“Fantasia! Fantasia!: A community where lifestyles are made real”(Fan Fan) is an art project which imagines the city as a learning forum through the utilization of local cultural resources. As part of this project, guest artist Yui Usui and Kobokan, a community center which has been providing childcare-related services for over 100 years in Tokyo’s Sumida-ku district, have together been conducting continuous research exploring the points of contact between the Settlement Movement and cultural activities. This year the fruits of project activities to date will be presented in an exhibition of material related to the Kobokan settlement house/organization, and works created by Yui Usui, inspired by her research.
Welfare and culture intersect with the aim of a better life
Various social changes in recent years, including those precipitated by the spread of coronavirus, have prompted us to reconsider what we have taken for granted up until now. For example, the pandemic-driven highlighting of the familiar presence of people who provide support in our everyday lives, such as essential workers and families responsible for housework and childcare, surely gave each of us occasion to reconsider what “living” means. In an era of changes both big and small, we may need the patience and perseverance to carry on thinking carefully even amid contradictions and uncertainties, and not seek simplistic, short-term answers alone. At such times, art provides a pointer for teaching us the existence of diverse perspectives.
On the other hand, however, it is also a hard fact that social challenges exist which need to be resolved as a matter of urgency. The Settlement Movement is part of the history of community welfare aimed at resolving such social challenges. In the 19th century when modernization was underway, the Settlement Movement aimed to improve the daily lives of residents and solve localized problems from a base within the community. It developed a wide variety of programs combining welfare, medical care, law and culture which ensured not only the minimum necessary living standards but also strove to improve physical and mental health.
Since 2021, Fan Fan and Yui Usui have together been researching childcare records and photographic materials kept at Kobokan, and have held workshops for children receiving after-school care. In exploring the connection between the Settlement movement and art, we have seen that welfare and art exist in a single gradation when it comes to pursuing a better life for people.
From a point of togetherness/With People, Not For People takes its cue from both the Settlement Movement and art to consider the scope and potential of creative practices that people can engage in to lead better lives in their communities.
Free (No reservations required)
In recent years there has been an increase in activity by artists actively cooperating with other fields such as welfare and education, with the result that art has been “socialized” in a variety of ways. Together with a guest who has experience of art projects in childcare-related welfare facilities, we consider the means for social implementation of art in contemporary society.
From 19:00, Sunday, November 20, 2022
Yui Usui, Akira Aoki (Director, “Fantasia! Fantasia!: A community where lifestyles are made real”)
Naoko Horiuchi (Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT))/dearMe project)
・How to view
Available to view on the “Fantasia! Fantasia!: A community where lifestyles are made real”YouTube channel.
It is evident that culture was indispensable to the Settlement Movement, including Kobokan, in its aim of helping people lead better lives.
While specialization pushes forward and theory and practice accumulate in different fields, there are also difficulties involved in interdisciplinary activity today, and we may need a forum where people from different disciplines can connect on an informal basis. In this event, we discuss the possibilities and concerns as perceived by event participants regarding collaboration between art and community welfare.
14:00 – 15:30 Saturday, November 26, 2022
Akira Aoki (Director,“Fantasia! Fantasia!: A community where lifestyles are made real”)
Free (Reservation required, first-come-first-served basis)
Kobokan main building
・How to participate
Please apply using the form here.
Fantasia! Fantasia! Office
E-mail : info.fantasiafantasia＠gmail.com
*Program details are subject to change.
*Personal information will be handled as strictly confidential and used only for the operation of this event and to send you information from the organizer.
*Events to be held with measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Saturday, November 5 – Sunday, November 27, 2022, 11:00 – 18:00
*Open only Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
(1-10-3 Kyojima, Sumida City-ku, Tokyo)