Dinghaiqiao mutual aid society: negotiating the common with by/through the urban daily
ABSTRACT This paper introduces Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society (DMAS, dinghaiqiao huzhushe, its urban context, issues that it concerns and strategies that it uses by introducing three of its projects. As a group that locates itself in a historically working-class neighborhood under the pressures of urban renewal, it clarifies its vision by both embodying the participants to the projects, and extending knowledge production and imagination of the place into a more profound social and historical dimension. The “common” here, serves as the interactive element and mechanism in DMAS events, as well as in its operational logic. The strategies that it develops, based on this, is a reflection and transcendence of the social political atmosphere and questions the developmental ideology of the city.
KEYWORDS: Community-based art practice; art and self-education; art activism; art and society
Chen Yun has been working as researcher and organizer for West Heavens since 2010, after three years of working in contemporary art field in Shanghai and Beijing. She received her MPhil degree in Communication at Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2016 and BA degree in Broadcast Journalism at Fudan University, Shanghai. Her work in West Heavens involves organizing and exploring different forms of cultural events on contemporary Indian art and social thoughts in China. She won the first prize of 1st Emerging Curators Project (Power Station of Art, Shanghai) in 2014 and has been active in community based art practice since 2015 after initiating Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society. As a member of curatorial team, she curated 51 Personae project and organized 51 events with DMAS friends during 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016-2017).