A brand new, week-long festival will open on Monday asking the question “What if Dundee was a Commons?”.
Traditionally a commons or in Scotland, a commonty was a piece of land held in common use, not owned by anyone but used by everyone.
Organisers want to explore that concept and see how the city can come together to share resources and create a better environment in which to live
To that end, a huge variety of events have been arranged at venues across the city as part of the festival, which runs until Sunday August 30.
Festival organiser Jonathan Baxter said: “This is the first year of the festival and so we are delighted to be offering such a large scale programme.
“It is a bit experimental in that we don’t know how it will be received but hopefully it really captures the imagination.
“I put out a call last September and for almost a year now people have been gathering on a Tuesday night to discuss the issue.
“A lot of people were excited by the idea of a commons, the impact it could have upon the city and the way it could help them be part of the exciting things that are happening in the city.”
Among the talks planned will be a lunchtime audience with broadcaster Leslie Riddoch, who will ask why when the natural assets of Scotland are considered, “oil, gas, hydro, wind and wave tend to come much higher than any country’s chief resource its people”.
Jonathan himself will lead a talk entitled “Design in Common Action” which will look at how the public can become involved in the Dundee Waterfront development.
Running throughout the festival at Roseangle Arts Caf will be the screenprinting exhibition “If the City were an Orchard”.
It’s been created by Sarah Gittins from Dundee Urban Orchard, which has worked alongside community groups, schools and cultural organisations to establish a network of 24 small-scale orchards.
The artworks depict established orchards in streets and public spaces around Dundee.
Also on the programme are a wide range of additional talks, walks and workshops, together with music, poetry and food events.
If the event proves a success, it could become an annual feature of the city’s events calendar.
For more information and full details of the entire festival programme, visit dundeecommonsfestival.wordpress.com.