Anxious Borders is a transnational project that consists of both research workshops and large-scale public art installations. The Anxious Borders activities will take place in Mersin, Turkey and Berlin, Germany. Both the greater Mersin and Berlin regions have large immigrant populations. Mersin has many Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen residents (in addition to the more recent arrival of many Syrian refugees) while Berlin hosts people from all over the world, especially from eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.
The neighborhoods targeted by the project are characterized as being areas that have fallen out of use or are considered economically or industrially “depressed”. In each locality, Carbon Collective and Spacedigger will conduct and moderate workshops for students and practitioners of art and urban studies (city planners, artists, architects, sociologists, anthropologists) that will encourage participants to rethink the city from critical and aesthetic perspectives. Participants will then conduct mini-research projects interacting with local populations, and finding inventive ways to present their findings. There will be training in social science research and in creative visual data representation. The workshops will be similar to some of Spacediggers previous projects [Mapping Future Archaeologies – Aksaray and Approaching Shaochong's Futures], but the focus of this project will be understanding in/visible social exclusion.
The Anxious Borders workshops are ateliers for “reverse scenarios”, and give participants the opportunity to utilize all of their creativity while artistically translating narratives of the groups at the center of the research. Workshop participants will be taught ways to decode the possible futures that are inscribed in the present, studying virtual borders experienced by marginalized populations. Mini-projects will utilize visual, plastic, and digital media, making use of storytelling, mapping and collage. These workshops will culminate in exhibitions in universities, galleries, and research centers.
In the next stage of the Anxious Borders project, Carbon Collective and Spacedigger will create at least one, large, interactive art piece to be installed in a public spaces that will cause passersby to confront the ideas and concerns highlighted in the workshop participants’ mini-projects. The first piece will be in Mersin.