The project questions whether a common needs to be legally established or can the way its public (commoners) use it as part of a collective resource for collective gain become a new way we create commons.
The proposal ' The DIY Common' will use the unlisted structure of an abandoned seating shelter opposite a listed bandstand in Cheetham park, Manchester for a temporary café. The park is used as a resource for what the cafe produces and serves. Attached to the café will be a Dye Garden making references to Cheetham Hill and Manchester’s once strong identity around textiles and dyeing of textiles, and its social structures. The common becomes a resource for sharing and creative production.
Later this year we will harvest the dead and fallen branches in the park to fire a stove for the café and also boiling water for the natural dyes. The existing crab apple tree in the park will allow us to make edible products such as pies, jams, cakes, crumble, juice etc.
The project aims to bring together a strong community to become its 'commoners', and manage, use and develop the park as a common resource locally. As part of finding this community public works is hosting series of events in Cheetham hill, to establish different interest groups.
The first event on Saturday 13th July was screening of the film 'The Lost Requiem' by Iranian film maker Khosrow Sinai which subsequently launched the project in collaboration with Anna a local polish resident.
The project is commissioned by Buddleia.