Photos and objects gathered at the commons, our traces left in the common
Amager Common, a protected nature area in south Copenhagen, is a place in which nature and culture are entangled. Originally a commons for farmers, in the 1940s the wetlands in the southerne parts were fortified and dammed, leaving hard edges between water and land. Later, the military took over, leaving the area inaccessible due to land mines. These different forms of land use and cultural appropriations have, throughout history, formed the commons into a peculiar entanglement of nature-cultures with high biodiversity and informal lodging of diverse groups of people. Today, it is an urban zone under the constant threat of urban development, increasingly becoming a recreational space for a general urban population. How do these changes affect the commons as a landscape of multiple habitation, of unique nature-cultures? How can we explore the invisible, the forgotten and the now expelled without being intruders ourselves?
We draw inspiration from the shifting of viewpoint from map to almanac, a yearly publication where natural rhythms, weather patterns and cosmological cycles are listed side by side, according to the calendar and how they affect human liferhythms. We wish to move beyond the one dimensional cartographical description of a place, and into the realms of cycles, polyrhythms, frames of experiencing and sensing one’s surroundings open to the complexity of its many layers – historical, geographical, ecological, anthropological. And we wish to do it not only for the sake of knowledge, but for the ancient joy of embodied curiosity and collective movement in bodily scale – rhythmic, breathing, wide-eyed – with all the material qualities inherent to a post-nomadic practice.
Through a careful, playful listening to ourselves and others we move through the summer night, listening to the invisible and unheard landscapes of Amager common. We walk and move with a more than human approach passing through nature-cultures and the changing landscapes negotiatiating our proximities and distances, the pleasures and efforts of listening and moving together.
Our proposal is a twillight gathering in motion, where a group of participants will co-create encounters based on the following exploratory strategies:
Listening for the absent and forgotten, traces in the landscape.
Listening to the towers of the gentrifying city looming in the horizon.
Listening for the wildlife.
Who is hearing us approach?
Listening to/for vulnerability, listening our porous selves.