Abstract / Summary
There is one country in the world, where the measurement of wealth is not the Gross national product but the Gross National Happiness. Inspired by this fact, and in the light of economical and environmental challenges that we are facing this project tunes in on surfacing and re-evaluating what we give value to, and opens a space for actions. It intends to create a dialogue on what we really need- and where to root happiness?
Throughout this residency in Torres Vedras a parallel city will emerge, subtly surfaced on the everyday reality. Interventions in the public space will captivate people’s attention and invite them to imagine and engage in a space of exchange, conversations and dialogue.
Simultaneously specific ambassadors will carry knowledge about the process through different channels of the community, and be links to different parts of society as well as function as advisors for the project. This will culminate in an event in October for a participative act of shared space celebrating the hidden abundance of the community and present an investigation over richness and lack. Drawing on multiple aspects that make up a city and a community the project identifies concrete resources and places them in a new context to release potential. It aims on creating awareness on our perception of prosperity and zooms in on ways of dealing with material things, basic resources such as food, as well as skills, ideas and the connections between people. It points at re-evaluating useful heritage of local production and exchange, and the value of things that might go unnoticed, discuss how we create value and what are parallel values to the economic system we are used to.
What will happen?
The event on October 12
This final event is conceived as a harmonic ensemble of small actions and sensorial situations and theatrical moments joined together in one condensed episode of collective action-research enquiry into the re-evaluation of values and the nature and practice of happiness.
It will be a celebration of the process so far made visible through contributions by people involved in the project, and an invitation to the city’s wider community to continue the work.
Participation for the event will be invited through the process leading up to it: interventions in public spaces and work with the community. Thus the event will not be publicly announced but rely on the engagement that happens previously, stimulating individuals to play and coordinating groups to work together to share ideas, knowledge, skills, dreams.
In continuation of the activities leading up to it, it will include the first assembly of the ministry of Happiness of Torres Vedras, inaugurate the bank of expert knowledge of Torres Vedras, include the documentary film of the youth and their project hello!neverland, the sharing of food and other. This is hoped to mark an end as much as a beginning of a depth in appreciation and evaluation of the relations between ourselves, each other, the cityscape and landscape that we are immersed in.