The Tyran and Mayor of Cardboardia came to Amsterdam! I (Mathijs) was very eager to meet them and talk about Cardboardia and the possibilities for cardboarders to go there. There are so many similarities with what we are trying to do. Cardboardia also uses the seemingly worthless cardboard as a material for their projects. In the process they stimulate playfulness, games and other experimental and creative behavior. Some of their projects are really big!
Cardboardia is a country without land that materializes once in a while. Each time another place acts as host for a Cardboardian town. The biggest materialization was in Perm (Russia), but there have also been big towns in Helsinki, Moscow and many other cities. In all these towns Cardboardia motivated people to collaboratively build and inhabit the cardboard towns. There’s prisons, theaters, elections and, of course bureaucracy.
Cardboardia invites people to create their own character in the town and play with it for a while, expressing and trying out different roles. You can be whatever you want, a shopkeeper, an architect, a king or a slave. It’s larping (life action role playing), with the difference that it’s more like real life. This actually is more exciting than pleying an elf or a troll. You can also earn money in Cardboardia, each materialization comes with a fully operational economical system, in which you as a visitor can set up shop and sell everything you want, though the Tyran only supplies one material, which is of course cardboard.
Though I haven’t been to Cardboardia yet, I found it really inspiring to hear about the large audience participation. The strongly embedded passion of the organization to be meaningful, not only during the materialization, but also to be a benefit for the community afterwards makes this much more than an artistic project. It really is about living together.
Cardboardia invited us to come to Perm for the next materialization in june.
Check out this video showing some beautiful costumes made of cardboard and craftpaper!