Since 2001, UrbanFestival deals with a concept of public, especially that of public space, through its thematic focuses, programme selection, but also through its specific, often experimental, organizational schemes. In the social climate with intensified and hasty privatization of public spaces, namely the common meeting places, atomization of the society and strongly individualized, almost intimate reception of the cultural products, in the era of technological innovations that encourage and stimulate passivity, the crucial point is to reopen and affirm spaces of collective consummation, spaces of greater accessibility, as well as spaces of active participation of broader audience/public. The notion of the city that exists independently of objects and praxes installed therein, as the space that regulates our everyday life, the notion of the city as the expression and means of power and brutal interest of capital, is being replaced with the political viewpoint of the city as a space that is being produced by its citizens over and over again.
Urban Festival 2006, subtitled The Politics of space, is focused on the presentation and affirmation of the artistic projects and actions that - counting with the transformative potential of art - offer an alternative to the existing urban praxes, institutions, and social relations. Operating in the field of imagination, the artistic practice has a potential to anticipate and think of the other and different relationships.
The programme will be realized in public city spaces - with the intention to broaden the territory of action outside the protecting walls of galleries and theatres, and on the other hand, animate the public spaces as spaces of co-existence, confrontation of different views, as well as possible antagonisms.
As an introduction, as well as a discursive framework, the conference under the title "Public space in change" will take place on 7th and 8th of September 2006. The aim is to diagnose the problematics of disappearance of public space and to encourage dialogue between art historians, artists, architects, urbanists, sociologists, activists. The conference will focus, beside the questions of public in general, at the positioning and de-stigmatizing monuments and sculpture in public spaces, as well as at interdisciplinary approaches by creating new public spaces.