informal markets Ø3

see work by Teresa-Elisa Morandini & Kathrin Dröppelmann in full size as pdf  informal markets Ø3


A conversation between Kathrin Dröppelmann and Carmen Rüter.

CR: What was your personal interest in the research on “Informal Markets“?

KD: I am always very interested in the different ways of how people use to manage their life and what kind of observable effects this generates for the world in their we are all living. Informality surrounds us everywhere and often we are also a part of informal happenings. My special interest in this topic is how and why do we get informal. What are the effects of the informal production? We face informality in a lot of different sectors. It fascinates me, that all of these different fields of informality were developed by self-organization. The impact is a summary of people, money, ideas and networks. It changes our human being and produces new structures in our world, the visible as much as the invisible.

CR: Could you describe your project in a few sentences? Why did you choose this particular place for your work and how did you come across it?

KD: At the beginning of that last semester in October 2010, Viennese students started a protest against the strong regulations, made by the Bologna Process in 1999 and the bad situations for students at the universities in Austria and whole Europe. The students occupied the Auditorium Maximum of the main university, the biggest lecture room in Vienna and some lecture rooms at different universities in Vienna. Shortly a big movement of protesting students and teachers were grown. All these happenings at the university were based on informality. We focused our research in the different ways of protest organization and the new forms of protest via internet.

CR: What about the process of your work? Where did you start and how did you develop the final result?

KD: After our decision doing our research about the happenings around the students protest, we jumped into the big “Protest-Pool” fastly. Nobody was able to say, how long the protest would go on, so we had to start collecting material as fast as possible. Equipped with video- and photo camera we went to university at any free time, joined the daily plenum in the auditorium and the work of different work groups. We made a lot of interviews with different people, students and teachers, who were involved in different fields of the protest. We went to demonstrations and spent our evenings in the Audimax. Shortly we were involved very deeply in the protest. We worked together with the different workgroups to get information for our research. We got part of the big E-mail distributor, got around one hundred e-mails, full of information around the movement, every day. After a while this was too much, we needed some distance to the protest movement. We had already collected a lot of material, the question was now, how to bring all these together. We decided to try to order this big disorder of information about the protest. We configurated all the important information in different forms of mapping and data collection. The resume is an overview with a lot of information, which tries to make you understand the dimension of these protest and movement in a few minutes. This we managed via maps and different graphics, as well as text information about the students allowance and the results.

CR: Where there any special experiences or (regional) distinctions you`d like to share?

KD: The new forms of protest are very interesting. The protest won its big power in assistance of the internet. Students followed the happenings in the auditorium via live stream and Twitter. The social networks had a really big importance for the existence and support of the movement. Networks and cooperation’s with other universities all over Europe were made very fast. Nobody had expected this effect before, but it also brought up a new question: What is the real way of protest? An occupied Audimax full of discussing students or hundreds of students, who are sitting at home in front of their computers discussing via Twitter and Facebook, but the Audimax is empty? This also brings me up to the question, how is our live changing by the use of the virtual space.

CR: What can you finally say about the results of this new way of spatial practice?

KD: I think this way of special practice is really important in nowadays. In our fast moving world things are better to understand if you experience them on site. I think to handle your impressions and results, it is important for your own understanding, to bring it to the point in assistance of different media and approaches. So you will be able to get a second really important impression about your first results and you have the chance to rethink everything.

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Filed under ISSUE Ø4 - SPACE, ISSUE Ø8 - INTERVIEW

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