Do you feel that your neighbourhood is currently not for people but rather for cars and that you rarely meet outside with neighbours and friends? Since 2006 for one day a year neighbourhood festivities Zažít město jinak (The Different City Experience) have been opening the streets primarily to the local people (don’t worry, everyone is welcome). Thanks to this event you can see the city through different eyes – as a joyful and vibrant place of cultural and social life, place of people talking and playing.
What is Different City Experience?
The Different City Experience festival (DCE) is a celebration of neighbourly relations. The festival’s content is created by the actual residents of the particular neighbourhoods. It is based on the principle of sharing the public space, mutual help and volunteering of local organizers and many other entities. The festival is open to all age and interest groups. Read the Final Report 2018.
Why does it take place?
In order to step out of the stereotypical perception of the public space and realize its value. And what’s more, the residents do not just play the part of visitors – the whole-day’s programmes are completely prepared by active locals. The programmes are mainly composed of workshops, games, concerts, sports, theatre performances, you can eat food prepared locally etc.
At the festival, you can meet many interesting people from your neighbourhood, learn something new from them, initiate or deepen local cooperation, talk about the benefits of calmer areas, discuss local causes, or cultivate relationships among different interest groups (local authorities, businessmen, residents).
When does it take place?
The festival takes place every year on the third September weekend. Some zones hold DCE a week before or after. However, we will be happy if you organize your event recognising our principles any time during the year.
Who is the organizer?
DCE is coordinated by Auto*Mat association and organized, above all, by dozens of local organizers in individual zones (a group of friends, local organizations, clubs, active citizens etc.)
Do you want to organize DCE in your street?
Join the 80 last year’s local organizers and create your zone! Anybody who is passionate about turning their street, square or a public space into a pleasant space for themselves and their neighbours can apply by May 31 (every year). All you need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (this year by May 31).
Auto*Mat will invite you to a coordination meeting where you will learn all you need to know. You can also find a step-by-step guide how to organize the DCE festival here.
The local organizer sets up an organization team and a program for their zone. They can also seek funds depending on the complexity of the event.
Do you want to help the organizers?
Contact details for organizers in individual areas will be published on the DCE website. Find your favourite area and contact the organizer.
Do you want to take part only as a participant?
Simply choose one of the dozens of areas and come along! You will be able to choose from several cities as well. All the events are entry free.
What will we help you (as an organizer) with?
The Auto*Mat team takes care of promotion, unified graphic design, the DCE web platform and makes sure that the Code of the festival’s conduct is complied with. We will be happy to advise you with anything you may not be sure about during the preparations.
In Prague, we can help you with the complete administration regarding the official usage of public space.
Auto*Mat association promotes better environment for a good-quality life in the city. We support public, pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as the rational use of cars. We are inspired by European capitals and we activate people to a positive change of streets and public spaces. We supervise the politicians and efficient use of public finances. Together with you, we create a city we want to live in. Our initiative cooperates with local politicians, transportation specialists, architects, non-profit organizations, artists, city bikers, seniors, parents and children – with all Prague residents, who care about their city. We engage in the development of infrastructure for bicycle commuting from the position of an independent supervisor and proposer, we promote specific measures for the increase of safety in the streets for pedestrians and strive for the elimination of various barriers regarding public space. Auto*Mat is the initiator and main organizer of Different City Experience. Its role is to provide local organizers with ideological, administrative, personal, and financial support during the organization of street neighborly celebrations. We help with financing, networking between local organizers and municipalities, and assist with the negotiations of street closures. We also work on a unified PR campaign or do consulting in production. This model makes it possible for local organizers to spend more time on problems in the sphere of public space and civil society.
Different City Experience Code of Conduct
1) The aim of the DCE festival is to revive and strengthen local communities on a long-term basis. The goal is to bring together individuals, organizations and businesses in the particular location and inspire them to share their experience, temporarily re-create public space and deepen their mutual cooperation throughout the year. The event’s organization is based on a voluntary involvement and work of local organizers.
2) The fundamental difference between Different City Experience and the usual street festivals is the emphasis on the local character of DCE. Do not try to organize a grandiose event but try to bring life to your local street or square. In order to keep the main idea of the event, involve local organizations, residents, businesses, associations, clubs, parishes etc. as much as possible. The program is completely up to you. There is no limit to your imagination.
3) The DCE festival is a non-political event. It is not allowed to present political parties and movements or any extremist attitudes.
4) The primary goal of DCE is not the profit of local organizers or participants. The event’s proceeds should, above all, cover the event costs.
5) Do not underestimate communication. People from your neighbourhood must learn about the event in time (especially if there are going to be transport restrictions). Inform also the drivers of parked cars (should they use the space that you plan to officially use for the event), e.g. via a leaflet under the screen wiper. Explain the meaning behind the event to the locals and be always welcoming.
6) Be environmentally friendly. The event preparation as well as its execution should be as economical and ecological as possible – separate waste and minimize its production, lower the consumption of electricity to minimum and do not use cars unless it’s necessary.
7) If there is music, the noise level must not exceed norms defined by legislation but it shouldn’t disturb other programme items either (e.g. public reading, a theatre performance for children etc.). The night programme must not disturb the locals. If you use electricity during the event, make sure the cables are connected safely and nobody can be injured.
8) When the event is finished, the space (street, square, park) must be in the same state as it was prior to the event. Please tidy up the place and remove the waste to the appropriate location.
Dream places 2018
How would you imagine your dream city or a place where you live? And how do organizers of the neighbourhood festivities in your street imagine it? Perhaps in quite a similar way! Perhaps your dreams may even come true! You will find out at this year`s Different City Experience, the theme of which will be “City of dreams”.
You can dream of your ideal city for example at the following places (but maybe they will also join in elsewhere):
making a dream catcher
Malá Strana old photos exhibition
P2 Nusle Steps
Pragulic – tour with Robert, a homeless guide
New Hair – hair cutting for wigs for children with cancer
Street Gardening – tree-planting workshop
P2 Londýnská street
exhibition and sale of art and photographs of artists living in the house no. 38
neighbourhood charity flea market supported by actress Tereza Voříšková (the profit will be donated to the mentally disabled)
P3 Biskupcova street
Pragulic – commented tour with Václav, a homeless guide
P3 Up the hill – Víta Nejedlého street (will be held on the 22nd Sep)
What about the kids? Do they have a place to dance? A dream of opening a dance room in the Žižkov open air followed by a debate.
P3 náměstí Barikád
all day making of dream catchers which you can take home
P4 Michelská park – Na rolích
Michle historical photographs exhibition
scarf knitting for the statue of Pegasus
P5 Dívčí hrady
exhibition of paintings with the “City of dreams“
wall of dreams
visiting the local health centre roof terrace
P6 Dejvice Campus
sci-fi Prague including a space interactive workshop
Exhibition match of post-apocalyptic sport
P7 Strossmayer square
viewing the “City of dreams“ from a different angle
What do our neighbours eat? (bread spreading for our homeless neighbours with the Community of Sant´Egidio)
P7 Hlávka bridge underpass
Chinese lantern workshop and a procession which should bring attention to unsatisfactory state of the underpass lighting
Preview of Atelier radostné tvorby exhibition
Preview of photograph exhibition “Prague-my city?!“
P7 U Akademie
studios of AVU (Academy of Fine Arts) open to the public
P7 U Průhonu
clothes collection for an asylum for mothers with children
polargraph of Roman Týc
P8 Dolní Chabry
fun orientation run
P8 Horovo náměstí
presentation of a new railway stop U Kříže proposal
P8 Hybešova street
city dream catcher – outdoor art installation of the duo Artyšok
P8 Chabařovická street
planting of a new handkerchief tree
lecture “City of dreams“ about Prague architecture
art workshop “City of dreams“
P9 Paletka Community Garden
drawing with chalks on pavement and crayons on boards with the theme of dreaming
dream catcher making
P10 Svatopluk Čech square
What to do with the square: results of last year`s survey about changes of green arrangement in Svatopluk Čech square
new game with evaluation tags through which you can express your opinion on the state of particular places in the square
Praha 10 Skalka residential area
drawing of a future park design in Skalka residential area
P10 Zahradní Město
tour of unknown Prague
P14 Kardašovská street
children as well as adults will build their “City of dreams“
P15 Hostivařská street
building of the “City of dreams“ with architects
Litoměřice – Liškova street
Dream street – creative workshop enriched by beautiful books for children and adults with Iva Červinková from K.H.Mácha Library
dream of an open-air swimming pool in the square
Best of Different City Experience 2018
14:00–18:00 old photos from Malá Strana (Lesser Town)
18:00–21:00 fire & roasting sausages
tasting of homemade beer by our neighbour Pavel
view of half of Prague from a secret place
vinyl live stage
cuttings, shoots and seeds exchange
play various almost-forgotten musical instruments
tours of the St. Vojtech church and parish office, Foerster hall
art walk with Sylva Francová
magician performance by Mister Petran
traditional Mexican festivities „La Calle Mexicana”
slime workshop for children
13:00–15:15 coffee triathlon
17:00–18:00 Velvet feast
10:00–19:00 Na Fidlovačce Theatre plays for children
15:00–17:00 tour with Robert from Pragulic
10:00–19:00 Nové háro – street hairdresser
14:00 planting workshop
Zderaz – Dittrichova
nature in Prague contest
14:00 20,000 Jews under the Sea (improvised theatre for children)
18:30 Underground Comedy (stand-up show)
19:15 slam poetry
15:30 trash embroidery workshop
Nám. barikád square
concert on the church rooftop
Řehořova 33 – Prostor 39
mental health workshop
15:35 Jewish songs
13:00 beer drinking speed competition
20:30 summer cinema: Poesie industrie
Michelská Park – Na Rolích
14:00 historical photos of Michle (exhibition)
15:30 herb corner
amateur dog-breeding competition
10:00 historical walk
11:20 announcements of the results of best cake in Podolí competition
14:00 concert of Václav Neckář
15:50 creative workshop with seniors
12:00 music of early classicism – string chamber orchestra from Barrandov
15:00 chairlift in the trees
demonstration of mounted police
13:00 Tribute to potato – best potato dish competition
Na Skalce Park
16:30 Nikola Mucha
Jolly Joker + P.B.U.
10:00–14:00 design a lemonade label with Bára
DJ Gramofón – play your record
14:00–15:00 tournament in street sports
18:30–19:15 garage cinema (film surprise for children)
Kavárna co hledá jméno
9:00–20:00 polaroid miniworkshop
13:00 Pomazanice – best spread competition
14:15–14:45 (non-)traditional running up the stairs
16:45 Fu Fu Band (children’s orchestra)
visit to the roof of the health centre with an architect
13:00–22:00 cosplayers stand
16:00–16:30 exhibition match of Juggers
16:00–17:00 Pavel Klusák – electronics in the Czechoslovakian film music in the 1960s
space interactive workshop
premiere of a stand-up comedy “The whole Letná already knows”
16:00 piano virtuoso Petr Ožana
Carrothon – relay run with a carrot
talk about old Holešovice
Hlávkův bridge underpass
15:30 lantern workshop
17:30 lantern procession
meeting of homeless people and people with home
14:00 What will our neighbours eat? – making sandwiches for our homeless neighbours
14:00–17:30 Different bee experience – bee stories from our neighbourhood
U Akademie – Gerstnerova
11:00 day of open studios: AVU and Club AVU
12:00 artwork of local children
polarograph with Roman Týc
17:00–18:00 stone carving workshop
10:00 Warm Up with Ukliďme Česko (Let ‚s clean the Czech Republic)
14:00 masseur with a chair
Tibet in Libeň
14:00–18:00 historical photos from our area
15:00–16:00 cutting glasses workshop
16:00–17:00 Argentinian tango neighbourhood minicourse
15:00–18:00 graffiti workshop of Artwise studio (6m long graffiti wall)
woodwork for children
Dreamcatcher – outdoor art installation
11:00–11:30 planting a new tree – handkerchief tree
12:45–13:00 eco fashion show of the teachers from ZŠ německo-českého porozumění
Arrival City exhibition: What happens to urban space when being used by newly arrived residents from different parts of the world? Transformation of housing estates in Prague under the influence of migration mainly from the countries of Eastern Europe.
Analogue photography day – lectures, workshops
13:00 radio reading of Jirous, Hrabal, Seifert
20:00 BioMasha with the band Debbi Love as part of Rádio Dada (ČRo Vltava)
neighbourhood reading of fairy tales
historical marketplace where you can pay with old banknotes that you can compete for in marbles, humming tops or hopscotch
photos and rides in vintage cars
historic photo studio
15:00 talk about the history of Prague 9
17:00 slam poetry with Tukan
Svatopluka Čecha square
16:00–17:00 guided tour of the church with a visit to the rooftop
20:30–22:00 evening cinema on the stairs: Surviving Life
fire & roasting sausages
16:00–20:00 performative hairdressing
15:00–18:00 painting the future shape of the park
16:30 meeting of natives of Záběhlice and exhibition of historical photographs
15:00 walk with Prahou neznámou
Chodov, Pošepného square
basics of sign language
Nové Butovice – Seydlerova
18:00 Cuban salsa workshop
memory training for seniors
12:00–18:00 exhibition of animals (U Břehu Street)
14:00 swing lesson
14:00–18:00 manhole cover printing workshop