Nada & Co.
VARIOUS ARTISTIC COLLABORATIONS
The Insides of a City
by Nada Gambier and Mark Etchells
Nada & Co.
Between March 2015 and March 2018 the authors undertook a series of visits to cities across Europe. During their travels they built a growing archive of images, sounds and testimonies recording the lives and dreams of teachers, political activists, taxi drivers, priests, cleaners and more.
Through this book Gambier and Etchells want to share some of the humour, strangeness, complexity and troubling transformations that Europe and its people are currently undergoing.
The pictures and texts herein portray different aspects of city life and scenarios. Empty buildings, people at work, the absurd, the broken and the new, the sad and the beautiful.
The quotes in this book record the voices of the people met along the way, in Greece, Finland, Georgia, France, Belgium, Croatia, Switzerland and the UK.
All photographs are taken by the authors and copyrighted to Nada & Co.
Behind the old school
a group of young boys are reading an old crumpled porn magazine.
On its cover a pair of giant breasts hide a small doll- like face. The boys giggle nervously as they leaf through it, pointing at dicks and breasts and some
unidentifiable body parts.
A recycling grandmother weaves between the benches to the bins through the park, each bin a gold mine,
her metal trolley already overflowing with recycled and reclaimed bottles and cans. Elsewhere in the city, along the river, the bins never overflow. Their contents are recycled before the city gets a chance to recycle.
In an alley a crow is plucking the insides out of a dead pigeon. A homeless man sits and watches, smiling and mumbling under his breath. In the distance you can hear the traffic from the city centre and the never-ending song of human voices.
The paratroopers pose with tourists by the cathedral. One of them lets a mini-skirted Russian girl hold his assault rifle. She places it between her legs and pouts at her friend who is filming the whole episode with her iPhone on a selfie stick.
In the background somebody is placing flowers and a candle in front of the photo of a young man that is tied to the railings. Other odds and ends that have been placed there are being blown around in the wind, like rubbish or fallen leaves.
Our deepest gratitude goes to all the people who shared with us their stories and their time in the process. Thank you to our local assistants Nadia Tsulukidze and Tamar Nadiradze (Tbilisi), Pirre Naukkarinen (Finland), Hannah Maddens, Kristof Jonckheere and Michael Janart (Kortrijk), Marion Fraccola (Valenciennes), Eliane Dheygere (Armentières) and Ioanna Valsamidou (Athens). Without you we would have been lost. A big warm thank you also to all the wonderful people who accepted to meet us (in Tbilisi), Lali Pertenava, Anano Tsintsabadze, Gigla Metreveli, Giorgi Spanderashvili, Vlasi Vatsadze, Levan and Lamara Chkhaidze, Marta Tabukashvili, Ana Kordzaia-Samadashvili, Mariam Rurua, Natia Sabeishvili/ (in France and Belgium) Philippe De Coene, Françoise Geers, Dimitri Vanassche, Lisa Vandevenne, Wim Seynaeve, Mustafa and Tomas and their respective families, Justine De Witte and her father, Andi Olieuand Yannick, Jean-Pierre Delcourt, Catherine Lassue, Theo Verschlussen, Harvey Moriconni, Jérome Piton, Irene Stefanski, François, Magalie Chojniki-Matana/ (in Finland) Rauno Teitti, Juhani Heino, Sari Honkasalo, Eeva Vuola, Erik Mârtensson and Anne Lindroos/ (in Zagreb) Zdravko Popovic, Milena Zajovic,Ognjen, Dubravka, Natasha Rajkovic, the skaters and Marija Isakovic/ (in Athens) Fredalyn Resureccion, George Kounanis, Yannis R., Aliki, Christos Alefantis, Spiros Zonakis, Dimitra Chatzi, Maria Chatzi and Stavros V, Giorgos, Lambros Moustakis, Mihalis Samolis, Yannis Fokas, Kosmas, Vasilis, Tilemachos G. Tsolis, Very Reverend Dr Panteleimon Tsorbatzoglou, Korina Choudalaki and her family, Elina Giounanli, Yolanda Markopoulou, Gigi and Gabriella.
Thank you to all the partners who made this project possible in its entirety (of which this book is a part of) through their financial and practical support, the Next International Festival / Kunstencentrum BUDA, Action Scénique vzw, C-Takt Dommelhof, WpZimmer, La Bellone, SAS Parenthèse, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek Brussel, Gallery Nectar, Saari Artist’s residencies and Kone Foundation, the Student Centre Zagreb, Mind the Fact festival Athens, Tanzhaus Zurich, Le Vivat and Le Phénix. A very big thank you also to the Flemish Ministry of Culture who granted us a three-year subsidy (2017-19).
Thank you to Thomas Kasebacher for his input during the research process and the gathering of source material.
The Voice of a Cityhas received a Writing Aid by the IN SITU platform, in the frame of the ACT project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.