Thursday, 1 April 2010

Back from Miyashita park

I'm just back in Kyoto, a bit tired after the bus ride. Right now I think of the people left in the park and I wish could have stayed a little longer, at least until today. Yesterday was a day of protest actions culminating in a sound demonstration (the "home-made" type with cans, pans, pots and other objects that make a noise, drums of course, trumpets, tambourines, a sanshin).

Oh, the beautiful Shibuya evening! I found myself looking up att the brightly lite windows of a gym, congratulating myself to being down here on the street and not up there.

This is how Shibuya should be experienced, not as a consumer!

For those who wonder what this is about, look here or in English here (Keep it Miyashita) or here (Nikepolitics). Basically, Miyashita park will be turned into a ad, into "Nike Park". The homeless who live there will be evicted and an entrance fee charged.

To me the choice is simple: a park for the homeless or a park for Nike and its consumers?

I was only in Tokyo for a brief stay so I didn't contact so many people, but then many of the people I knew turned up anyway for the demo. Small happy surprises.

Construction of the new sports facilities are planned to start today. For the last weeks (starting on 15 March) a group of artists and activists (AIR, Artists in residence) have put up tents in the park, decorating it with the most fantastic, weird, utopian, angry art. For those who happen to be in Tokyo and are interested in art and activism, go and see it. Hopefully it will still be there. You will appreciate it if you, like me, have a taste for "akichi" (wastelands, no-man's-lands, commons)

Here are two of my favorites.

This is from a "risôzu" (image of an ideal): "Lets go to the park, it's so free!".

This sign says "I love wastelands".

They also arranged a NO NIKE fashion show on the Shibuya pavements on the 25th (on You tube here) and a funeral parade with a lots of ghosts, people in mourning and an impressive orchestra on the 28th (here). Remember the kind of place Shibuya is, the contrast is wonderful!

In any case, good luck today!!

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