Infoga is an investigative project, based on the thesis that non-meetings lead to non-democracy.
During spring 2016, the project Infoga in cooperation with local property owners, have opened up empty commercial facilities. The purpose is that local NGO:s, associatians and initiatives will be able to arrange free public activities, open for all. By doing this, Infoga tries to visualize the need for, and lack of, these kind of spaces. Infoga wishes for non commercial spaces to become permanent elements in the city fabric.
Infoga sees a need of a broader discussion on what is given space in the city centre of Umeå today. By placing this activity inside a mall we bring the discussion into it’s core. Today, the contrasts blur, leading into a plain landscape where many people tend to stay away from. The commercialization has lead to a virtual paywall.
Infoga wants to ignite a discussion on non commercial, common activites that encourage people to interact, exchange knowledge, share experiences and stories with each other.
Through more non commercial spaces open for everyone, that enables discussions, cooperations and integration we create needed basic conditions to strengthen democracy and to build a truly sustainable society. Today, the citizens position is primary the one of a consumer. The majority of our decisions today are on what and how to consume. Consumption fills our basic needs and it raises our well-being. Our identity is very much based on what we consume. But the system tells us not to be satisfied, ever. Meanwhile, our consumption results in severe environmental consequences and while we deal on how to consume our way out of this, decisions regarding our welfare and vital necessities are being taken elsewhere.
The cooperation with private commercial actors opens up a possibility to discuss what and who are allowed space in city centres today. We have the chance to inject stories and experiences from groups that seldom are seen. Placing the project in the lap of a private context is problematic though, solving the democratic dilemma might not be the responsibility of the private sector.