will discover Zegadłowicza and Kraszewskiego street that cross each other. We will have a chance to talk with the inhabitants there – they’ll share the stories of how does the life looks like in this particular part of the city. Next neighborhood that we’d explore will be Ołbin – together with historian Łukasz Migniewicz we’ll take a musical walk along Nowowiejska Street which is one of the longest streets in this district. We will also go into Szczepin, located on the west side from Main Square, where we’d have a chance to see the winners of Urban View Competition (from Short Waves Festival in Poznań). Last but not least, and actually the first one in chronological order, would be the walk through the area of Grunwald Square where we will see many ideas, created through years, of how the street should look like.
During MIASTOmovie Museum of Architecture will be helding Bazarch – architectural and urban books fairs organised by Architectural Centre. Book traids will be supported by Q&As with experts. We add something from us by inviting Beata Chomątowska, the author of Betonia. Dom dla każdego, who will have a discussion with Martyna Obarska, the vice managing editor in MIASTA magazine.
We are giving you this interdisciplinar programme, filled with variety of issues, under consideration and judgement . And we invite you the take a look at city streets once again.