Les OST – Oiseaux sans tête
Basé à Bruxelles, OST Collective privilégie la création de projets artistiques dans l’espace public par des interventions in situ. A l’aide de techniques alliant l’image, l’informatique et le divertissement, le collectif contribue à la construction d’un patrimoine visuel. Ses membres sont photographes, graphistes, sociologues, réalisateurs de films, constructeurs, programmateurs ou artistes visuels.
Ces ‘oiseaux’ développent et utilisent des techniques audiovisuelles participatives où l’axe central est formé par l’image et les nouvelles technologies. Fonctionnant comme un laboratoire expérimental sur les dimensions sociales et artistiques, le collectif OST implique des designers ainsi que le public sur des thèmes tels que les notions d’identité, de représentation et d’imagination.
OST travaille sur de nombreux projets, tous plus originaux et réfléchis les uns que les autres. Le collectif s’engage dans des mondes aux antipodes les uns des autres et s’insère facilement dans des projets socio-artistiques en s’intégrant dans l’espace public.
L’idée du projet Métamorphoses est de travailler avec la prison locale. OST fera participer et interagira avec les prisonniers, l’objectif final étant de créer une édition spéciale de leur journal interne. Cette édition sera imprimée et distribuée d’ici mai 2014 et elle inclura un studio photo, un des projets phares du collectif.
Membres participants au projet Métamorphoses : Sara Atka, MirjamSiefert, Julie Guiches, Benoit Lorent et Vincen Beeckman
+ d’infos sur : www.ostcollective.org
The thematic priority of OST collective is to work within communities and neighborhoods with a strong focus on people. OST Collective was born in Brussels in 2009 and is interested in society and its connections on an international level.
During our first visit in Poland, several proposals were offered, all located in the heart of Poznan and close to the Zamek Culture Center. Among them were a military center, a nursing home, a religious corporation registered in the grounds of a nearby church, and some old neon signs on the main street (St. Martin Street) which were switched off sometime in the past. We played with the idea of bringing them back to life.
Following this survey, we met with Anna Michalik, who leads a visual arts workshop at the Detention Center, located in the city center less than a kilometer from Zamek.
Our interactive proposals and creative projects with prisoners awoke Anna’s interest. At the same time, we learned how prisoners were already participating in activities such as „inside“- television & radio station,theatre & music groups and especially the newspaper.
Then the main idea appeared: together, we agreed to create a special edition of their „in-house“ newspaper made by and with prisoners with the aim to distribute it not only inside the prison, but also to a wider audience outside. One of the missions of the collective is to ensure that participants become transmitters of messages in an artistic and poetic way.
Quickly ideas were developed, established
and germinated, axes were plotted and have been able to be built up with the help of the jail’s tutors Anna M.and Krzysztof Florczak, plus Anka Adamowicz from Zamek.
The project was not the easiest to implement. We struggled against various obstacles such as time on site, our misunderstanding of the language, and furthermore the many constraints of the prison authorities. At the end of the day we managed to establish a certain closeness with the people that characterizes the goals and motivations of our collective.
In order to connect and maintain contact with them via long distance, and in order
to reach a large number of prisoners, we have designed a series of supplements that were added to their internal newspaper (poetic & subjective questionnaires). In addition, we made a broadcasted TV spot in order to create and maintain active communication and production before our next arrival.
A series of meetings and actions took place between December 2013 and March 2014: Meetings inside the jail, presentation of various cultural activities of the prisoners such as a concert of the in-house band
Mill Street, an exhibition of the visual arts workshop, as well as their theater festival. During all these moments, the collective has made and collected photos, portraits and correspondences to show the particularities of daily life in prison.
We conducted interviews with the inmates and included their creative collages and drawings from the visual art workshops led by Anna M.Several. In addition, we Interviewed people from outside the prison: residents and stakeholders of Poznan’s local cultural. The final outcome of these creations and meetings are the raw material of this newspaper.
Comparable to the theme of metamorphosis, was the transformation of a world of exclusion to a world a little more open to
the outside through the correlating artistic proposals.
Prisoners are in cocoons and the opportunities for escaping are limited even in a metaphorical sense.
Our work’s aim is to give the prisoners the possibility to transform themselves into a sort of actor, storyteller, or poet; to have a place and a visibility in society as artists.
The concept of an “in-situ” work also makes sense in relation to the central position of the jail within Poznan and its proximity to the Zamek Culture Center.
In some questionnaires we asked
the prisoners about their favourite places in town, which we afterwards visited, one after another. We were their outside eyes and they were our guides, while we captured the places with photographs or drawings.
We perceived the city in a very particular way; beyond our usual path, we got off the beaten track. During these wanderings, we were able to meet some residents to whom we asked the same questions about life-changes, dreams …
All of the gathered responses and contributions from the in- and outsiders are mixed up here–to play with the boundaries between inside and outside, literally and figuratively….
This journal was edited jointly between Brussels and Poznan and 3000 copies were printed in Piła …distributed in the jails and to the public for the Metamorphosis festival in the streets around Zamek / Poland, cultural spots in Poznań but also in Belgium and France.
— OST Collective