ReaLsMs is Reaching the Ecuador: Guayaquil Archipelago 8-14 July

Photo credit Yann-Arthus-Bertrand


GUAYAQUIL ARCHIPELAGO is an event that includes artistic research and community engagement exhibitions and a symposium; it is part of the European Commission H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie (MSCA) Project: Real Smart Cities. The project aims to understand and criticize the ideology of the “smart city”, and to develop an understanding of smartness and intelligence capable to activate social engagement, links with communities and of “social sculpture” (J. Beuys) as methodology of research. The event will be supported by the Real Smart Cities MSCA project, GradCAM and UArtes.

From Island-as-Archipelago to Archipelago-as-World

In order to explore new forms of collective intelligence within the urban built environment, the physical geography of the city needs to be taken into account. In the case of Guayaquil, we could see the city as an archipelago of connected or dislocated spaces which function as islands, both physically and metaphorically. The event, therefore, would like to mobilise the spatial metaphor of the archipelago to address social and political exclusions, but also possibilities of relations, in a new era of contested globalisation, and the responses given to these issues. Developed through material, theoretical and technological innovations the event aims to connect disparate communities through socially engaged arts practices and pedagogical processes.

The aim of “Guayaquil Archipelago” is to connect different islands, which are communities, areas, practices, around issues of access, identity, inclusion and participation. With island communities becoming increasingly defined as isolated ‘resilient communities’ within the Anthropocene, they are often considered as zones of risk which need to be saved or rescued. But in fact, most of the times the specific relevance of island thinking, with their ways of building communities, ways of living, of doing, and their ability to use imagination to invent other possibilities of sustainability are not taken into account. Thus, this event would like to focus precisely on the imaginative capacities of island communities to explore a new relation between regionality and mondiality, From Island-as-archipelago to archipelago-as-world (Glissant, 1994).Central to this process will be a concept of artistic research which includes architectural and pedagogical collaborations that can engage communities in creative ways that encourage agency, ownership and sustainability.