'Overcoming Dictatorships' is a framework for a two-year exchange between artists, poets and authors from various European countries about their experiences of the change from dictatorship to democracy, in particular after the opening of former communist countries since the end of the 1980s. In a number of meetings (held in the participating countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Italy and Germany) invited poets, writers and artists will present their work and exchange their experiences from the dictatorial/authoritarian period and show how the political changes have influenced their artistic activities.
The result will be an exhibition which will start in Birmingham (UK) and then tour the participating countries. The cultural transfer resulting from this project is meant to allow the banishment of prejudices and a better understanding between Central Eastern, South Eastern and Western Europe. Ultimately it is part of the construction of a common European culture.
For the Garage festival 09 Free Soil have conducted a site specific research project investigating the environment of the Baltic Sea.
We created an alternative archive of political and historical events that have occurred in the Baltic Sea region, especially Stralsund and linked these with the sea’s responses. The impact of Industrialisation, population growth and political changes has resulted in climatic and environmental changes recorded in the sea. Nature retaliates by creating new forms, one of the most significant being the spread and growth of toxic Blue Green Algae or “phytoplankton”
Images: wooden sewerage pipe from Stralsund. &
Portrait of William Lindley the designer of the first sewerage system in Stralsund, algae on paper.