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An ironic manifesto-novel to introduce an urban plan for Tartu, in Estonia.

This video by 2A+P/A is both a visionary novel and an ironic provocation regarding urban planning and the role played by architects, planners and politicians alike. The project that originated the "Castrum" video is about an urban development for the city of Tartu in Estonia, made as a submission to the "Europan 9" competition (2007).

"Castrum" deals mostly with prominent issues such as the communication of a project and the distance that usually exists between the public and the architects/planners who, in the video, are depicted as "heroes". The choice to utilize a straight narration in the form of a manifesto-novel, even the use of open source documents and drawings, was a way to reach the audience through a collective imagination and to allow citizens a greater understanding of the city's form.

This work distinguishes itself for its original narrative style and its provocative reflection about the video's creation itself. 2A+P/A talks about the paradoxes that exist in modern planning by tinging the narration with irony: the so called "new political vision" for the "new city" concludes as the classical (and abused) plan of the roman castrum, in spite of the workshops and meetings with the citizens. The public's participation is a superficial and irrelevant element since the form of the city is ultimately shaped by the hands of politicians and planners.


Author: Angelo Grasso
Mentioned project: Urban planning proposal in Tartu (2007)
Project location: Tartu, Estonia
Soundtrack: EVAKANT

Italy 2009
Duration: 6'40''

Selected for VISIONS, the 2009 edition of BEYOND MEDIA Festival organized by Image.