As part of the British Pavilion, London-based artist Lottie Child investigates how children play in the streets of Venice.
London-based artist Lottie Child led a group of people, mostly children, who live and work around Via Garibaldi in Venice, in a Street Training session for architects and planners. Inverting educational hierarchies, with adult professionals being trained by children in imaginative responses to the built environment, the session explored the relations between the built infrastructure and the social infrastructure in terms of safety and joy.
With less than 5 playgrounds in Venice, the children occupy the streets. Lottie initially embarked on her research by asking the questions, "How do you feel safe in the streets?" and "How do you feel joyful in the streets?" Many people had answers to the first question, as fear mediated their experiences, but only the children had ideas on strategies for joy. Lottie decided to apprentice herself to the children, and here she brings to us some of her research: joyfulness in the streets of Venice.
Climbing on the fence of the Giardini:
Playing ball against the buildings:
Cartwheels through the streets:
Singing into the telephones:
Splashing from the fountains:
Adopting urban play strategies of children is not always as easy as it looks, to truly feel joyful, without it feeling contrived or self-conscious. But it's definitely worth practicing ... !