The second phase of the circular@[action] series by the Circular EELISA Community was hosted by ETSIAAB (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) between the 26 to 28 of April, with a participation of 23 students and staff members from five different EELISA Alliance member universities (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, National University of Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Budapest University of Technology and Economics and Istanbul Technical University).
Co-fabulating the waste terrain– a nebulous guide consisted on a three-day workshop on transdisciplinary storytelling, organized by ITU, in Turkey, and aimed at students from all disciplines at an undergraduate and graduate level.
This activity belongs to the circular@[action] series. An initiative funded by the First and Second EELISA Joint Inter-Institutional Activities Call for EELISA Communities which attempts to tackle the circular challenges and socio-civic competencies in the form of research by critical practice.
ITU Professor and Doctor Bihter Almaç shares with us her experience as one of the coordinators of this EELISA Circular activity as an #EELISANarrator.
Confabulating the waste terrain – a nebulous guide was a workshop with the aim of building up a nebulous – an unpredictable guide to roam within the wasteful terrains of the Mediterranean where waste has multitudes of meanings and demands both anthropocentric and archaeological inspections. Confabulation refers to Donna Haraway’s speculative fabulation, an attempt of worlding by decentralising human perspective that extends qualitative research towards imagination and storytelling.*
This workshop used the method as a means to span from micro-narratives to the anthropocentric, terrestrial negotiations within the various faces of waste; such as the illicit toxic waste trade shipments from Europe to the new terrains of consumption of the Anthropocene age; the wastelands to the human waste; from the Unswept floor mosaics of the Ancient Roman to the mukbang Youtube videos; the refugee; the garbage collector; the dumpster-diver; the gleaner; the illicit worker; the truck; the carrier-bag – dubiously so-called, the “unwanted”, “unusable” and “overlooked.”
The Mediterranean, in this sense, has a particular significance as being one of the leading routes for these never-ending mobilities of meanings of waste. Thus, inspired by the plural meanings of waste from our languages, [a(r)tık-il rifiuto-los desperdicios-deşeuri-der abfall], the workshop speculatively fabulates the poetic within the many connotations of waste.
The three-day workshop started with a walk within Madrid to trace down the mobilities of waste where students documented and questioned their positions on the topic followed by a seminar from a world-known artist collective dedicated to research, Basurama. In the seminar, Mónica Gutiérrez Herrero from Basurama talked about how regulations and local governance define and redefine waste and the collective’s tactical critical making towards these actions.
Following the seminar, the workshop continued with the students’ confabulation sessions of making – a mapping model of the Mediterranean that tells the stories of waste including Offspring of Wasteshire, Trashcanstein; The Embodiment of the omnipresent Waste in the Mediterranean; Wasteful Tourism Routes; The identity of the micro-bodies of Air and Botanical Sexism…
Confabulating the waste terrain will be followed by String Figures of the waste terrain in Istanbul, a five-day workshop between 11th to 15th September 2023, where we will be tracing the string figures* of the waste routes of the Mediterranean that shape and define our everyday negotiations with the waste.
*Haraway, Donna J. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. First Edition edition. Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books.
About Bihter Almaç:
She is a design researcher of architecture in the other and of the weird. Her research mainly focuses on tactics for peculiar creativities to trespass to the wilder realms of architecture to seek existentially clumsy formations. Her research practice consists of drawings; architectural things – games, gadgets, devices and, architectural essay films. These are exhibited internationally in festivals, curated exhibitions and conferences her recent research was exhibited at London Design Biennale 2023. And, she was selected as one of the Young Architects under 40 in Turkey, by The Circle O.
She is a design tutor and a lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Istanbul, Turkey. She received her PhD degree in Architectural Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, with her thesis titled: Designing in a State of Distraction: The Wild Fields of Architecture. She holds an MSc from ITU in Architectural Design, with the thesis titled: Folding of Places. She is a BArch graduate from ITU.