PARALEL POLIS, Czech Republic, Prague
5th November 2018
PARALLEL POLIS - multi layer project which connects ART - SCIENCE -TECHNOLOGY. Four floors building contains bitcoin cafe, the only one in the world where you can pay only with bitcoins, paper hub - co-working space, makerslab, space with 3D printers and institute of Cryptoanarchy.
Parallel Polis is not such an isolated island how they sometimes represent themselves. There are many connections to the district, to the city or even to the world. But I have to consider their real independence on the state. Like non-profit organization they refused subsidy from the state as well they refused electronic record of sales, despite the possibility that government should close their entrepreneurship. On the other hand they participate on project Art district 7, which is provided by municipal of district 7 (Prague/State) but are just passive participant (do not take subsidies..). In my opinion this project is a good way how to stop process of gentrification. Anyway it is very interesting to saw the changes from industrial poor district into the area full of young creative people and renovated architecture. Did I spend good time in Polis? Yes. Will I go there again? No. The reason is when you visit Parallel Polis, you become part of their political ideas of Anarcho-capitalism. And that is not my political way of thinking. Paradoxically it was them, who inspired me for this decision. I admire their conviction in their ideas and philosophy and I think appropriate be like them and do not go there, if your opinions differ.
GENTRIFICATION - FROM COMMUNITY TO COMMODITY
Gentrification is caused by the movement of capital and its strategic use in the city for the purpose of generating profits. State/city support it → for instance investment in infrastructure,
because it helps city as a whole. These provisions help SOME citizens, but not everyone. People who can not afford the gentrification gains have to moved, and they become citizens of the “second category”. Gentrification can lead to UNIFICATION. Problematic can be also concept of “creative cities”,where municipal try to attract the creative class (architects, designers..) and actively promoting art. Parallel to this, are originals artist forced out and the “fragile balance of creativity” starts to run out. Culture strategies are more focus on the wealthier social group and originals studios and art workshop are replaced by galleries. District start to be perceived as a marketable commodity rather than community. Way how to prevent gentrification is to connect all social group, immediately from the beginning of the proposal. Stability help to maintain community centers as well. Important is also collaboration both citizens, politicians and economists.