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Public Untruths is conceived as a collective artwork constructed with and about the contributors and the realities they come from. In our joint research we focused on certain electoral promises that throughout the years remained unfulfilled and thus turning into lies. In order to distil these promises, we took a detour that led us to the discovery of the community and its expression.

If we understand the city as a whole entity, consisting of various aspects, such as the geographical, urban, sociological, psychological, emotional etc., then transgressing or drifting through these aspects can offer us a clearer picture of one’s perceived reality. In our attempt to leave some open pathways for everyone’s creativity, we drew only the contours of what can be considered the core of the artwork. Hence, we chose a method, as free as possible in itself, belonging to the field of play and psychogeography. Guy Debord and the Situationist International Group first used the term to illustrate a method or medium through which, by allowing yourself to float free, you can explore and collect data about a particular geographical area. To achieve our goal, we propose borrowing Dérive, one of the Situationist Group’s main practices.

Dérive means to drift into a space in order to explore how the city is made and how it makes us feel. Guy Debord defines Dérive as a "method of playful-constructive behaviour interconnected with urban society and its conditions: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances” (Theory of the Dérive, 1956). These ambiances can be areas, zones, layers, levels and strata of which a particular geographic space is made. Besides space exploration through Dérive, the researchers could collect material in the form of documentation, about city walls, and the graffiti and murals on these walls. In countries where free speech is infringed upon and censored, public walls and public spaces remain the only place of revolt; an anonymous visible revolt that illustrates the unspoken thoughts and words that emanate from the heart of community.

To complement this form of exploration another rather personal research is required, a research on each participant’s perception about their country. By the end of this work/research play we were able to depict manifestations of the true nature of the problem, based on collected materials, by producing extracts that consist of phrases from each country, a slogan that instinctively displays indignation and protest on the spaces of the three displayed flags, waving unkept promises and public untruths from South Africa, Rwanda, Venezuela, India, Nepal, Columbia and Kosova.

With the participation of:

Antonia Bello Vélez
Taahirah Hoosain
Ngabonziza Eric
Arlinda Shatri
Jayden Keelan Matthews
Jesús Antonio Campos Pérez
Samjhana Balami
David Espitia Calderón
Nyiringabo Leonard

*Inspired by a new artwork co-devised by artists Driton Selmani and Blerta Hoçia with the members of the Changing The Story Youth Research Board, this panel session featuring artists and arts professionals working across South-eastern Europe will explore the importance and challenges of engaging with art, documentation, and voice to articulate ‘Public Untruths’ with young people in a range of settings

Driton Selmani & Blerta Hoçia
3 x 225 x 150 cm, Photo: Majlinda Hoxha
Installation view: Garden of The Faculty Of Arts, Prishtina
Courtesy of the artist ©