Different ways to discover the port

 Culture and identity 

During the coming weeks, AIVP will focus on port city culture. There are many different ways to enhance the port identity as we have seen recently. In Antwerp, the Havenland Run & Walk 2020 edition will allow participants to run or hike along the Rietveld Kallo nature reserve, viewing the port. The event will take place on November 7th and 8th, adapted with “corona-proof” safety measures. Another example to discover the waterfront can be found in San Diego, USA, where the port is highlighting the arts and culture program, with a series of self-guided tours to experience the art locations. In Fremantle, Australia, the port is organizing free port walks, with the help of volunteers enrolled in a new program, to better educate the public about port operations and the history of Victoria Quay. Another way to culturally link port and city is supporting local initiatives, as the port of Huelva in Spain is doing, collaborating with Ibero-American Film Festival.

Havenland, Port of San Diego, Fremantle Port Walks, Fremantle volunteer program, Diario de Huelva, Image from Havenland

Port Culture: the foundation for social integration of ports

 Culture and identity 

As we will see during the next month, disclosing port city culture is crucial for the social integration of ports. Events such as the Italian Port Days form last week can bring the population close to the port. The second edition of this event organized by Assoporti was supported by many Italian port authorities that hosted open days or cultural activities. In the case of Genoa, the festival Zones Portuaires contributed to the celebration of port city culture with concerts, exhibitions and debates, including one webinar with the participation of AIVP. In other port cities similar initiatives are taking place, like in Viana do Castelo (Portugal), but this time virtually due to the limitations imposed for the Covid-19.

Italian Port Days, Assoporti (PDF), Zones Portuaires, Port of Viana

When art comes to the port…

 Culture and identity 

We have previously told you about several projects to enhance and showcase the aesthetic appeal of port infrastructures. The latest example is to be found at the Port of Strasbourg (France), which is hosting a month of artistic projections on the side of the Malteries d’Alsace silo. The project was made possible with the collaboration of the Rhine Higher Institute of Arts. The series of projections will showcase the past and present of the Rhine Port. In Rio (Brazil), the “Rua Walls” exhibition was recently inaugurated. The initiative, which saw 18 artists turn the walls of several warehouses into artworks, is also a community inclusion project. Another public art initiative is to be found in Toronto (Canada), where artists will be invited to take up residence on the Toronto waterfront for sixteen months, creating a dialogue with the local community and bringing vibrancy to the district. In early 2021, Toronto is also set to launch a new public urban art strategy for the next ten years.

Port de Strasbourg ; Agencia Brésil ; Waterfront Toronto ; Toronto

Best ways to we disclose port city culture

 Culture and identity 

The port-city connection is not only economic and environmental, but also cultural. This week we have seen several ways to disclose the port city culture. One option is to collaborate with local events and institutions. The port of Dublin is cooperating with the local Festival of History in a series of online events. In other ports, like Lisbon, the port authority also collaborated with the Museo do Oriente in the framework of the European Heritage Days with free visits. In Spain, for example the port of Seville just signed a cooperation protocol with the regional heritage institute to study and protect the port’s industrial heritage. Another option is to host port days, as the port of Leixões just did, even though this year’s edition took place virtually. In a similar way, the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority (Genoa and Savona) is preparing the 2020 edition of their port day including visits, lectures and exhibitions. Other activities to disclose port-city culture are historic pedestrian rallies, as the one from the port of Quebec, Canada. Finally, ports can also contribute to the city’s cultural life be hosting exhibitions in their historical venues, as the port of Valencia is doing.

Port of Dublin, Port of Lisbon, Port of Leixões, Junta de Andalucía, Port of Quebec, Diario del Puerto, Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority

Traditional and new ways to highlight port-city heritage

 Culture and identity 

Port City heritage buildings are one of the main elements in the port city identity. It is necessary to protect them because they tell stories from the past and show the influence of the port in the urban landscape. The port of Tarragona for example, is refurbishing its emblematic clock tower from the early 20th century and its former HQ for new uses. Another Spanish port, Valencia is investing to protect the clock building from swallows, while allowing them to nest. Another approach can be found in Strasbourg, in France, where port has become a showcase for street art from artists like Apaiz.

Port of Tarragona 1, Port of Tarragona 2, Port of Valencia, Pokaa Strasbourg

A maritime museum for Melbourne?

 Culture and identity 

The importance of Melbourne’s maritime heritage and its major cultural and economic role are little know. To address this, the City of Melbourne is planning to launch a feasibility study for a possible new maritime museum, notably assessing the long-term financial viability of such a site. The museum could be based at the Docklands, in the same building that houses the “Mission to Seafarers Victoria”. The main stakeholders from the local community would be invited to take part in the project.

➜  City of Melbourne ; Docklands news

Two new facilities at the historic Aapravasi Ghat site in Port-Louis (Mauritius)

 Culture and identity 

An art gallery and cultural space will be created in this important district of Mauritius. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Heritage on the 14th anniversary of Aapravasi Ghat’s being named a world heritage site. It houses the vestiges of an immigration centre for workers who were contracted and no longer slaves.

Republic of Mauritius ; Unesco – Aapravasi Ghat

Port of Saint John (Canada) supports supporting the local Art Centre

 Culture and identity 

The Port Authority of Saint John will sponsor a signature gallery in the Saint John Arts Centre for the next six years. The partnership also includes a biennial artist residency where a professional artist will be selected to create original works over a period of 10 months. The residency will include an exhibition in the Port Saint John gallery in September of 2021, 2023, and 2025, focusing on the Port themes. Artists can already apply for the first period of residency.

➜ Press Release PDF in English, French; Video (Youtube)