Bomassan (www.bomassan.org) is an art work and a one-year public research exercise exploring questions around city planning, densification, local democracy, neighbourhood engagement and social art practices. The artist role in actively shaping these questions is vital for the project. Bomassan unfolds through a public programme of lectures, dinners, meetings, artistic city walks and more. These will be realized across a variety of space such as; domestic environments, resident associations and works in the public realm, throughout Söderort (Southern areas of Stockholm), Stockholm. The ways in which artistic practices encourage social engagements, often through exploring the social settings (such as dinners) as a form of art that can generate compelling materials for audiences in its own term is central to Bomassan.
Background to the project: The housing situation in Stockholm is under huge pressure. Over the coming years, Stockholm needs to radically increase the number of living spaces. This is planned to be one of the largest developments the city has ever seen. Unlike earlier projects (e.g. Folkhemmet (people’s home) or Miljonprogrammet (the Million programme)that were predominantly built on uninhabited land, Stockholm now needs to begin construction where people are already living. The development of locally democratic initiatives, in which civil society is actively participating to effect development from the beginning, is crucial in order to realise and succeed with the densification. Consequently, the creation of spaces and tools where people can come together shape their thoughts and visions around how we should live is central to Bomassan. One could say that the civil society is Bomassan’s protagonist, Söderort its scenography and the work of associations its plot.