“Re-create your Neighborhood” is a Grundtvig financed project  (European ID: 2013-1-PL1-GRU06-38794 7 / National ID: GRU-13-P-LP-344-CJ-PL) aimed at combining the challenge of re-creating the ill-maintained urban neighborhoods with the potential of steadily-growing interest in art and craft courses within adult groups.

Aims of the workshop:

  • recover the lost ethos of archaic traditions
  • support constructive revival of such traditions
  • advocate for the creative integration into today’s urban living conditions
  • enable people of all ages to participate and acquire empowering skills
  • facilitate learning by doing together
  • contribute to the social interaction of project participants by generating a common working/learning environment
  • prompt participants to discover and implement in their future projects a shared European cultural legacy

The themes of the workshop are:

Knitting Trees & Urban Objects

Knitting was a  widely spread handcraft among Romanian homemakers during the communist era. Lack of clothes and the need to develop a personal style favored this pastime which is now timidly reviving. Nowadays the young population rediscovers knitting especially in their desire to gain a vintage look.  More and more are retracing practices once common in their environments but give them a more urban and contemporary direction.

Urban & guerilla knitting is a way of reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It is also telling a “stitched story”  and, in Romania’s case, re-connecting two different types of society – the traditionalist with the contemporary one. Such an experience may provide a common storytelling environment which would allow an in-depths intergenerational dialogue.

Participants will learn how to knit large pieces of textile in a short time and how to prepare them for the urban environment. The knitting can take place at one of the participants house or an informal place, creating a temporary hub. Stories and recipes sharing or singing usually accompany this activity.

Rush Knitting

Rush knitting is a vernacular activity, found in many parts of Romania and easy to learn. Used mostly for domestic objects, rush is an easily obtainable and manufacturable commodity, its knitting is a rewarding pastime in Romanian households.

Wickering may be associated with late autumn and winter activities when one normally limits the outdoor activities within the household. It also serves a social function as craftsmen gather, tell stories and work together. Craftsman usually develop a personal stitching style, making each object distinctive.

Participants will learn how to create baskets and other objects.

Seed Bombing

A technique used by young eco activists as a means to reclaim the ownership over the surrounding and to raise awareness of the danger of severe alienation from a natural, friendly environment.

Small balls of soil, fertilizer and flower seeds are prepared and then thrown wherever there is a patch of empty soil in the city. After a few weeks and apparently unexpectedly flowers will bloom in that particular area, if everything remains undisturbed.

During the training session, participants will be creating the “bombs”, identify suitable landing places around the city, gently “bomb” the empty patches of land, get a picture with the GPS coordinates and upload the pictures on a map. The map will be made available for others to upload future coordinates.

This project is implemented in parthership with Cluj-Napoca City Hall and was financed by the European Union.