General Entry - Emerging Talent Awards
Every one of us is unique, and all together we are one.
Every member of society is dependent on the whole, and competing interests must be negotiated.
Underpinned by the notion of the social contract, enlightenment thinking gave us individual rights and freedoms. But it also led to the dissolution of traditional communities and the supremacy of the self over the collective.
Now, many of us are questioning that individualism and asking: how do we want to live? Independent and isolated? Or as part of a community, with a common aim or ideology?
What does it mean to devote oneself to a life shared with others? How do the processes of communal living affect the identities of the individuals taking part? Sharing daily life with others means compromise – balancing personal needs with engagement in the collective. It means taking responsibility for others on the one hand, and enjoying the ease of a commonly bared burden on the other. It’s akin playing the star centre forward on the field, and being the one to scrub football kits after the match. And being part of a team, thinking together, depends on constant communication.
Over recent months, I traced the impact of choosing to live communally by sharing daily routines with the members of housing projects where interdependence, cooperation and joint decision-making shape the place we feel most at ease and freely ourselves: home.
K18, Am Rundling and Woennich 103 are communal living projects in Berlin. These three spaces are as different as the individuals who live there. But common to them all, is the deliberate attempt to chart a different way of life, formed by collaborative processes, where a diversity of opinion and the engagement of each are essential to keeping the community alive. Each to their own, and all as one.