The power of urban gardening, with Katharina Fitz

Blogathon 4

During the festival the Noorderlicht blog is hosting bite-size interviews with participating photographers about their work. Today, Austrian photographer Katharina Fitz is our guest for blogathon issue #4.

Noorderlicht: Could you say in what sense your project relates to the overall festival theme, from a personal point of view? Where in this bigger picture do you feel your work fits in?

Katharina Fitz: I presented my project “Urban Gardening Patchwork” because it represents the power of each individual to change established structures. Urban live in big cities is very impersonal and individualized, which leads to less social strength, and solidarity within society however urban gardening encourages social and cultural integration within the community and neighborhood.  By self-organization people have created their own community within the city and literally grown closer together.

Noorderlicht: Based on your experience working with different communities and individuals who are affected by this 'crisis of agency', what impression did you get about the likelihood that common people can regain such a sense of agency? Do you feel there are grounds for a realistic hope for improvements?

Katharina Fitz: Yes, I definitely think there is a chance for improvement. In the case of community gardening,  people from and around the district get to know each other and there is increased solidarity with those who might need help. People from different social status,  age, culture and nationality, get together to exchange ideas and to learn from each other, this way a more collaborative and healthy society is developing.

Noorderlicht: What is the audience that you'd hope would look at your series? Who should see this work?

Katharina Fitz: I want people to see my work as an example for possible change. Many people think as an individual they don´t have the possibility to transform established structures.  However there is a way to change conditions, self- organization can open up new possibilities to reorganize society and to discover the power of each individual. With this series I would like to encourage people to take things literally into their own hands and to actively participate in change.