Squatting DIY (working title) is a multi-layered human centered, emotional study that follows how people interact and assimilate public space, and how the authorities react to their activities. Focusing on the skateboarding community, the project starts from the idea that a “space” becomes a “place” once people have an emotional link to it. Such charged places work like an external hard drive of our memories and emotions, and once we are deprived of them, we tend to lose the triggers that access some of these memories. Dragoș studies in close-ups and portraits the interventions of state authorities and landlords in public space, who build little barriers to forbid the practice of this sport. But the story unfolds further, as the skaters then occupy new places and build/adapt them according to their own needs followed many times by the destruction of their interventions by the landlords or authorities. This project tries to study how people claim back public space and becomes more relevant as the 2020 Summer Olympics is the first edition that includes skateboarding and recognize it as athletism, while the roots are very much grounded into the public urban space.
A version of this project was exhibited in 2021 at Köşk in Munich as an outcome of Hanciu’s invitation to the Villa Waldberta residency, which included an extended large print photographic series and an interactive installation that occupied and transformed the gallery into a DIY skatepark - built only with materials found on the streets - where visiting skaters were invited to perform. At the end of the exhibition, the skatepark was teared down.
2021 - ongoing