Mattias Malk is an Estonian urbanist, educator and photographer. He is a co-founder of the Urbiquity platform for creative and visual urbanism. With an interdisciplinary approach, using participatory and visual documentary methodologies alongside traditional research methods, his work is above all interested in urban matters (social, historical, architectural, artistic), extracting new knowledge from the built and lived environment and the multiplicity underlying contemporary life.
Mattias’ primary mission is to adapt to life in Narva, cycle through periurban back roads, peek into inhabited and abandoned buildings of all kinds and find some of the locals’ favourite spots. He is interested in the so-called Narva B-side, meaning life outside the familiar favourites of tourism maps. So far it seems that vegetables are sprouting in dachas, youth bands are writing hit songs about COVID-19 and life on the riverside is bustling even outside the newly renovated promenade. Narva is more than Kreenholm, the castle and the unsuccessful run for the Cultural Capital of Europe.
He will rely on his experiences at the Slavutych urban residency and attempt to contribute to life in Narva with something more or less practical. Throughout the research process, he will attempt to map various parallel narratives, stories and experiences about contemporary Narva. The information will be gathered using various methodologies ranging from classical social scientific to various creative methods, such as “strategic shashlik”.