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Apnea: The City of Dreams. CYGF. Jeju-do. (Workshop)

Apnea The City of Dreams was a workshop carried out as part of GYCF, curated by Rosa Pera. It was selected to be implemented in the South Korean village of Namsung, southwest of the island Jeju.

The Global Youth Culture Forum (GYCF)  is a program that aims to activate the conversation between a global organization and local administrations – namely, the United Cities Local Governments (UCLG) and the Municipality of Jeju and the government of the Self Governing Province of Jeju. After the great outcome of Jeju’s Second UCLG Culture Summit in 2017, three key elements were identified to drive the debate on deve si perfectolopment and future of the island: Culture, Public Space and Youth. 

The workshop used diving as a metaphorical process to understand a place. The process of diving enables enduring between two spaces, floating between the surface and the bottom of water. The workshop was particularly interested in the state of diving when holding the breath, the moment of apnea; the space of transition between two different states. This interstitial space for us was where the artistic process happened. One as well as the other, Namsung and the artistic process, are interstitial spaces that happen in flotation between different states of matter and knowledge. Thereby both are temporal as the time you can hold your breath underwater.

Levitation is the process by which an object is held aloft, without mechanical support, in a stable position. In this state a body can float and contemplate for a long period of time in a kind of eternal apnea. Maybe this is the “limbo” where Namsung reveals itself.  For this reason used the example of two mythological levitation cities as a poetical drive. Laputa, a flying island described in the 1726 book Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift; it was seen the last time in China in 2017. Atlantis, a sunken island named within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato’s works Timaeus and Critias; expeditions are still organized to find it. We tried to approach Namsung from a poetical perspective, that opened questions about the problematic and the possible solutions but from a different position, a situation that somehow tried to interfere into the reality. 

We dove into Namsung to catalyse our understanding of the neighbourhood and the development of the Mentees proposals. The practice was led by the mentees necessities and driven by collective experiences, explorations and practice; all joined by group reflections, discussions and tutorials to support mentees proposals. The structure during this week will be essential.