In 2004 KOLEKTIVA art group (Vesna Bukovec, Lada Cerar, Metka Zupanič) started to work on a project Special Place in the City that comprises a strong element of sociological research about specific places with intimate values to the inhabitants of various cities. The initial project evolved over the years and become a platform for larger amount of individual projects concerning people, stories and places. In each of the new ‘child projects’ (as we sometimes call them) we employ a different strategy and focus. And although the first project in Nottingham was done several years ago each subsequent project is new and unique. The projects are also presented and exhibited in various ways, sometimes as a whole platform, sometimes as individual projects.

The main guidelines of the platform is to explore relations between an individual, a space and a city, examining why a place could be special to someone and what prompts an individual to perceive a place differently. Thus we chart new emotional maps and discover locations which people sense intimately. Inhabitants of various cities are asked to present their special place and tell its story, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. The focus is on two aspects, the first being the intimate perception of individuals’ stories. There is a psychological element in observing an individual and its personal history linked to a location. Watching unique portraits of inhabitants and their disclosures offers a voyeuristic pleasure and a possibility of identifying. The second essential aspect is the city. Stories of individuals provide a new or different reading of places, and uncover multiple meanings created by the experience and memories of the inhabitants.

Our long term vision is to create a wide collection of contemporary urban living strategies in European (and maybe even worldwide) cities consisting of stories, memories, facts, opinions, ideas, recipes, advices and solutions from as many people and cities as possible. We want to build an alternative “tourist guide” of each city which can offer a different view of the space and its inhabitants based on participation of the local individuals and communities. Our main goal is not only to produce an interesting “reading” for the visitors, but to mark, preserve and render visible a collection of personal stories and histories for the future generations of inhabitants.

Projects from the platform were presented in numerous exhibitions.
The whole platform was featured as a case study in in 2010.