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Fairytale Forest

Collaborative design of public space

Sculptural assemblages in a lot in Altyn Kazyk

Humans have researched the influence of architecture on everyday reality for centuries. Transforming a space and surroundings changes our emotional state, especially in areas untouched by urban beautification initiatives.

By creating a platform for collaborative design by both Altyn Kazyk residents and festival artists, we are experimenting by shaping new relationships and emotions. Settlements around Bishkek may lack some or all of such basic needs as water, heating, kindergartens, libraries, and playgrounds. With this project, we not only offer residents a public space, but also show its utopian potential by weaving in fairytale characters from the tale The Shining Mountain about a schoolgirl from Altyn Kazyk. Thus the triangle-shaped space we stake out will become the Fairy Tale Forest of the magical Little Country from the book, creating a utopian island that stands in contrast to our reality—where there is no place for children to play.

Execution: Anton Karmanov, Aimeerim Tursalieva, Bermet Borubaeva, Oxana Kapišnikova, Ravshan Ta Jing, Munara Borombaeva, Chynarkul Zhusupkeldieva, and others.

We thank the director and staff of the Bishkek Sanitary Landfill and the Altyn Kazyk neighborhood watch for their support and assistance with the project.

Anton Karmanov is a researcher, artist, book publisher, and creator of educational programs about contemporary art and visionary architecture. He was born in Kemerovo and studied at Kemerovo State University and Tomsk State University (Political Science and Sociology), Rodchenko Art School, and the Chto Delat School of Engaged Art. Exhibitions and research projects include The City of Tomorrow, Gastev: How to Work, GES-2 Summer Seminar on Paper Architecture, New Forms of Settlement: For a New History [Novye elementy rasseleniia: Novaia istoriia budet], Die Grenze, Field Research: Liberating Knowledge, Unmapping Eurasia, Lazy Art (2019, 2021), and the book project Paper Architecture in Novosibirsk. Karmanov is a member of the Izhevsk-based collective Creative Dacha, the All-Russian Society of Saints, and the Novosibirsk groups The Lower Depths and SibKommunalka.

Photo by Ilia Denbrov

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