What Light Can a School Project Shed on Politics?

by

Andrei Feraru

&

Roberta Borghi

Keywords

  • cross-border
  • Danube
  • Giurgiu-Ruse
  • project
  • adequacy

While elaborating on a particular school project, this article offers a reflection on the relation between the urban project and politics. The project took place at ENSA Versailles, in the Master 2 program, and was meant to confront the students with the complexity and research problems of trans-borders areas — in this specific case, the trans-Danubian region Giurgiu (Romania)-Ruse (Bulgaria). Starting from this project, the multiple meanings of the binomial “project-politics” will be highlighted gradually, in a three-steps approach.

The first step focuses on the development of the project, from the goals of the design brief to the final drawings. It also analyses the political stances of the projects, identifies the political questions involved. Secondly, we interpret the relevant meanings of “project” and “politics” in connection with the particular circumstances and outcomes of the school project, questioning not only their explicit assertions, but also their implicit messages. Thirdly, we suggest an array of reasons for which a political project involving a lucid tackling of the local circumstances is wanting.

In the last part of the article we advance a different reading of the potential of a school project, claiming that, due to the very act of producing knowledge and also to the conceptual freedom implied in such exercises – school-based research may very well be (or become) an ultimate political agent.