Radical Rituals

Radical Rituals is an itinerary survey along the 45ºN parallel, 45° N, 1° W / 45° N, 35° E, on the inventiveness of everyday life, new spatial practices and vernacular rituals that stimulate and nurture the commons across Europe. This project focuses on beings, situated scenarios, and collaborative actions, in order to review the vocabulary and methods of spatial production. In the current socio-political turmoil, there is an urge to re-imagine the methods of spatial practice and pay attention to a more complex understanding of the interwoven relations between humans, non-humans, and their physical contexts.

To do so, we are following an imaginary line: the 45ºN parallel. This line crosses Europe from the Atlantic Coast to the Black Sea. Through field trips and interaction with local actors, we disrupt the abstraction of the line, challenging the current symbolic perceptions of reductive dichotomies such as centre/periphery, north/south, east/west. This topographic approach allows us to study the 45ºN parallel through rituals, collective organisational structures, and non-commercial activities that address global topics like climate justice, gender equality, biodiversity, degrowth, and solidarity from their local contexts. A more just spatial practice lies in the diversity and nuances of a myriad of space-making paradigms that tackle local challenges while also providing credible responses to current global issues. These practices are named as rituals because they strengthen the potential for collective action in order to reach systemic changes. They are labelled as radical because they are highly transformative, pointing to possible futures. A myriad of examples that can inform our practice as architects, urban planners, and researchers.

Sfântu Gheorghe, Danube Delta. 2021.

Radical Rituals is a spatial investigation, looking at the plethora of practices emerging across Europe in the current turmoil and offer solutions to complex local issues, while also responding to global challenges.

  • Images from the field research in Romania.

The shared experiences made during field trips and workshops are culminating in a publication series, Radical Rituals 45°N, 1°W / 45°N, 35°E. Here, the mapping of this landscape and initiatives is featured, while a series of collaborative essays contribute to the topics discussed. The aim of the Radical Rituals series 45°N, 1°W / 45°N, 35°E is to gather local projects across and along this line, contributing to a dynamic network that will represent multiple conditions of alternative spatial configurations. The deployment of this cartographic approach serves as a tool to discover this broad territory and the rituals and tactics of local initiatives. At the end of this journey, the experiences and data collected – the region, the landscape, local practices and initiatives – will be brought in relation to a national and international context through a digital platform, generating a European network that reflects upon the present and future of spatial practice.

  • Presentation at Goethe Institute, Bucharest.

Radical Rituals is an ongoing exploration. The first iteration took place during the summer of 2021 in the context of Romania. The second phase was developed in the summer of 2022 across France and in collaboration with Maison de l’Architecture Occitanie-Pyrénées in Toulouse, in the framework of the PERSPEKTIVE Fonds for Contemporary Art & Architecture of the Bureau des arts plastiques of the Institut français Germany, supported by the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut français Paris and the Goethe-Institut. The continuation of this iteration and the following phase will be developed in cooperation and with the kind support of Allianz Foundation.

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