Sidewalk Empire I - spectator



Behind his front door the citizen has all comfort to his disposal and all communication resources within reach. Across the treshold of his house the sidewalk lies, the city stands, of which the infrastructure leads to consumption and recreation. The modern city is a care-free city, its public space a podium for amusement, entertainment, adventure and euphoria.

In the sixties, families moved from the dining table to the bench right across the television, from active recreation to passive consuming. Now, with the rise of fun city public space has been transformed into a public living room. The community is our family.

This public living room can be looked upon as from three different positions. The observator examines his town from a distance because he prefers the overview. The participant mixes himself with the festive mood, he becomes one of the boys. Finally, each citizen can testify of the other side of his town: incidents and protests, and he passes by locations heavy of dept and history. Everyone is aware of these three options. We are them all three, but never at the same moment.

The city of the Hague has been used as an illustrative model for an international phenomenon. Condition for selection has been that the events are for free, your own living room alike.

(shortlist Dutch Doc Award 2010)

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