TANDEM_WorkshopPic Creative Understanding in New Territories Tandem Fryslân participants Catherine Bourne (Cork, Ireland) and Celine Wierda (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands) have worked together on playful but rigorous exploration of ways of working with communities in a genuine, immersive, equitable way with their project Creative Understanding in New Territories. They tell us more about their experience. Catherine and Celine’s project – Creative Understanding in New Territories – explored modern discourses about space that tend to position citizens as ambivalent and/or passive victims of the state and/or of corporate and globalising economic forces. We feel that while it is true that we are subject to increased surveillance and policing in both public and private spaces it is important not to lose sight of our ability to actively resist such impositions, and to carve out new, meaningful spaces for ourselves as individuals and as communities. Partner Exchange. Photo by SELF Collective. Drawing on the idea of resistance, we undertook collaborative performance, discursive and maker-based strategies with workshop participants with the aim of asserting and redefining our presence in urban space. We emphasised “Creative Understanding” as the ideal mode of communication between active citizens. This workshop culminated in three public interventions: One marked out spaces on a busy sidewalk in order to see how crowds consciously or subconsciously moved with or against visual direction. The second intervention outside Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien encompassed marking statements about public space and the installation of a cardboard structure. The final installation was at Kottbusser Tor where we used coloured tape to mark the spaces between people waiting for the train in order to observe both the unconscious connections between people and again see the patterns of movement around new, unexpected markings or directions in public space. During the partner exchange. Photo by SELF Collective Conflict with the public was anticipated. However, the only incident was one individual who purposefully went inside his home, brought out a bucket of warm soapy water and proceeded to throw it over the cardboard structure we had made. He was taken aback that we were delighted with his contribution which we saw as true civic engagement (and art criticism!). The legacy of the project is a public digital archive of community and participatory arts research material exploring ideas, methods, best practice around our themes of space, civic identity and community. This research will also feed into a publication in the form of a poster-brochure which in keeping with our project will be distributed randomly in the public sphere.