Every last Friday of the month, cyclists meet in both large and small cities to take to the streets in convoy and as sheer mass. The principle of this gathering uses a rule of the road traffic regulations according to which a group of at least twelve cyclists is considered a vehicle and can, therefore, pass through a traffic light that turns red. Those who cycle in front decide where to go. The cyclists want to draw attention to the fact that even today, the car-friendly city from the last century is still a reality in many places. Thus, Critical Mass is a peaceful and solidary protest against the hegemony of motorized traffic in urban planning worldwide.
Critical Mass for Freedom and Movement
Art and Activism
Prison reforms, fair national budgets, justice for immigrants, the appropriate determination of tax burdens, the eradication of racial segregation in schools, the fight against corruption, or the questioning of police surveillance of the broad public—all of these are topics for the Centre for Artistic Activism (C4AA). What is unique in their work is the combination of art methods and formats with social movements. In workshops, seminars, summer academies, and other programs, they discuss the motives and working methods of different groups together with artists and people who are primarily active in social movements. This is intended to sharpen demands and organize actions in a more directed manner. Everything else, according to the founders of the organization, would be an unforgivable strategic mistake.
Who Builds Our Cities?
The Fair Building project is about precisely those who are often forgotten when architects or public figures talk about spectacular new constructions or large-scale urban planning. In contrast to the film industry, where every role, no matter how small, is listed in the credit roll, architecture tends to keep a low profile when it comes to the work and the workers whose labor allows for buildings to emerge: workers who are employed in precarious conditions, workers who temporarily live far from home in inhospitable places, workers who ply their trade on unsecured building sites, and workers who toil away for days and weeks that are too long. These are the people who play the lead here.