Degrowth InstituteLaboratories

Degrowth Institute

In the Malla Gallery space, the research-based collective METASITU is attempting to imagine what a degrowth institution in a post-industrial city might be. The Degrowth Institute project began in 2015 with the video installation #mariupolwillnotdie #itistheworldthatwillend in Mariupol, while at the exhibition at Mala Gallery of Mystetskyi Arsenal, the project gets the outline of a total installation.

The Degrowth Institute is an initiative that was started in 2015 by METASITU, with aim to establish emancipatory narratives in (post)industrial cities whose populations have been steadily decreasing in recent years, particularly in the Donbas region. Their mission is to challenge the notion that suggests that growth—population in particular—is necessary when determining the success of a human settlement. Yet masterplanners, urbanists, and developers continue to strategize to reverse the dynamics of shrinkage, caught up in a capitalist rhetoric of growth and accelerationism.

In order to challenge this framework, and set the future into a different vector, the Degrowth Institute establish bottom-up, transversal, and horizontal approaches to master-planning in these territories.  They base their work on researching, working with and in, shrinking cities. Avoiding to suggest specific strategies, they rather create a collective momentum to address challenges such as how to work with industrial heritage, housing vacancy, or the shifting job markets, among others.

The Degrowth Institute want to bring about structural change in the way people perceive their cities. They want to create discourse, engagement, and research around the notion of degrowth in the context of Urban Planning by a) conceptualizing and organizing frameworks of knowledge exchange, b) producing artistic research-based content in a variety of formats—publications, films, objects, events, and archives—about degrowth, and collective masterplanning; and c)  encouraging emancipatory spatial practices, in order to create new narratives for possible urban futures.

The Degrowth Institute aspire to result in a transformative experience for individual participants in the project, as well as trigger new forms of working together at a local level and, eventually, collective proposals for new guidelines, approaches to resisting existing policy, and actions against particular (imposed) strategies regarding the assessment and management of heritage. And ultimately in understanding the surrounding landscapes more intimately, and reconstituting the personal relationships to the inhabited territories.

METASITU is a research-based art practice founded by Liva Dudareva and Eduardo Cassina. METASITU is abusing urbanism discourses and developing new tools to empower individuals in the way they relate to the territory. Through the curation of urbanism festivals, directing educational programs, enabling real estate transgressions, proposing workshops, performing lectures and disseminating videos, METASITU opens up new discursive lines for a queerer tomorrow.

The exhibition will run till June 2nd.
Working hours:
12:00-20:00, Tuesday - Sunday
Free admission