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CAPPE Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics University of Brighton, UK
4th International Interdisciplinary Conference
The Politics of Space and Place Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 September 2009
Keynote speaker: Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, UK
Conference Abstracts (Please note that this is a draft document and will be subject to changes)
Nishat Awan, University of Sheffield, UK Parallel worlds and allegorical maps: the Turkish kahve in London
This paper will look at how diasporic spaces constitute parallel worlds within the contemporary European city through a close interrogation of the Turkish kahve or coffee houses on a street in North London. It is said that if someone was to plot the positions of the kahve they would make a map of Turkey, each one having affiliations to a specific region. Their names give an indication to their loyalties; in the space of the street there is an overlapping of the physical location of the kahve with their toponymic distribution that alludes to regional affinities elsewhere. It forms an ‘allegorical map’ of Turkey, which is performed daily in the everyday comings and goings of the kahve’s diasporic users. The regional politics of Turkey are played out in the intimate spaces of the kahve in London; I focus in particular on the relations between the Turks and the Kurds. Taking the kahve as example, I ask how such spaces can be theorised beyond the twin caricatures (often found in mainstream discourse) of characterising them as being highly introverted spaces, or as exoticised places that mark culturally ‘interesting’ neighbourhoods. How
do these spaces function socially and spatially for their diasporic users? How are questions of gender and generation played out here and how do the politics of that other place affect the space of the European city?
Stephane Baele, University of Namur and University of Louvain, Belgium Exclusionary dispositives and the dual dynamics of discrimination
Most studies on discrimination emphasise its contextual features, that is, explain exclusionary policies in sociological terms. This, however, neglects the very fact that whereas some characteristics of the objects and concepts we use are indeed contingent, some other features are necessary, emerging from fundamental processes of perception. The aim of the present paper is to explore this distinction between necessary and contingent characteristics of objects and categories in the case of discriminatory policies. Exclusion and discrimination indeed come about from a dual dynamic. On the one hand, exclusion necessarily accompanies any conceptualisation, and on the other hand the characteristics of this necessary exclusion depend on the context in which it takes place. The very act of understanding and using a concept implies the acceptance or rejection of variously differing phenomena: some of them will be accepted as occurrences of the concept, but some other phenomena will be differently classified. As Wittgenstein aptly argued, the principle determining which phenomenon is categorised as a good instance of which concept is family resemblance. Because the principle of family resemblance organises our conceptualisation of the world, therefore political discrimination always occurs according to the principle of similarity. However, resemblances and differences between phenomena are infinite. Conceptualisation therefore proceeds according to the set of resemblances and differences which is considered important in the context. As we will show, clear examples of this dual dynamic are provided by population policies such as immigration controls. In this context, politics of space form the visible dimension of the dual dynamic of exclusion. Walls, gated communities and the like are the visible clues of the resemblances and differences that matter at a certain period, revealing both the extent to which such differences matter and how the community which is “inside” perceives itself and others.
Khalid W. Bajwa, Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Pakistan P Smets, Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam, Netherlands (co-author) The Walled City of Lahore: modes of marginality and specificity of spatial structure and urban life
In Lahore, the neglect of the historical urban environment and social tissues has led to marginalisation. The traditional and the old were assumed to be destined as ghettos, which resulted in a low status for Lahore’s ancient Walled City, locally referred to as Andaroon Shehr: it was considered an unliveable space. Such attitudes lead to the deteriorating quality and value of historical environments and material cultures. In contrast, the authorities gave the further improvement of the new areas of Lahore, which are considered ‘modern’, their full attention. The Walled City is just 2.5 square km. The dense structure of the Walled City accommodates more than 22,000 buildings. Although the Walled City’s urban pattern is historic and the street network corresponds to the old layout, currently, the spatial demands, along with increase in the population density, are squeezing street space to its limits. The Walled City is now degenerating physically though, it is referred to as part of the cultural heritage and an architectural asset of the South-Asian Subcontinent. The physical peculiarity of the Walled City is a consequence of its finely grained and extremely dense urban pattern, with and intensified by its, often nostalgically exaggerated, cultural distinctiveness in modern-day Lahore. However, it has become increasingly populated with low-income classes, which often lead a borderline existence. This paper investigates, explores and evaluates the specificity of the Walled City as a neglected space. Together with its unique spatial structure and post-traditional tendencies, such as the fall of artisan guilds, the individualisation of autonomous occupations, the loss of ethnic territoriality, and the introduction of a formal and informal land market, the neglect that the Walled City is subjected to has paradoxically led, among other developments, to the rise of new cottage industrialisation and the communalisation of polity. These transformations are closely related and retraceable to colonial and post-colonial ruptures that not only challenged the spatial and cultural segregation, but also the functional centrality and vitality of the Walled City. The case of the Walled City of Lahore helps to understand the dynamics of contemporary urban segregation by situating it in a historical context. This case identifies modes of marginality while describing and analysing relationships between space and society. ‘Space’ will in this article be conceptualized as a medium, resource, supporter, enabler and facilitator for all that materializes, crystallises and accumulates in it. This paper maps the modes of its marginality by employing a double framework of layered spatiality and everyday sociality. In order to develop an argument for the spatial specificity of countering segregation, this paper uses the notion of social-spatial constellation as its main tool and thus presents the Walled City as an historical artefact. Both historical and more contemporary literary and archival sources are used to intelligently (re)construct its space-time
contexts. The issue of neglect towards the Walled City is mapped through its chronological snapshots and in the wider framework of Lahore as a whole. Field mapping, observation, and networking is used to achieve the same in the present-day. This will show us that the issue of spatiality must be taken into account when attempting to counter urban (social) segregation. Understanding the Walled City in terms of its historical development would help the area to cope with its present physical, social and economic segregation. The study of this perspective would add to the contemporary understanding of countering segregation. Accordingly, the paper examines two closely related issues: (i) the historical context of countering segregation in the Walled City in juxtaposition with the modes of neglect and the resulting marginality, and (ii) interaction of the Walled City’s contemporary functioning and its present marginal status in modern-day Lahore. It would confirm that countering segregation goes beyond simply focusing on the contemporary challenges alone. Instead, the historical foundations should be taken into account and creatively built on.
Andrew Barbour, University of Huddersfield, UK The rupturing of the digitalised classroom: agendas and cultures within the educational processes
The internal space of the classroom is by assumption a finite and fixed place, which forms the final throws of the processes of education; it is the concluding enactment of policies and expectations. As a dimensional space the increasingly digitalised classroom in post-compulsory education is no longer contained by its walls as the elements that form education and the digitally literate students that inhabit this space rupture previously understood boundaries. As a performative and negotiated environment it operates between cultures that become hybrid and persuasive, and which powerfully enact upon it. These digitalised classrooms are the junctures of policies, practices and cultures, and they form a confused site where counterplay is an active strategy within the space of the other. To discuss this premise this paper draws on data from a classroom ethnography where three cohorts of full-time further education students were followed over one academic year. It centres the work of de Certeau and Bourdieu within this context to illustrate how cultures which operate within dominant cultures use strategies as a way of coping and working within that place. They insinuate into the constraining space a part of their own culture as an expression of discomfort. This is where the expectations of education and educators resonate as symbolically violent impositions by those actors who resist and who are not fully compliant with its systems.
Ethnography has the capacity to go deep and beyond the internal and external monitoring processes of education that may observe only temporal and staged performances that demonstrate compliant offerings. It is in this sensitive framework where the discursive nature of the power of policies and the responses are sited.
Olivia Barr, University of Melbourne, Australia In the spaces of jurisdiction
It is not uncommon to describe jurisdiction as the first question of law. Often, this is a reference to whether a court has authority to speak on a particular subject or to a particular body, however, it is also a reference to law’s inaugural speech. For jurisdiction, or ius-dictio, is the authority to speak in the name of the law, speech that occurs in both time and space. Focusing on early moments in the Colony of New South Wales in the late 18th century, this paper examines the role of jurisdiction in inaugurating the entry of English common law into the Colony of New South Wales and authorizing the common law to speak in ‘new’ spaces. In relation to the reception of English law in an uninhabited colony, Sir William Blackstone famously stated that “English laws are immediately there in force”. Drawing on critical legal geography and the work of Henri Lefebvre, whilst keeping Blackstone’s statement in mind, this paper examines the multiple movements of the common law ‘beyond the boundaries’ of the Colony and considers the construction, production and contestation of both jurisdiction and space in these movements. How did English common law come to – or seem to come to – speak in, through, over and for bodies and lands located beyond the boundaries of the Colony? What were the implications for the authority of others to speak in those spaces? Through an examination of the movements of the common law and its marking of bodies and lands, this paper considers ways in which bodies and lands came to be located within the spaces of jurisdiction.
Noah Billig, Clemson University, USA The evaluation of innovative urban open spaces in three Istanbul squatter settlements
This paper evaluates the informal urban open spaces that have emerged from the context and process of Turkish squatter housing (informal housing). Three squatter settlements in Istanbul are
studied: Pinar Mahalle, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Mahalle and Karanfilkoy Mahalle. These three settlements provide a sound cross-section of Istanbul informal housing. Although not explicitly designed, planned or anticipated by urban planners or policy makers in Turkey, open spaces have emerged in Istanbul's squatter settlements that often adapt to the needs and wants of squatter residents. These open space forms and uses are both the consequence and antecedent of the social structures prevalent in the Turkish squatter neighborhood. They also are often a result of marginalization (e.g., a lack of government subsidized housing). However, the flexibility and adaptability in the built environment has resulted in innovative structures, open space, forms and patterns that respond to residents' needs and desires. Residents use the streets and the areas near the street for social gathering, domestic work, eating and drinking, playing and informal economic activities. This paper contends that these flexible forms and open spaces provide conditions for increased social capital and flexible informal economic activities. These unintended consequences are not seen as justification for self-help housing policies in developing countries. Instead, the innovative and useful urban open spaces found in these informal settlements are a testament to the squatter residents' ingenuity and adaptability.
Matt Birkenshaw, Independent Scholar, UK Class conflict in a World Class City: global governance and urban restructuring in Mumbai
The term World Class City is often used in restructuring urban space. It accompanies a discourse of urban development that can be traced from rich states and the IFIs, through national and city governments and down to police and demolition squads. Thus, spatial processes at a city level echo and mirror national and international pro-market agendas and the concomitant exclusion of poor people. Critics claim that the declaration of a World Class City is often followed by the loss of livelihoods, shelter, and basic services in favour of a vision weighted in the interests of local and international elites. In the Indian mega-city of Mumbai, population densities are some of the highest on earth (Risbud 2003:2), over half the population lives in ‘slums’ (SPARC 2004:10) and 73% of households live in one room (Indian Peoples Tribunal on Environmental and Human Rights 2005:37). Mumbai’s transformation into a World Class City officially began in 2003 (Bombay First – McKinsey 2003). In the winter of 2004-5 the city was witness to the worst evictions in its history as thousands of informal households were demolished leaving over 300,000 people homeless (IPTEHR 2005:8). Further infrastructure projects, planning policy and governance reforms are continuing and intensifying the process.
This paper, based on three months of research with housing activists in Mumbai, will offer a close reading of the policies which are currently being used to shift the spatial and political framework of Mumbai and a consideration of the effects of their implementation on the ground. It will argue that as populations are concentrated globally in urban centres by an uneven and unequally development model, the strategies by which elites seek to discipline and control the urban poor are of increasing importance. References: Risbud, Neelima, 2003. The Case of Mumbai, India. UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003. UN-Habitat. Available online: www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/cities/mumbai.htm. Accessed 27/01/09 Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), 2004. Final Report on Cities Alliance Project on Pro-poor Slum Upgrading framework for Mumbai, India. Available online: www.sparcindia.org/docs/3citiespaper2.doc. Accessed 27/01/09 Indian Peoples Tribunal on Environmental and Human Rights (IPTEHR), 2005. Bulldozing Rights: A Report on Forced Evictions and Housing Policies for the Poor in Mumbai. Copy provided by Committee for the Right to Housing, Mumbai Bombay First – McKinsey, 2003. Vision Mumbai: Transforming Mumbai into a world-class city. Bombay First – McKinsey, Mumbai. Previously available online: www.bombayfirst.org/McKinseyReport.pdf. Accessed 7/12/08
Katrin Bohn, Bohn & Viljoen Architects / University of Brighton, UK Mikey Tomkins, University of Brighton, UK Keep on the grass: the idea of embodied desire in the establishment of productive urban landscapes
This paper understands itself as an advocate of a vision for urban space use where the power of community is influencing urban planning legislation. It aims to discuss mechanisms, both envisioned and practiced, that can support the wide-spread and conscious use of open urban space for productive activity, notably urban agriculture. Implementing urban agriculture in a spatially meaningful way equates to negotiating with other
players the use and ownership of parcels of open land within contemporary cities, parcels which usually lie underused or are already, mostly on a temporary basis, cultivated by food-growing communities. The paper explores how the design concept of CPUL : Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (Viljoen, Bohn, 2005) [visionary] and the practice of urban agriculture (Tomkins, 2006) [grass roots] are related to current urban planning legislation [local/national power structures] using the UK as an example (Lang, NEF). In order to address this and based on an observed lack of vocabulary on open space in the current urban design debate, the paper suggests to invert the embodied energy discussion and talk about embodied desire and desire in-use (Tomkins, 2008). (One example of the latter is the desire lines across parks: tarmac paths often have a very low embodied desire value and directly contradict the high desire in-use that residents place on walking across the grass point-to-point.) The paper argues that one can extend this idea to urban food growing, and will look at several live projects, including: Garden in the Sky, Croydon, 2008 (Tomkins) (in order to turn a CAR-park into a car-PARK, one needs to map the current desire in-use of residents to see if they could create desire lines into the physical CAR-park), Continuous Picnic, Camden, 2008 (Bohn&Viljoen Architects) (in order to fully unleash the desire in-use of the picnic users, one needs to block the road / put grass down / provide a sound track and make interconnections with food growers).
Julia Borcherding, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany Disciplining space – the French centres de regroupment in Algeria
The centres de regroupement established by the French army during the Algerian War subjected, as Pierre Bourdieu fittingly put it, the indigenous rural population of Algeria to a “veritable diaspora”. Within less than seven years, close to two million people had been forced to give up their villages and were regrouped into provisory or permanent resettlement camps. These resettlements eventually culminated in the so-called “Thousand Village Program” (plan des mille
villages), a state-powered large-scale attempt to simultaneously control and “develop” the rural population. In this paper, I propose to re-examine the French resettlement policies in the light of the conceptual framework developed by James Scott in his work Seeing Like a State by conceiving of them as an instance of state-initiated “social engineering”. They are, I will argue, best conceived of in the broader context of the modern – colonial and non-colonial – state’s farreaching aim to achieve control over its subjects by rendering “legible” the space they inhabit. My paper examines, firstly, the conceptual trajectory leading up to the resettlement policies, particularly the planning and creation of so-called “model-villages” during the period preceding the war, and thus show how housing became a prime actor in the colonial confrontation. Secondly, I look at these policies and their implementations in the light of Scott’s framework as an attempt to both control and modernize the Algerian rural population, thereby radically transforming and eventually destroying existing structures. Mainly drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s account of the resettlements, I place special emphasis on the physical set-up of the camps and the sharp dichotomy between the planned, legible order of the new villages as perceived from the birds-eye view of the colonizer and the “street perspective” of the colonized. Finally, a third and more concise part considers the extensive failure of the resettlements as well as their revealing continuity with more recent development schemes.
Jane Brake, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK John van Aitken, University of Central Lancashire, UK Walking and sitting in Pendleton
Walking and Sitting in Pendleton is an ongoing research project by the Institute of Urban Dreaming (IUD). The project takes as its focus the former Ellor Street Development in Salford, UK, which in the late 1960’s replaced ‘slums’ with tower blocks and low rise maisonettes in communal open spaces. In the early 1990’s, Pendleton was subject to a new phase of ‘regeneration’, resulting in new gated communities and further privatisation of public space, causing the displacement of families to outlying estates. Since 2004 artists John van Aitken and Jane Brake (IUD) have been exploring European housing estates, making images and texts in response to their walks in these spaces and generating an extensive archive of visionary urban landscapes. Walking and Sitting in Pendleton references the work of Augoyard, Lefebvre, De Certeau and Harvey and aims to create a dynamic ethnography, which engages the experiences and visuality of local residents in a reciprocal flow of ideas about the space.
The conference paper will take the form of an audio-visual tour of the area employing original and archival images, audio interview material and readings from the artists, interwoven with a more general discussion about the theoretical space of the housing estate. The presentation will offer multi-media and multi-vocal readings of specific places in Pendleton, such as the inaccessible ‘islands’ of grass and detritus between metal fences, which have been created by successive phases of gating. It will also present the visual and spatial strategies employed by residents to negotiate their everyday existence in this environment.
Breno Bringel, Complutense University of Madri, Spain Towards a spatial history of collective action: limits and possibilities through Brazilian narratives In his book “Mapping the present. Heiddeger, Foucault and the Project of a spatial history”, Stuart Elden proposed that the assertion of space within social theory must not be at the expense of the importance of time and history. This leads to the need to spatialize history, to inject an awareness of space into all historical studies. In this paper we take this project seriously, proposing that is especially important spatializes history of collective action. Recent proposals of a “spatial turn” on social movements’ theory can not get round an historical approach. Through dialogues with Charles Tilly, the major responsible of the insertion of an historical approach into the studies of collective action, and Henri Lefebvre, thinker that consolidate a solid base to develop a critical spatial theory, we will try to show the possibilities and limits of this project applied to collective action studies, using as empirical framework our recent work about Brazilian contention.
Hulya Bulut, Boğaziçi University and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey Cagdas Saydam, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey Ceren Mert, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey (co-author) The impacts of resettlements on a city-space: the case of Istanbul
The second half of the nineteenth century was a period of accelerated disintegration for the Ottoman Empire. In this era, those nations within the rule of the Empire had started to develop a consciousness regarding the constitution of a nation-state. Hence, this brought forth independence movements in the Balkans that resulted in the break off from the Ottoman rule –i.e. the declaration of independences in both Greece and Bulgaria since the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries respectively. Istanbul, being the capital city of the Empire, was also influenced by these happenings and thus went through some physical and social transformations itself. Correspondingly, the major focus of this paper will be on how these transformations were reflected within the urban planning; thus aiming to demonstrate the conversions that took place in Istanbul beginning in the twentieth century until now. The initial phase of this research will accordingly be the process of migration (both those migrating to and from Istanbul). Therefore, in this issue of migration, we find it crucial to add the exchange of population between Turkey and Greece. This is because Istanbul’s demographic and physical structure changed as a consequence of those thousands of Turkish and Muslim populations being placed where Greeks had once lived. After the proclamation of the Turkish Republic, Istanbul was no longer the capital. Nevertheless, this does not indicate a decline of this city’s significance within the nation’s overall history: Istanbul still continues to be the city where different ethnic groups most densely live in Turkey (where incorporation and decomposition are both present). However, after the declaration of the Republic on October 29, 1923, the reconstruction actions started to take place in the new capital city, that is, Ankara, where Istanbul in this regard entered a stagnation period that went on for 25-30 years. In the proceeding years, prevailing governments gave form to the city of Istanbul in line with their will to demonstrate their powers. Accordingly, Istanbul faced some “unsuccessful” formations that were exerted on this city, where movements regarding the resettlements of the inhabitants started to take place. In this city and its periphery, slum areas with different economical and political discourses, like May 1 and Sultanbeyli neighbourhoods, emerged. In this study, we will thus elaborate on the effects of slum settlements on urbanization as well.
Chiara Certomà, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy Politics of places: conventional environmental politics and the space of antagonism
The paper explores how exclusivist concept of place authenticity has been exploited in conventional environmental politics in order to support a specific form of eco-governmentality. Political consequences of such a widespread view range from the imposition of a normative universalism, to the search for consensus through discourse-oriented politics (relying on a dualistic contraposition between human and non-human domains). In terms of environmental politics aimed at place authenticity protection, this means that people and places are often essentialised (not infrequently by feticising their exotic characters), and foundationalist assumptions on green-values fulfilling are adopted, without properly considering the effective power-geometries, inequalities, and material/symbolic violence underlying most of those
environmental projects and policies. As a consequence, conventional environmental politics depoliticise place-based environmental issues by avoiding the emergence of antagonism and contestation. At the contrary, this paper proposes an alternative understanding of place authenticity in terms of non-exclusiveness. It critically deals with problems at the very core of modernity, such as the porosity of every kind of borders, the entrance of the ‘others’ (human and non-human) in public assemblies, the unavoidable ‘contamination’ which characterises authenticity itself. This attempt requires a non-representationalist approach which provides an adequate consideration for the heterogeneous aggregates of humans /non-humans collectives. It works on material semiotic theories, and considers hybrid, dynamic and plural actors as antagonistically facing each other in the definition of the becoming of a place. The who, what, where, and which of environmental politics on place protection is consequently deeply challenged.
Gethin Davison, University of Melbourne, Australia ‘Place-making’ or ‘place-claiming’? The case of Fruitvale
‘Place-making’ is a term used by urban practitioners to describe the process of creating settings which are attractive and meaningful for their users. The close involvement of community organisations in this process is something which is encouraged, as a way of ensuring that that the places created are well suited to the needs of community members. Although it is often taken for granted that the effects of this involvement will benefit all community members equally, this paper reports empirical findings from a place where this has not been the case – where the involvement of a singularly-minded community organisation has done more harm than good for those groups who were already marginal to community affairs. The case is the district of Fruitvale, about three kilometres southeast of downtown Oakland, California. Here, the process of place-making was co-ordinated by the ‘Spanish Speaking Unity Council’ - a local community organisation with its roots in the empowerment of the Latino community. Their vision for Fruitvale was for the neighbourhood’s branding as a ‘Latino Quarter’, and place-making consequently involved the re-orientation of businesses towards the Latino market, the renovation of storefronts and institutions in Latino styles, the introduction of Mexicanthemed festivals, and the development of a mixed-use project which referenced Latino culture through its architecture and detailing.
Asians and African-Americans today account for forty-two percent of Fruitvale’s residents, but have found themselves increasingly marginal to everyday life in the neighbourhood – their numerical presence is by no means reflected in the range of businesses in the commercial centre, nor in the people populating streets and spaces. By unpacking local and regional power relations, the paper assesses the extent to which the process of place-making is implicated in this marginalisation – did ‘place-making’ in Fruitvale become a means of ‘place-claiming’ for the Latino community?
Radivoje Dinulovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia Dragana Konstantinovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia Politics – spectacle – city: open public space in Belgrade as a stage of political drama
Today, in the “society of the spectacle” subjects as theatralisation of city and urbanisation of spectacle, performing event as a work of art and spectacle as a form of social catharsis, become central topics of the architectural and spatial research, as well as theatre and cultural studies. The ways these events define identity of modern cities and their lives grow in the recent decades into the key topic in various and even distant environments, programme orientations, genres, formats and means of presentation. The Balkans, observed from the prospective of political, economic, social and cultural processes, with the recent transformation of the Southeast European countries, have already acquired global paradigm values. Destruction of the cities and urban structure of the Balkans, both physical and spiritual, on one hand, and diligent, creative and research fostering of deeply based traditional values of counties and environments, on the other, become simultaneous and inevitable powers that arise the questions of existentiality and reality, collective guilt and personal apologies, meaning of art creation in general, relationship towards the inheritance (and especially toward 20th century traditions), and, finally, indication or at least anticipation of the new possible ways. Belgrade has become a synonym for public political stage of the 90’s, not only in the region and could be observed as a city-stage – space of political events, often unfortunate and always dramatic. Different forms of performances, mass or intimate, often prepared and produced to look like spontaneous, changed the atmosphere and environment of Belgrade – temporary, but also the meaning of these spaces – permanently.
Rosa Maria de le Fuente Fernandez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain The fight against educational polarization in Madrid: an attempt to analyze local resistances
The metropolitan area of Madrid has been transformed over the past decades under the leadership of the capital, but also under newly applied regional policies, due to the progressive increase of competencies assumed, since 1983 by the political regional authority (Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid), among which non university education was transferred in 1999. Suburbanization and later periurbanization population dynamics of settlement, along with the spread of economical activities around the capital, driven by a constant policy of new infrastructures, have changed the relevance of its centrality. However, socio-spatial segregation in the metropolitan area is still as relevant as it is inside the city, where historical and new patterns of social and spatial inequality have been increasing over the past decade. In this context, firstly, the aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between the persistence of socio-economical inequality and the patterns of spatial social production, specifically focusing on the disparity in educational opportunities in the city, but also in the regional context. Secondly, we will analyse how urban social movement have tried to fight against those public policies considered by themselves as those in charge. In order to do it we will pay attention mainly to three discourses produced by different types of political activism developed by 1) a historically organization called The movement for the quality of education in the Southern and Eastern Areas of the city, created at the middle of the nineties and locally based in two areas of the city, 2) the Movement for the Public Education, and 3) the main current political discourses produced by migrants leaderships or associations. Finally, we will underline the most relevant characteristics of those resistances, analysing the correlation or heterogeneity of the perception of the problem, the main causes perceived as the most relevant ones, and the use of the sense of place in their the actions of resistance in their neighbourhoods.
Carolyn A. Fahey, Newcastle University, UK Boundary and fringe: is Lebbeus Woods a new Wittgenstein?
This paper explores the nature and nuance of hierarchy in the built environment by comparing and contrasting the work of Lebbeus Woods and new Wittgenstein Stanley Cavell. Woods, an infamous thinker of architecture, is known for his architectural drawings that defy conventional notions of architecture. He consistently flirts with the boundaries and fringes of prevalent hierarchies of society reflected in the built environment by engaging directly with the opposed, rejected, disagreeable spaces and places. His drawings paradoxically concern an architecture of
the edges and the interstitial, creating some form of life through architecture where there once was not. In an essay entitled Radical Reconstruction, Woods speaks of resisting predominant hierarchical architectures via acknowledgement and empowerment of the heterarchical. It is precisely this acknowledgement that resonates with the work of Stanley Cavell. In The Claim of Reason Cavell submits that for one to participate in a form of life we must first agree to it; an agreement which is normally inexplicit. It is so because the consent of some such way of life occurs simply in participating in the activities which support it. To do otherwise is no less than refusing to participate in the activities which would otherwise support the form of life. The agreement between these two thinkers lies in their dealing with recognition of the absolute, such notions which hierarchy is meant to up hold, as an ideal. Yet as Woods illustrates and Cavell articulates, engagement with the fringes engenders resolvable differences as well as renders them somehow inconsequential. Alienation on the other hand perpetuates forms of antagonism.
Laura Ferrarello, Università Iuav di Venezia (IUAV), Italy EUR, the masses theatre
Un popolo di poeti, di artisti, di eroi, di santi, di pensatori, di scienziati, di navigatori, di trasmigratori (A nation of poets, artists, heroes, saints, thinkers, scientists, sailors and migrants) This sentence is engraved on the top of the Palazzo della Civiltà Romana in the area called EUR in Rome. Through its words it describes the fascism dream and, at the same time, exposes the fascist illusion. EUR represents the setting in which fascism attempted to play out its story; its perspectives and its metaphysical buildings were to be the stage-set in which the audience, i.e. masses, were to be involved. The massive scale of its white volumes, the orthogonal axis, the rhythmic sequence of columns had to have an imposing effect on the masses in order to control and engage them. In many of his films Federico Fellini celebrated the power of this image in its sublime emptiness, as an empty shell that could be filled with any meaning. The fascist leader Mussolini duped Italians into believing that to be an Italian was the same thing as to be a fascist, and in order to pursue that illusion he needed an icon in which the Italian masses could see themselves reflected and recognize themselves. As Andrew Hewitt describes, this was a necessary process for Mussolini to be recognized as the unquestioned leader. Architecture was
the perfect vehicle to make his dream become reality; architecture becomes a mirror in which everyone recognizes themselves, but so too an icon in which they can recognize the power of the leader. But how exactly does this process happen? And what role does architecture play in it? This paper addresses these questions in a novel and insightful way by drawing upon Walter Benjamin's thinking on the aestheticisation of politics, and Fredric Jameson's insights into the allegorical nature of political content in architecture. In so doing it challenges a series of accepted tenets within architectural theory about the potential political content of architectural form, and explores in greater depth the capacity for architecture to operate in Hitler's terms as a form of 'Word in Stone'.
Rhiannon Firth, University of Nottingham, UK Locating utopian citizenship: territory and transgression
The focus of this paper will be primarily theoretical, although it will draw on experiences from fieldwork undertaken in intentional communities, eco-villages, housing co-operatives and autonomous social centres. A normative proposition of the paper is that a conception of citizenship which does not rely on the state as its ontological territory is both possible and desirable, and that there are existing empirical referents for the spatial forms and practices that it can entail, which might be termed ‘autonomous spaces’. This rests upon an understanding of citizenship as both a concept and a practice which is adaptable temporally (according to changing historical conditions) and spatially (where space can be opened for changing conditions in the present). Such an understanding recognizes the radical value and transformative potential of autonomous spaces both intrinsically and strategically. This paper partially speaks to, and also purposefully transgresses a small body of literature which deals with the political geography and historical genealogy of the concept of citizenship. I argue that although some thinkers offer a useful critique of national citizenship through a focus on other scales or arenas, in particular the (global) city, there are strong normative, epistemological and strategic incentives to situate citizenship somewhere more radically ‘other’. I will consider the potential of theories and practices which are not normally associated with the institution of citizenship in helping us to imagine this.
Richard Fitch, Birkbeck, University of London, UK Man is not by nature an Athenian animal
This paper is a moment in a larger project of reconsidering problems in the complicity between languages of judging and languages of spatio-temporal determination. What are the connections between the determination of ordering (and disordering) and the ordering (and disordering) of determinations? In this paper I examine the debate over the origin of the polis prompted by François de Polignac’s 1984 monograph La Naissance de la cité grecque. De Polignac argued that the archaeological evidence casts doubt on the theory of the polis articulated in influential Athenian texts such as those of Plato and Aristotle. He believed the development of Athens was an exception to the rule of the development of the polis. Aristotle’s conception of the political animal thus rests on the exception rather than the norm. Examining the evidence of religious sanctuaries de Polignac called into question the significance of both the walls of the polis and of the temple precinct. The walls appear to announce and confine the polis/temple as the centre, and define this centre by exclusion. But many significant sanctuaries were on the edges of the chōra of a polis, and de Polignac argued that these marginal sites were actually constitutive of the polis from which they appeared to have been excluded. The polis is then determined not by the walls but by movement between the agora/acropolis and the sanctuaries of an apparent periphery. So the polis, pace Athens, was always explicitly determined not by a simple gathering together into an identity, but by a mediating movement between identity and an always already constructed place of external judgement. Beyond Athens and Jerusalem there are, even in Greece, other ways of figuring the intertwining of power, political space, and political identity.
Gordana Fontana-Giusti, University of Kent, UK The role of walls and walling in the politics of city space
From the beginning of urbanisation until the present times, we continue to experience the spatial conditions of segregation primarily imposed by walls and walling. The walling as an architectural category stands for separation and exclusion that gives way to inequality. As such walling has been practiced for centuries i.e. from the emergence of the first walled cities, across the building of medieval city structures to the appearance of the thick walls of the Renaissance palaces. From its inception the wall had divided people into “us” and “them”. Modernism’s later thrive for openness and transparency exemplified in glass walls and open ground, did not succeed in surpassing the traditional category of the wall and its articulation of
spaces. This condition remains because confrontation and exclusion continue to be produced unconsciously in human minds, - by placing an invisible wall between the subject and the other, between indigenous communities and strangers. The analysis of the politics which focuses on the operation of power through space and on the spatial structuring of exclusion, tells us plenty of grim information about the world and those who have used the walling to maintain their position of privilege. It also tells us something about ourselves in relation to other cultures which might not have developed in the same way. Lewis Mumford1 argued that it was the fear that raised the first city walls. This fear was not the consequence of actual tragic events, but rather it was the idea that the other is an adversary. In support of that, and despite the misplaced romantic views of historic architecture, fifteenth century texts on architecture inform us that the city was a machine not for defence but primarily for attack2. This is its most disturbing legacy.
This paper will produce an analysis of selected architectural examples on the politics of space indicating the longue durée complicity between the politics of walling and of power that continues to stands in the way of progress.
Crispian Fuller, Aston University, UK False utopias: crisis and justification in state, market and civil society relations
There is broad recognition of the blurred boundaries and embedded interdependencies between the nation state, market and civil society, which raises important questions regarding the nature of sociospatial relations during times of material and discursively perceived crisis episodes and subsequent transformations. We are presently witnessing one such embryonic crisis period as the financial crisis is being internalised by the state. This is impacting in terms of restrictive budgets and reductions in state services, but with the state concurrently having to address the negative consequences of recessionary processes. As one would expect the everyday relationships between the nation state, market and civil society are being reconfigured in new ways, presenting the possibility of greater infusion of state disciplinary action towards elements of civil society, as well as further processes of devolved responsibility to civil society, and the
in his seminal City in History (1961)
Leon Battista Alberti De re aedificatoria (1452), Francesco da Giorgio Martin De arte militarea
continuation of privatism as a means in which to support capital. Through the approach of Boltanski and Thevenot (2006) we seek to examine these changing relationships, with particular regard to everyday processes of justification and denunciation. In this conceptualization actors invoke different principles in order to give meaning to situations and to justify them in relation to some broader common good. Crisis situations, in which material conditions rapidly and profoundly alter, are particularly likely to bring state, market and civil society actors into conflict situations in which different notions of a common good are invoked. We argue that while the nation state permeates everyday life through reconfigured neoliberal tendencies and forms of control, there is a contrariwise increase in civic forms of justification. Sites of ‘local’ networked governance occupy a mediating position between the nation state and citizens in its denunciation of the contradiction between altered material conditions and civic justification.
Jan Grzymski, University of Warsaw, Poland Re-inventing Eastern Europe. The imaginative map of the EU eastern enlargement The EU Enlargement (2004/2007) is widely perceived as the successful completion of the consecutive stage in the European integration, which made Europe ‘united, democratic and free’. However, the processes of both political and economic transformation fueled by the integration’s efforts in the former candidate countries to meet the EU entry conditions revealed a silent distinction between Europe and Eastern Europe, where the latter was framed as simultaneously in Europe and not yet European. The transformation in Eastern Europe in the 1990s is explained the most often in terms of EU conditionality and Europeanization of those countries. Such accounts focus on asymmetric, hierarchical power, which enabled the EU to force, and at the same time, monitor the implementation of the institutional and legal solutions embodied in what is known as the Copenhagen Criteria. The question is then to what degree the new criteria and formalization of the entry conditions towards new members states (e.g. the Copenhagen Criteria) stemmed from the commonly shared image of the candidates as ‘Eastern’ countries. I will argue that the enlargement was underpinned by an orientalist discourse that assumes essential difference between Europe and Eastern Europe and frames difference from Western Europe as a distance from and lack of Europeanness. The discourse of Eastern Europe is distinct from orientalism mostly because it was neither simply non-West nor the ‘other’ outside Europe. Nevertheless, the postcolonial theory could shed some refreshing light on the accounts of the EU
enlargement. Most importantly because it could reveal the shared logic of otherness, which seemed to make discourses of Eastern Europe and the Orient very similar, though not identical.
Olivia Hamilton, Macquarie University, Australia Actively altering Italian identity: alternative media and the online discussion forum of G2: Seconde Generazioni
In this paper, I will examine the activities of the group G2: Seconde Generazioni. G2 was founded in Rome in 2005 and represents the second generations, the children of migration, defined as those who were born in Italy to parents of foreign origin, or those who immigrated as young children. Commonly, the children of migration incorrectly labelled as immigrants themselves, while in fact they spent their formative years in Italy and feel themselves to be Italian, and they may experience discrimination and difficulty gaining Italian citizenship. The group’s website includes a discussion forum where members partake in high-level, politically conscious and socially aware discussions regarding their everyday lives in Italy. Firstly, following Atton and Rodgers, I will look at how the use of the Internet by the group places it within the context of alternative media. Secondly, I will look at the ways in which G2 seeks to problematise accepted definitions of what it means to be Italian, through ‘a process of identity-formation which constructs and reconstructs itself in the life-course of individuals and groups’ (Melucci 1996: p. 159). Thirdly, I will explore possible definitions of place, space, and identity, arguing that discussion forums such as that of G2 show us that the use of the Internet by politically active participants is very much tied to their material existence, their concerns with policies and practices that affect their lives, and their attempts to effect changes in the societies in which they live. References: Atton, Chris (2002) Alternative Media, London: Sage Publications Melucci, Alberto (1996) Challenging Codes: collective action in the information age, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Rodgers, Jane (2003) Spatializing International Politics: analysing activism on the Internet, London: Routledge
Aimi Hamraie, Emory University, USA Proximate and peripheral: discourses of space and vulnerability surrounding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons
This paper will examine the politics of space in the discourses surrounding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD). It will analyze both the Convention itself and its reception by international media, governments, and activist groups. It will be my contention that spatial language defines the politics surrounding the CRPD by casting the “local” as invulnerable and the global “periphery” as vulnerable to disability. I will contrast recent state and media discourses with the text of the CRPD itself, considering the use of spatial metaphors and language in the construction of notions of disability identity, access, and rights. Then, I will consider the way that national space enters human rights discourses as a justification for powerful countries, like the U.S., to simultaneously push conventions like the CRPD on other states but also fail to sign and ratify them.
Yuka Hasegawa, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Protection space in the context of displacement of Iraqis
Since the US military intervention into Iraq in 2003, the subsequent fall of Hussain regime and a wide- spread sectarian violence, millions of Iraqis have been displaced both internally and externally, in search of ‘protection space’. While there is no established asylum system according to international law in the neighbouring countries, Iraqis have been able to be admitted and stay in Syria and Jordan, by and large obtaining a level of physical safety. While the realization of their rights as refugees may not be fully realized, it is considered that a protection space is provided to those who are displaced. As the situation stabilizes inside Iraq, increased number of those displaced within the country and those who have sought protection in the neighbouring countries begun to return to their places of origin. In so doing, the issue of sectarian divide emerges, most acutely perhaps in neighbourhoods of Baghdad. Sectarian divide raises the issues such as the right to return to the place origin of those who have been displaced and their physical and material protection upon return. In this sense, protection space inside Iraq presents different dilemma to that of asylum context and is yet to be defined. This paper examines to what extent the notion of protection space can be defined and what it represents. It considers first how the protection space is referred to in the context of asylum and
how it can be defined. Secondarily, it examines how different power holders relate to this notion. Thirdly, turning to the issue of space and sectarian divide inside Iraq, it considers how the notion of protection space can be applied inside Iraq. It concludes by outlining the politics of defining protection space.
Katie Hepworth, University of Technology Sydney, Australia Invented emergencies: the politics of fear in Milanese Roma camps
April 2008. 700 people live in a slum of found and abandoned materials alongside the train line that links Milan to Paris and Zurich, Amsterdam and Berlin. 8th April 2008. 5am. Bulldozers arrive to demolish these people’s carefully constructed homes, dispersing them to other vacant spaces and hidden folds of the city. Winter 2008. We find these same EU citizens 400 metres south along these railway tracks, barricaded against the cold, under the bridge that marks the tacit border between the centre and the periphery.
This is a population silenced by an invented ‘emergency’ that has subsumed city life under the twin politics of fear and security. These politics resonate through events in distant cities: Molotov cocktails are thrown into Roma camps in Naples, Rome and Milan. Fingerprints are taken from Roma children and the military is given authority to police the streets in major cities across the country. Going beneath these politics of fear, the paper expands on Puwar’s term ‘kaleidescoping’ to draw out the multiple, layered interactions between symbolic and physical space that are engaged in response to the presence of particular bodies in the urban environment. Drawing on first person accounts, this paper focuses on a particular RomanianRoma “camp” to investigate how political action is diffused through the spaces of the city, acting on and through the bodies that occupy it, and the individual tactics used to reclaim these bodies and their spaces. This physical location is overlaid everyday struggles for survival, national and EU politics, and a node in the transnational movement of people and goods. This paper draws on fieldwork for the study ‘Everyday Exclusions: Fear and Belonging in the Milanese Borderlands’, which followed 3 migrant populations to determine how politics permeates everyday life and space, with a particular focus on surveillance and spatial control.
Lucy E. Hewitt, University of Edinburgh, UK Civic associations and urban Britain
In 1920 Patrick Abercrombie, then Professor of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool, published an article in which he described the work of civic societies. At the time there were only a few such societies operating in Britain. Abercrombie made explicit mention of groups in London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds, and was a member of the associations in Liverpool and London. The interests and activities of these societies were broad, yet the key focus identified by Abercrombie was the built landscape and aesthetic character of a particular urban locality. Abercrombie hoped that civic societies would develop across Britain, indeed he argued that ‘theoretically the whole country should be covered by a series of contiguous associations,’ each group safeguarding the quality of its local urban environment, monitoring and utilizing the increasing technical ability to transform city space as it developed.3 This paper draws on case study research into early civic associations, including those based in Glasgow (1896), Liverpool (1910), London (1912) and Birmingham (1918), in order to consider the manner in which ideas about the development of urban Britain were formed during this period. The membership of civic associations drew together politicians, businessmen and journalists, as well as influential early planners and leading architects, and, thus, civic associations can be identified as potentially powerful agents in the development of the urban agenda of the early twentieth century. In the context of the unprecedented scale of towns and cities, British society was fast evolving an organizational structure through which to address the complexities of urban life. However, at the centre of this discussion lies the interaction between civil society and the nascent state structures of Victorian and Edwardian Britain. The manner in which this interaction developed still has a significant impact on the character of urban landscapes, and this paper therefore sets out some of the key questions relating to the contemporary negotiation over the character of place in Britain.
P. Abercrombie, ‘A Civic Society. An Outline of its Scope, Formation and Functions,’ Town Planning
Review, vol. VIII, no. 2, April 1920, p. 81.
J. Dwight Hines, Point Park University, USA Landscapes of production and landscapes of consumption: rural gentrification and the post-industrialisation of the American west
In this paper I offer an example of how space is used to divide people into ‘us’ and ‘them’ by providing evidence of the ways in which the character of a post-industrial middle class (PIMC) and its distinctions from its industrial and/or working-class counterparts are being written into the emerging landscapes of the ‘New’ American West. Building upon my previous research on the causes of contemporary gentrification—the colonization of formerly working-class areas by inmigrating middle-class ex-urbanites—in the rural American West, I discuss the effects of this migration on public and private land-use practices in a small Rocky Mountain community with an eye to further appreciating the character of the ongoing postindustrialization of US society. Through my prior analysis emerged a vision of a community sharply divided between natives (those born to or raised from an early age in the area) and newcomers (adults who recently moved to the community) over ideas of proper land use. For natives—largely schooled to working-class and industrial worldviews—both public and private lands are believed to find their ‘highest and best’ use as sites of agricultural (e.g. sheep and cattle) and raw material (i.e. timber, minerals, oil and gas, etc.) production. For newcomers—as bearers of middle-class and postindustrial perspectives—the rural Montana landscape is thought primarily (if not exclusively) as valuable as a site of the production and consumption of experiences. These differing ideals have profound repercussions on the specific types of landscapes that members of these two groups seek to produce as well as the political contests through which they seek to enact their visions. Through ethnographic description and photography I illustrate the character of these landscapes and offer an appreciation of them as exhibitions of the programs of intra- and inter-class ‘distinction’ (Bourdieu, 1984) pursued by the PIMC.
Farhan Sirajul Karim, University of Sydney, Australia At the edge of utopia: colonial exhibitions, Gandhi and after
In architectural treatise, utopia is mostly associated to the contingency of architecture’s with the possibilities of alternative power relation among the inhabitants. With the changing social and political reality, architects and designers have been searching in their projects for an ideal spatial platform for mediating the power relation. However, this paper traces such a utopian tradition during the Indian national upheaval back to its colonial predecessors’ spectacular exhibitions and
shows that the territorial claim over imaginary places by the colonial and anti colonial groups share a common lineage of power relation. In colonial India, ‘power’ was made visible in architectural gestalt and it is through colonial exhibitions that the British sought to create an imaginary reflection on Indian space – inflated with traditional craft objects and exotic human bodies. In order to contrast those exhibition spaces, this paper argues, Gandhi’s well-publicized Ashram also operated as an exhibition ground. Gandhi conceived a self-sufficient, anti-industrial utopia as a showcase, carefully crafting his own body as the central image of a vernacular Indian “counter-modernity”: a strategic reformulation of tradition to serve revolutionary ends. By the end of 1930 the expanding Indian home market and world economic depression tended to eliminate the British-India binary power relation and inspired to espouse a utopian living of universal standards. Several nationalists reacted against the trend. Among them architect Sris Chandra Chatterjee, in several of his unrealized projects, proposed a unique ‘Gandhian/nationalist space’. Ironically instead of forming a non-hierarchical space, his utopia codified and striated Indian village that conceived it as a parenthetical exigency within which a smooth production could be mobilized. Chatterjee’s utopia was structured on Gandhi’s alternative modernity that conceptualizes a non-capitalist economic system based on subaltern empowerment, decentralized state, Indian spirituality and liberal scientific method. But his architectural rhetoric, like many other nationalist projects was become entangled by the very colonial project of detaching object from its image and isolating utility from ornament. However, this is the crucial time to investigate how those imaginary places of mediated power opens a new architectural discourse in post independent India, at a time when India is about to become one of the world's largest economies, and is currently driven by a high-consumption model of modernization based on the paradigms of global capitalism.
Machiel Karskens, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands Flatland politics: on the global structure of human space
In contrast with common (post)modern notions of human space as a multi dimensional and stratified mixture of natural, cultural, symbolic and mental places we would like to argue that human space is first of all the two dimensional, flatland space of the surface of a globe. People do not live in spheres, as Sloterdijk suggests, but on the surface of one and the same sphere, called earth. Since the surface of a globe is unlimited, but not infinite, the mathematical/physical Newtonian notion of multidimensional, absolute and empty cosmo-space does not work in
earthly, human conditions. We will discuss three ontological characteristics of this spherical flatland condition, viz. unlimited and direct connectivity, collisions of moving earthly objects and full space. In which way do these characteristics shape our basic social and political concepts? Next, the impact of the flatland approach on the notion of place will be analyzed. As the biosurface of earth is populated by self moving bodies, two different kind of places must be distinguished enclosures: static, walled places or territories, such as nests, homes, cities and nation-states, and emplacements: dynamic, networks of paths and crossings, such as the public domain, battle fields and empires. What does this distinction do to our basic political concepts of inclusion and exclusion?
Elizabeth Kealy-Morris, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Chester, UK The politics of slum clearance: memory and absence in Chorlton-on-Medlock
This paper will consider what happens to a place when its purpose and function changes through official sanctioned action and directives; how might such practice change the way such a place may be experienced and known? This paper will discuss a collaborative oral history project I carried out with former residents of a central-Manchester UK working-class district destroyed by the post-war municipal and national practice of ‘slum clearance’, an example the enactment of a ‘regime of place’ (Till, 2005). This project evidences examples of ‘counter memories’ (Foucault, 1975) which challenge the official record of how those pre-clearance neighbourhoods functioned, who lived there and how they conducted their lives. Through considering the outcomes of my collaborative research this paper will consider the politics of place and the politics of memory, particularly the remembrance of classed space. Please see the project’s website for more information: http://www.mappingmemory.info
Dragana Konstantinovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia Miljana Zekovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia State and architecture – contentious identity
In a time of globalization, the term culture is often replaced by the term identity, referring thus to the authenticity of national culture and development. In case of Serbia, the question of national identity was raised during establishment of Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and stressed even more in constitution of new socialistic country. The role of architecture was, and still is, significant in expression of national values within and beyond nation-states. The paper examines the political instruments and strategies behind the state investments that were reflected in architectural projects in former Yugoslavia and nowadays Republic of Serbia. Shaping of socialistic Yugoslavia had numerous manifestations in strategies of city planning and design, and in overall state policy of what architecture should represent. By the 80’s, the state invested in numerous architectural projects that underpinned the national designation of Yugoslavs, and emphasized the statehood of socialistic Yugoslavia. During the period of disintegration and civil wars in 90’s triggered by raging nationalism, new paradigm of national differentiation, mostly drawn from religion, emerged. The state investments were on the hold, and the existing building stack was used for redefined goals of new state politics, although the projects were affiliated to the previous idea of Yugoslav unity. In nowadays democratic state, which soars toward European integration, the issues of local and national are additionally challenged by globalization. When the nation is already in identity crisis, how it can cope with the assimilation into global society? Current state of play in Serbia shows lack of political interest for architectural discourse and its importance for re-building national values. Is the time of iconic buildings in Serbia forever behind us, or is it just temporary effect of ongoing transition?
Jennifer Kopping, Greenside Design Center, South Africa Egoli; place of wax – the political palimpsest of urban South Africa
The City of Johannesburg known as Egoli or translated “Place of Gold “is a mutable space that is in a continual state of becoming. It is a political landscape that is still haunted by the legacy of Apartheid and its inequities. Cicero stated that “we use places as wax”. Johannesburg and its spaces and architecture once built on gold and the exploitation of the disenfranchised has
become analogous to melted, heated and moulded wax; fragile, fluid and brittle as it transforms and drapes itself to suit new contradictory and shifting ideological and political realities. Urban maps that once clearly demarcated race and racial exclusion are beginning to blur, played out as hidden palimpsestous layers , marked by traces of socially engineered ideologies, both Colonial and Post –Colonial and where complex interactions and dichotomous disjuncture manifest as new power struggles.
This paper attempts to give an overview of the paradoxical nature of political erasure and rupture that is evident in the continual transformative spaces of the Johannesburg urban environment; The old Fort once a jail that incarcerated Nelson Mandela is now a Museum and site for the Constitutional Court, Mine Hostels that once housed the human flotsam of migrant labour and which separated families are now homes for some. The Newtown Cultural Precinct once the market place is a carefully orchestrated space that has attempted to erase the Apartheid past and create a Utopic vision of a new South African democracy. The township streets of Soweto once the site of political activism are now a tourist destination, where political history becomes a marketable commodity and which sharply contrasts with the surveillance and silence of gated communities of once exclusively white suburbs and informal settlements line the highways as trophies of shame, to an Apartheid past and yet ironically have been the site of xenophobic violence.
Joseph D. Lewandowski, The University of Central Missouri, USA ‘We livin’ in hell here’: race and social space in the new American Ghetto
The built urban environment has played—and continues to play—a decisive role in shaping the identities and struggles of marginalized and oppressed groups. This is especially the case in the US, where modern city-life has always been embedded in a profoundly ethnoracialized political economy. Indeed, in American cities, forces of urbanization (the design, production and administration of urban space) have repeatedly sought to divide and contain diverse ontologies of urbanism (metropolitan ‘others’ and their ‘different’ ways of life). Needless to say, such ethnoracial division and enclosure remains a pronounced feature of the contemporary AfricanAmerican urban milieu, where ‘new’ ghettos (institutionalized, jobless, and overwhelming ‘dark’) have emerged in the de-industrializing wake of neo-liberalism. It is precisely the articulations of identity and forms of social practice peculiar to this emergent ‘post’-industrial ghetto space that I should like to examine in this presentation. In particular, I intend to explore the social practice and
myriad functions of ‘cool’ in the ghetto habitus. Thus it is not the aesthetic but rather the social epistemology of ‘cool’ that interests me here. In fact, I argue that in the ghetto, ‘cool’ has complex and highly contradictory social, epistemic, and moral functions. The analysis draws on the practice theory of Pierre Bourdieu, the Anerkunngstheorie of Axel Honneth, and the urban photography of Camilo Vergara, as well as urban ethnographies by Elijah Anderson and the hiphop lyrics of Kanye West.
Sarah Manning, Space Agency/Concept Lab, UK Rudabeh Pakravan, University of California, US, and Concept Lab, UK Dubai: instant city Reports on Dubai fill the newsstands; readers are regaled and bewildered by stories of world’s tallest towers, underwater hotels, and manmade islands in the shape of Asia. In a time span that translates to a handful of large scale building projects for most cities, Dubai has constructed over three billion square feet of infrastructure and real estate. Unlike Rome, there are forces at play that assure Dubai is built in a day: free-trade zones, tax-free lures for foreign companies, novel tourist attractions, an endless supply of easily exploited labour, lack of real involvement by municipal authorities, a ruler with a grandiose vision, and a steady flow of expatriates that have little say in the shape of their surroundings. There is neither the incentive nor political will for Dubai to develop organically, nurturing the fractal structure of a living city where bottom-up growth can nest within great feats of engineering. Projects are planned by private interests or the autocratic al-Maktoum family, and unchecked by a democratic planning system. A decentralized agglomeration of themed communities, each conceived as an autonomous destination, fail to integrate spatially or culturally into a cohesive urban network. Rather than conceiving of the city as a network, where emphasis is placed on the relationships between spaces as experienced through an openly accessible public realm, planning in Dubai takes a parcel logic, where property ownership dominates. In a place like Dubai, this means that those already with money and power command the space. This research documents both the physical form of the city and the way it is used in order to gain insight into how the scale, decentralized nature of development and lack of a coherent public realm affects the social experience and long term livability of the City. We conclude by proposing an approach toward the planning of rapidly developing cities that recognizes the value of public space in fostering the social sustainability of the City.
Mark McGovern, Edge Hill University, UK Beyond the pale: comparing the Irish and Muslim communities' experiences of counter-insurgency law and policy
The paper will examine the impact of counter-insurgency laws and policies on people in two 'suspect communities'; working class nationalist/republican communities in the North of Ireland and Muslim communities in Britain today. The paper will explore what comparisons can be drawn between the Irish and Muslim lived experiences of, what might be termed, the sites and spaces of suspicion and oppression (from prisons and policing, to community surveillance and political vetting) that have in turn been framed by the discourses of 'terrorism'.
John McSweeney, Milltown Institute, Ireland Discipline and govern: productive selves and the securing of emerging public spaces
Michel Foucault’s 1978 course at the Collège de France overlays the deployment of disciplinary techniques of micro-control with governmentality’s pursuit of “felicity” through circulation, suggesting a complex matrix of controlled circulation at the service of biopower. Paolo Virno’s analysis of immaterial labour (taken apart from his politics of the multitude) offers a significant elaboration of Foucauldian biopower in terms of the dynamics of post-Fordist capitalism, highlighting in particular how subjectivity is both radically enriched and rendered servile by a subjectivising matrix of “social cooperation” which grows ever more sophisticated and seductive. This paper attempts to build upon these insights to consider how, in a transition beyond postmodernism, the emergence in late capitalist economies of what will be termed a ‘productive self’ (or a ‘public-productive self’) becomes a site, simultaneously, of both global circulation and disciplinary control of the new public spaces, generated by such circulation – at the service of governmentality. (By a public-productive self is intended a self which, increasingly, exists insofar as it is performed publicly and which, in Virno’s terms, continually produces new subjectivesocially cooperative spaces.) In particular, the paper is concerned with how the specific spatialisation of the productive self serves to nullify the ethical challenge and potential emancipatory power of contemporary possibilities of an ongoing, dynamic and global refiguring of spaces of difference, differentiation and exclusion. Conceptually, the paper here takes as a guide Flann O’Brien’s early modernist novels, which arguably anticipate the transition from a fluidic postmodern narrative space, to the ‘impossible’, productive spaces of our emerging era. It will be argued that, no less than O’Brien’s hermetically sealed “hell” of the invention of new, heretofore ‘impossible’ spaces, the ‘productive self’ produces a circulation, which at once employs the
global spaces of communication yet remains largely insensitive to all but its own subjective-social cooperative production.
Terry Meade, University of Brighton, UK Destruction of homes, erasure of history
"In that demolition I lost everything. I lost all the memories of my life – pictures, documents, belongings from my childhood, my wedding, our years in Saudi Arabia. Everything that meant something to me personally. We lost all our possessions – our furniture, appliances. All our savings from all those years of work were gone."4 “As dramatic as events surrounding their home turned out to be – hundreds of soldiers, Border Police, Israeli officials and demolition workers beating and threatening and shooting, throwing out furniture, yelling, giving orders and, in the end, leaving a demolished family in the dust and ruins of their home – Salim and his wife Arabiya, and their six children were also doing nothing more than living their ordinary lives, albeit under occupation.” 5 Following the recent attacks on the Gaza, we have been confronted with hundreds of images of destroyed homes, of soldiers smashing their way into private domains and the resulting destruction, chaos and confusion. This has become a common and very worrying aspect not only of the conflict between Israel/Palestine but also a feature of the ‘War on Terror’ with its increasing attacks on civilians in densely populated urban areas. We are generally not made aware of the (very quiet), destruction of Palestinian homes and lives that has been carried out for many years within Israel and the West Bank. In 2004 the Israeli Government announced the establishment of a ‘Demolition Administration’, within the Ministry of the Interior, charged with overseeing the demolition of between 20,000 and 40,000 homes of Israeli (Arab), citizens. Around 95 % of these demolition orders have no connection to any security issues Israel might claim. According to the Interior Ministry, 886 Palestinian homes were demolished inside Israel in 2006 and in 2007 four entire Bedouin villages were flattened. This paper will explore Israel’s policy of house demolitions and it will examine the motivation and justifications for this given by the Israeli authorities. It will also investigate the impact on families
Halper J. (2005) Obtsacles to Peace, A Re-Framing of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict P49 Halper J. (2008) An Israeli in Palestine, resisting Dispossession, Redemming Israel P36
living with the threat and insecurity of demolition orders and the effect on their lives after their homes have been destroyed.
Peter Minosh, Columbia University, USA Architectural regulation in the governmental landscape
Since 1949 the General Services Administration (GSA) has had oversight of the building of federal buildings, courthouses, and border crossings within the United States. In recent years, through initiatives such as the Design Excellence Program that seek to bring a higher level of design to the government landscape, federal design has had an architectural resurgence, attracting internationally recognized designers, such as Morphosis and Moshe Safdie. This paper seeks to understand the interplay of architecture and governmentality in the creation and normalization of subjects. An analysis of architectural design in this context will center on the subject position presupposed by the federal building in relation to those created by embassies and border crossings. As public faces of the US government, each has a semantic relationship to their political processes that they construe. The embassy has, in recent years, come to represent the defensive outpost in the political centers of foreign territory. The crossing has likewise come to represent a barrier between nations, but moreover a set of processes that control a constant flow of goods and people. Reading these through to the federal building, one finds a case in which the population under control is the political center of its own constitution, the citizenry. To understand the subject position being created by the federal building I will utilize an analysis of “smart power” as described by Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye, and gaining currency in American political circles, which combines elements both a “hard power” defensive apparatuses and “soft power” public relations forum. This Paper will argue that the American federal building creates a social-spatial organizing mechanism that acts centripetally to set up layers of defense disguised as design elements of the public realm; parks, benches, planters and cafés that act as barriers. These defensive elements are self-same to a series of benefit garnering practices provided by the state, public spaces of a liberal society, which work centrifugally to order that culture that they serve.
Angela Munro, Monash University, Australia City government: the radical neoliberal reform of Melbourne City Council in 1990s
Research and policy analysis at international and national levels have increasingly focused on intergovernmental arrangements in city governance as a matter for urgent reform. Citizenship is central to such redefinition and Melbourne an example of dysfunctional arrangements. Melbourne City Council is unusual in international terms being essentially a CBD Council since 1993 - one of 31 councils in the metropolitan area. It has an entrenched tradition of undemocratic franchise and electoral arrangements favouring property and commerce over citizenry. Its authority and responsibility have been cumulatively limited versus state government. A case study of the radical reform of the MCC in 1990s is to be undertaken, addressing the questions: Why and how was the Melbourne City Council reformed in 1993/8 and with what implications for democratic governance?
Dina Nashar Baroud, Notre Dame University, Lebanon Noel Nasr, Notre Dame University, Lebanon Power at the margin, the aftermath
In summer 2006, part of Beirut, once again, has been flattened by the Israeli bombardment, which has mainly targeted El Dahiya*, Hezbollah’s** headquarters. Immediately after the cease-fire, the reconstruction started, trying to rebuild what has been destroyed, in order to revive the core of this area. Initially, El Dahiya had been developed on the periphery of Beirut, at the margin. Decentralized anthropologically, morphologically and politically. Accordingly, in this work, we will question how political agendas, which are distinct from official governmental agendas, reveal an urban growth, which is de-structured from the established urban tissue. The reconstruction of El Dahiya after Summer 2006 demonstrates “live”, decentralized political agenda and its urban uprising. We will closely examine how Hezbollah’s scheme operates and manipulates this space and consequently the place-ness and sense of belonging i.e. how memories are re-established to empower the marginalization, in South Beirut, during the aftermath of war. Our investigation will be presented in two forms. The first will be theoretical and will consider this urban manifestation as a cancerous zone, which feeds on the self established politics of Hezbollah. Hence its presence and spread depends on how far the power of Hezbollah and its
essence is set away from the power and essence of Beirut. And on how distant the short memories about El Dahiya are set away from the memories of Beirut as a city and the capital of Lebanon. The second will be photographic and will capture El Dahiya’s reconstruction, trying to reveal the imposed physical reconstruction, concretizing on one hand its urban separation from Beirut, and on the other hand, it’s people’s memories of places. *El Dahiya: South Beirut area **Hezbollah: or “Party of God - a Shi'a Islamic political and paramilitary organization based in Lebanon was formed primarily to offer resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Sylvia Nicholles, University of Victoria, Canada Architecture after crisis: security, politics and interaction
There has been a clear shift in the use of architecture to influence how people interact with urban places, and with each other. Architects and designers have become more receptive to cultural theory, sociology, and psychology when considering their approaches to design. As such, political theory needs to become more receptive to how architecture is steeped in politics. If we can think of architecture as political, then theorizing our daily interactions with the environments built by architects becomes important for questioning the practices of architecture and urban design. Architecture can be used to control. This ‘built environment’, as delineated by recent usage of architecture to prevent crime (in programs such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design or CPTED) controls us in our daily interactions with it. This allows for spatial segregation and individuation through the way in which we build in certain types of populations while excluding others. I argue that this type of exclusive building occurs both during and after crisis, and has implications for our ability to practice a politics that is not premised on securing a place against a crisis. To explore this proposition, I will take two examples: first, the use of architecture in occupied Palestine as explored by Eyal Weizman in Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. Second, I will address the normalization of similar architectures in Vancouver, B.C. By comparing a place that is supposedly ‘in crisis’ to a place that is supposedly in a ‘normal’ condition, I examine the spatial and political dimensions of implementing social control programs to conclude that the current disjuncture between architecture and political theory has important implications for both securing place and interaction within urban environments.
Greg Noble, University of Western Sydney, Australia The politics of perambulation: the everyday regulation of movement in local spaces
Access to public space and freedom to move are seen as fundamental to a democratic state, yet this access is often seen in very abstract, even symbolic terms. This paper draws on a number of research projects – on incidents of racial vilification experienced by Arabic-speaking and Muslim Australians since September, 11, 2001, on policing of young people in shopping areas, and on the Cronulla riots of 2005 – to explore the discursive, affective and spatial regulation of national belonging for many Australians of migrant backgrounds. It examines the ways in which everyday spaces of living have become places of incivility, harassment and exclusion. The capacity to experience forms of national belonging and cultural citizenship is shaped by inclusion within or exclusion from local and nationally significant public spaces. The power to claim national belonging is intimately linked to the capacity to inhabit local spaces, to interact and move within and through local spaces. These spaces are also marked as ‘national space’ whose control is a matter of struggle and exclusion. The consequences of racial vilification are that certain groups are thwarted in their ability to move through these social spaces, and therefore lose the capacity to navigate within and across social worlds. They therefore have reduced opportunities to develop ‘movement competencies’, civic investments, and networks of co-operation.
Nur Endah Nuffida, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands Architecture, city life and identity: community centres and Kampung Improvement Programmes at Surabaya
Indonesia faced two related crises in today’s world. The first and most visible is the environment crises. The second, more subtle but equally lethal, is identity crises which affects to life and its qualities as human beings and as a nation in world’s society. This study aims to know the relations between architecture, urban design, and political cultures with contemporary representations of identities and city life in Indonesia. The issues posed were questioning the effects of colonialism, modernity and nationalism on the visual and spatial environment of the city life and how they shaped the social and political identities of the local population. Surabaya and its local culture will be the case study to understanding, framing, and questioning the contemporary representations of identity, meaning and political cultures through architecture and urban design in a city, and also their constructions of authoritative knowledges, and the
contingent practices and politics through which architecture and subjectivities are constituted in the 21st century. The research begin by asking what is culture and local mean in the knowledge of architecture and urban design to underscore the co-constitutive linkages between the epistemologies and the practices of local cultures in city life in which architecture was built . How local culture in a city is also mobilized and deployed in the making of space and its sustenance will be a frame for research questions posed. This research will also examines the role of local cultures in Surabaya city life, in relation to environment for people in city life. Questions of representation, space, identity, power and nation building will be the frame of theorization to the findings. The argument that it is some implications of such meanings to people provide a necessity understanding to the research questions. The paradoxes of this global moment necessitate an understanding of epistemological frameworks in the study of architecture and urban design. The aim of such an understanding is to examined architecture and urban design in a city as contingent and flexible form unsettled by globalization and the conditions which linked and dismantled assumed cultural coherence from its context. Whether in the explorations of shifting geographies of cultures as nostalgia and authenticity, the manufacture of local traditions as part of struggles over space, or hybridity in a globalizing world, these examinations will be critical in understanding the constitutive concept of an intersecting discourses of human, cultures and the built environment. The role is thus premised on the assumption that tradition and local culture may in fact be the most powerful catalyst for change. This study considers as further efforts to reconcile principles on architecture and urban design, focusing on theories that analyze democratic citizenship, culture, and identity through the lens of the contemporary city. Finally, the importance of the study to Indonesia is to contribute the base of architectural significance and the grounding for its complimentary meanings. The meaning thus is found through the ontological and metaphoric foundation of building or form in which such ideas of beauty and aesthetic experience are expressed in architecture, like other means of cultural expression, offers. Such meanings both derive from and impact on the way architecture is used and experienced. An understanding to form the concept of identity in architecture drawn an understanding of the self led us to uphold, not only the primacy of values but also the objectivity which makes architecture and urban design as a living artform, a more suitable city, a better built environment for mankind and humanity.
Graciela Perez, Pepperdine University, USA History, culture and religion migrate into multicultural literary images shaping an interpretation of national identities; a comparative study of images in Les Amants de Tolède of Villiers de l’Isle-Adam
In ‘Les Amants de Tolède’ one of the Histoires Insolites, Villiers chooses a segment of the history of Spain as the background in which to stage his literary story. A comparative perspective is generated, initiating a dialogue between two histories that converge in the shaping of literary images that insinuate a representation of the ‘other’ and of the ‘foreign’ as a fertile ground for deeper and inviting reflection of the ‘self’ and of the ‘national’. Cultural, religious and historical images are then transposed into a literary discourse acting as a neutral ground from where to propose a conversation about other kinds of migrations. The embedding of icons of foreign cultures, histories and religions into a literary narrative results in a work of art enriched by the images fashioned by a ‘foreign eye’ and sets the stage for further reflections. The transposition of selected images from neighbouring cultures into a fantastic narrative reflects to some extent the contemporary massive movements of people across the globe that transfer along with them their own history, culture and religion. This narrative strategy of Villiers creates a kaleidoscopic representation of themes and images that merge the fields of religion, literature and history. These themes and images transposed into the domain of the ‘littérature fantastique’ follow the initiation of the reader to a supernatural world that imposes its own principles and assumptions over reality. The boundaries of reality are then transposed and a new world opens up where the known and the unknown, the local and the foreign, the natural and the uprooted, the ordinary and the imaginary extraordinary intermingle. Villiers embarks on an aesthetic journey that results in the creation of a possible world out of the ruins of the past. That past belonging to ‘the other’ becomes fantastically close to the identifiable past of the writer, which then simultaneously includes the present of each reader.
Anna Plyushteva, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Political spaces and changing citizenships in the peripheral neighbourhoods of Lima, Peru
Many young adults in Pampas de San Juan, a peripheral squatter settlement in Lima, Peru, express a profound disillusionment with political participation, despite recognising its importance in a marginalised urban district like the one they inhabit. Various antecedents to this phenomenon can be identified: the violence of the Shining Path guerrilla movement targeted at neighbourhood leaders in the 1990s; the increasingly corrupt and irrelevant district-level political fabric combining
formal party politics with a complex hierarchy of neighbourhood councils; and an almost complete lack of spaces suited for public gathering. While for their parents the land invasions in Lima’s steep peripheral hills during the 1980s represented the quintessential struggle for urban citizenship, the Pampas-born generation is engaged in a complex process of identity-formation, trying to reconcile the recognition of spatial marginality with the powerful inherited discourses of collectivity and mutual help, and the modernity embodied in the city of Lima. This paper, based on research conducted from February to May 2009, traces the spatial boundaries of the public and the private in a peripheral urban area – from the fragmentation of closed-door neighbourhood councils to the development of political convictions among the lucky few who gain access to Lima’s university campuses. It searches for the relevance of global urban citizenship discourses in the lived experiences of those inhabiting the city’s invisible-to-most areas, who are increasingly lured by the lights of the ‘orderly and safe’ city to which they belong politically, and from which they are excluded through a web of intricate social and spatial barriers.
Rebecca Pohl, University of Manchester, UK Theorising space and sexuality
The proposed paper comes out of my current doctoral research that is concerned with literary representations of “alternative” spaces and sexualities. For the purposes of this conference I would like to offer a theoretical reading of space and sexuality and the power politics involved. The central questions to be investigated in the paper are: Why is it interesting to bring together space and sex? How and where can they be brought together? What power politics are invoked by this conjunction? Space and sexuality are both concepts inherently concerned with issues of power politics where the political is understood to describe principles of organisation and power a relationship of inequality. I recognise both space and sexuality to be vast discursive arenas whose discussion requires delimitation. The paper therefore develops through a close attention to Michel Foucault’s notion of the panopticon (1978 ; 1977 ), which introduces issues of spatiality and visibility to the discussion of power as well as power to the discussion of sexuality. It proceeds to a reading of texts by Henri Lefebvre (1991 ) and Michel de Certeau (1984 ), who introduce theories of producing space through spatial practices. It then relates these back to questions of sexuality. I intend to argue for a discussion of space and sexuality that does not reproduce unyielding forms of identity politics but allows for processual, negotiable and “fluid”
subject positions. This may offer new modes of conceiving of the operation of power through space as well as its structuring of space with regard to sexuality.
Neil Ravenscroft, University of Brighton, UK Andrew Church, University of Brighton, UK (co-author) ‘Whose land is it anyway?’ Deconstructing the nature of property rights
Contemporary Western legal theory is posited on a claim that property rights have ‘evolved’ as a response to competition over the use of land. Garrett Hardin’s 1968 ‘tragedy of the commons’ has been highly influential in this respect, in arguing that external regulation of land use is all that prevents over-exploitation of common property resources. While many critics have sought to expose weaknesses in Hardin’s arguments, his central thesis, about the development of property rights, has largely remained unchallenged. As E.P. Thompson has argued, this has (erroneously, in his belief) included a central notion that land is not only capable of being ‘owned’, but that ownership is discrete, hierarchical and, ultimately, ‘natural’. ‘Nature’, in this context is shaped, in post-Enlightenment terms, by the connection between class and authority over nature, natural resources and the environment that has led to exclusion and exclusivity in Western land right systems. It is also central to the neo-liberal politics of economic reconstruction and land reform enforced in (and on) many developing economies. Following Thompson, and informed by Marcel Mauss’ work on the role of property in premercantile societies, we seek to offer a critical deconstruction of the ‘evolutionary’ development of contemporary (Western) property law. In particular, we question the political foundation of the evolutionary discourse and, following recent work by James Krier, argue that contemporary property rights regimes are neither ‘natural’, nor the result of an uncritical application of Darwinian evolutionary thinking. In a departure from contemporary thought, however, we suggest that the neo-liberal rights frameworks underpinning property relations are far from fixed, and that alternative ‘cultural’ understandings of the development and application of rights frames offer opportunities for action, certainly at the community level, to open debate about the central questions of whose land it is, and what it is to assert claims over land.
Paul Reynolds, Edge Hill University, UK The politics of sexual space: reflections on comparison's between London, Manchester and Amsterdam
One visible feature of sexual diversity and recognition in society is the development of lesbian and gay (and to a lesser extent dissident sexualities) cultural and geographical space in urban settings, particularly in the two decades. This might be seen as a feature of contemporary lesbian and gay ‘community-building’, through the identification and demarcation of particular spaces within the City/town as ‘gay/lesbian or gay/lesbian friendly, spaces, and more generally a sense in which sexual diversity is represented and recognised in the City/town. Not surprisingly, this is equated with the term of legal, cultural, social and political recognition of non-heterosexuals as citizens. To talk of lesbian and gay space is to acknowledge historical associations of particular geographical areas with sexual contacts and associations, but to claim for the recent construction of lesbian and gay space is different. Whereas historically these were marginal places where knowledge given by word of mouth and informal contact, these contemporary sexual spaces are marketing, exploited and exported. These areas are often associated with a lack of public safety and with a sense of being ‘recessed’ from the law and so possibly the sites of criminal behaviour To talk of lesbian and gay space in the last two decades, however, is to focus on the development of distinct and publicly visible areas of cities, recognised as occupied by and/or constituted by services for lesbians and gay men. These spaces are the recognisable bases from which lesbian and gay recognition spreads throughout the city/town. The space itself is constituted by recognisable symbols, identifiers and affirmative language and displays that demark the space as occupied by lesbians and gay men. These are spaces that may – if variably – also be space inhabited or used by other sexual ‘dissidents’ such as bisexuals or transgendered/transsexual people. These acculturalised spaces speak to the sexual tolerance of contemporary society and its progression towards sexual liberty, or at least that is their presentation. This paper will deconstruct these sexual spaces and provide alternate analyses that recognise the possibilities of progress but uses the meanings and symbolism of these sexual spaces to demonstrate the superficiality and limited nature of sexual liberties and recognition. When it is argued that sexual space is indicative of a particular stage of progression in genuine sexual equality and justice, the argument is made misunderstanding its accuracy – the nature and
meaning of these spaces demonstrates precisely the limits of sexual liberties, recognition, rights and justice.
Eva Rodriguez Riestra, University of New South Wales, Australia Staking the territory: site-specific art and the reclamation of public space
‘The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting’ (Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
This paper examines some of the ways in which site-specific public art practices address the relationship between power, space and inequality in the twenty-first century city. The investigation is underpinned by theories of spatiality and place-making, and it contextualises contemporary art practice within discourses on place, identity and relational aesthetics. Current art history discourse on site specificity sees the homogenisation, fragmentation and alienation resulting from globalisation, together with the rise of the nomadic ethnographer-artist resulting in the dematerialisation of the physical site. However many contemporary artists are addressing spatial themes such as borders, migration, and deterritorialisation, or using spatial media such as mapping, walking and locative technologies in their work. In this paper I argue that there is a movement in current art practice towards direct engagement with a specific location, a resuscitation of a sense of place, and politically motivated spatial interventions. This paper identifies some of these contemporary practices through several case studies, and introduces the notion of “relational spatiality” in order to investigate urban site-specific art projects that challenge the spatial structuring of inequality. The sites of these works are contested urban public spaces, and the tactics employed by them are varied: from temporary occupations to walking tours, they range from the playful and poetic to the transgressive and transformative. The works are mostly ephemeral and evanescent, and are united by association with a particular place and by their reconcetptualisation, reclamation and reoccupation of public space.
Nicky Ryan, University of the Arts London, UK The palimpsest of place: community, architecture and consensus
This paper explores the relationship between communities and the built environment and considers the significance of architecture in shaping a sense of place. Massey (1995) has argued that the identity of places is always ‘temporary, uncertain, and in process’. New meanings become attached to the urban terrain as it is reconfigured though gradual decay and natural or accidental destruction. Debates about the restoration of historic or significant local buildings frequently bring to the fore conflicting interpretations of place by local community groups. This paper uses the Crystal Palace Park in Sydenham as a case study through which to explore the complex and contested nature of place and its relationship to social memory and local identity. The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936 and yet more than seventy years on the site remains undeveloped due to a lack of any consensual public view about what should take its place. The London Development Agency (LDA) claimed that its latest masterplan for Crystal Palace Park (2007) involved unprecedented level of public consultation including a £5 million independently facilitated ‘Dialogue Process’. Drawing on Habermas’ (1984: p.86) idea of communicative action where actors in society reach common understanding and co-ordinate actions by reasoned argument, consensus and co-operation rather than through strategic action in pursuit of individual goals, this paper analyses the role of local community groups in the negotiation of place identity. Primary research has involved interviews with representatives from a variety of Crystal Palace community groups and the analysis of plans, project proposals, consultation papers and community websites. I examine the strategy of ‘communicative action’ or ‘deliberate democracy’ (Dryzek, 2000) as a means of addressing public interest in the programming and design of place.
References: Dryzek, J. (2000) Deliberate democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics and Contestations Oxford: Oxford University Press. Habermas, J. (1984) The Theory of Communicative Action: Volume 1, trans. T. McCarthy, Cambridge: Polity. Massey, D. (1995) “Places and their pasts”, History Workshop Journal No. 39, pp. 182-192.
Muriel Sacco, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium Transforming public spaces in poor neighbourhoods: comparing Brussels and Montreal
Since the end of the eighties, an increasing number of social and urban public policies in Western countries have targeted poor neighbourhoods of the inner cities. Smaller scales of intervention and concentration of resources are considered to be better tools to maintain social coherence of cities and improve social conditions of the inhabitants of these areas. These new social policies are driven by a new paradigm which focuses on the building environment rather than on individuals. That is why the outcomes of these new social policies are mainly the renewal of the public spaces and the building of housing. At the same time, the goals of these public policies are ambiguous because of the globalization. In the context of the global competition between cities to attract headquarters of global firms and their employees, cities are ‘forced’ to enhance their international image and to conceive attractive public spaces, areas and infrastructures. In some cases, cities use social territorialized policies shifting their original objectives to achieve these ‘global’ aims. Consequently, poor neighbourhoods of downtown are sometimes the scene of this shift of the city image. Indeed, their location and industrial architecture are adapted to build lofts and their ethnic shops, restaurants and bars are the symbols of the urban village. Thus, one may ask whether urban policies are used to transform these areas for new middle and creative classes (Florida, 2002) or to improve social environment of their inhabitants. The exams of the policy networks, the tools and the outcomes of these policies can help to understand better the goals of these policies and the kind of public spaces produced. The public space features depend on policy goals. Through a comparison of the urban policies implemented in two similar central neighbourhoods of Brussels and Montréal, I want to determine what kind of spaces urban policies are building. Moreover, Brussels and Montréal are two cities with similar sociological, economical and cultural profiles, but different political culture and institutions. Implementing similar urban policies, I would like to explain the similarities and the differences in the produced spaces in the two cities considering the influence of the policy networks, the tools and the implicit and explicit goals of these policies. The data I will use in this presentation are made up of semi-directed interviews with several actors of these policies and a documentary analysis.
Hossein Sadri, Gazi University, Turkey Senem Zeybekoglu Sadri, Dogus University, Turkey A human-rights based approach to the politics of space
“Human Rights” is an idea. An idea which entails that all humans should be treated special just because they are humans. According to that, Human Rights utter certain necessities related to humans. These necessities derive from the will to respect and protect Humans’ values. In other words, Human Rights are principles which require special conditions for the realization of the natural possibilities of humans. The conditions of Human Rights can be found in the knowledge of human possibilities. Since we know that Human Rights are in a strong relationship with our possibilities and their continuity, we can understand that none of our actions are detached from Human Rights. Spaces as human possibilities and architecture as an action cannot be excluded. In fact today’s architecture needs a human rights based view more than other times. Contemporary architecture is changing as a political tool for making economic rents. The politics of space is improving according to global streams and local advantages of power and mainly under the global economy and politics. The mission of architecture is transforming from a peoplebased view to a power-based one. Nowadays, urban poor are being moved out from cities through gentrification processes and the power of people on their spaces is being terminated via regeneration projects. The stages of the life circle of space - design, construction and use – are witnessing different types of human rights’ violations in contemporary world and this is determining the urgent need of reconstructing a new framework for architecture under the principles of human rights. The main focus of this paper is politics of space as a basis for social efficiency in architecture. Thus this paper aims to characterize challenges and introduce solutions for today’s architecture to stop all kinds of human rights’ violations realized by spaces by introducing a human rights based approach to the politics of space.
Andre Santos Campos, University of Lisbon, Portugal Multitude and Global Citizenship in a virtual network space
Hegel’s philosophy of History displays a strong connection between territorial characteristics and political effectiveness, which would entail that, for instance, Southern Africa could never really become developed since its geography of deserts, mountains, and rivers not suitable for transit,
favors small patriarchic societies and not open absolute ones. However, in a global society with ever more critics, Toni Negri’s recent suggestions that there is a new collective political subject inherited from Spinoza’s works – the multitude –, which is supposed to harmonize James Madison’s compatibility between factions and Lenin’s refusal of transcendent power, seem to develop a universal concept of citizenship extending beyond the boundaries of enclosed geographic territories through the usage of new technologies. But since the multitude is supposed to become a political reality of human multiplicity opposing institutional and corporate (national or global) entities, it must have an ontological justification independent of structured political powers. I intend to demonstrate that Negri’s view of the multitude is inconsistent with Spinoza’s conceptions of political multiplicity and with Lenin’s intents for bringing down institutionalized power, but that there might be a new source of political citizenship through global technology which extends virtually (although not ontologically) beyond the territorial limits of the Nation-States. This implies that a new citizenship (even a virtual one) should have a new representation, which can only become possible through reformed democratic international institutions endowed with a virtual network space and not with physical localized headquarters.
Katy Shaw, University of Brighton, UK Moving on seamlessly? (Re)writing the regeneration of UK mining communities
The paper will aim to highlight how, in aftermath of the 1984-5 miners’ strike, literature presented itself as a resource for defeated strikers, a tool to enable the reclamation of cultural places and spaces in the face of an unstable future and a means by which to renegotiate old divides and sites of conflict. Employing poetry authored by strikers to address the regeneration of coalfield communities in the wake of the 1984-5 miners’ strike, the paper will focus on the ways in which power was brought to bear on people through changed politics of place and space. During this period newly exstrikers turned to the poetic form to make sense of these changes brought about by industrial conflict and economic decline. Exploring mining landscapes as key examples of chronotopic poetics, this paper analyses the presence of a series of space-time intersections in this poetry that unite to highlight the empowering presence of the past as a source of strength and direction in emergent post-industrial spaces.
Throughout post-strike literature these images form a topography of exile and loss, exclusion and divide, a landscape of encounters and visions of the past in the present which offer us new
readings of the future. In ‘regeneration poetry’ the reader is offered the hope that through spatial encounters with the past, future generations may recognise and reappraise the continued influence of the mining industry. Evoking absence and exhibiting presence, it will be argued that the chronotope of the encounter presents the means by which physical places and spaces of the past may be re-appropriated and transformed into sites of interaction and advancement in the present.
Sami Siddiq, Washington University in St. Louis, USA ʻTalibanistanʼ—the creation of a destructive space between Afghanistan and Pakistan
The historical condition of the remote cross-border region now known as Pakistanʼs Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has been one of a semiautonomous ʻstateless societyʼ whose inhabitants have tenaciously resisted direct attempts at domination by outsiders. Nevertheless, this has also, at different times, been a place exploited and manipulated—albeit indirectly—for its strategic military importance by the self-interested designs of various external forces. In the late nineteenth century, the Pukhtun tribal belt was left isolated and un-integrated by the British Raj to maintain a buffer zone alongside the deliberately underdeveloped buffer state of Afghanistan separating British India from Czarist Russia. Following decolonization, these tribal borderlands nominally became part of Pakistanʼs territory while it maintained indirect rule, similar to earlier colonial patterns, via coercive tribal administrators and collective punishment for individual transgressions. However, this system collapsed in the 1980s when Pakistan (with US support) inadvertently destabilized its own border by using the tribal areas as a staging ground for crossborder attacks by Afghan mujahideen against occupying Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The accompanying establishment during this period of guerilla training camps laid the foundations for a jihadi infrastructure and was complemented by a proliferation of arms factories and depots yielding a ʻKalashnikov cultureʼ in an already over-armed tribal society, meanwhile the heroin labs and trafficking networks introduced a permanent drugs economy. The resulting social disorder produced a local power vacuum wherein pliant tribal chiefs lost influence and control. In this context, the Talibanʼs 2001 ouster in Afghanistan and subsequent exodus into FATA contributed to the development of indigenous neo-Taliban (or Pakistani Taliban) factions, which in turn have provided sanctuary and support to the anti-Kabul insurgency while simultaneously utilizing the expedient logic of ʻTalibanizationʼ to pursue their own (anti-Islamabad) expansionist agendas within Pakistan.
Dianne Smith, Curtin University of Technology, Australia Discriminating places: marking the average, exotic and bizarre through design
Environments are discriminating. However, how is this process experienced by people in the everyday? This paper explores and demonstrates how simple everyday choices involve cultural, social and/or psychological power relationships. The case of the restaurant strip is used to interrogate the threshold and facade as sign systems which influence the interpretation of the place and well as the potential user. The work of C.S. Peirce is used as a vehicle to capture the aesthetic dimension in association with the interpretative process. The potential meaning of place is thereby revealed and discussed. The implications for the design of environments involving people in places where power relationships appear to be imbalanced such as prisons, aged care, hospitals, schools and the like are then identified.
Steven Speed, University of Central Lancashire, UK Ethics and politics of photography: Using documentary photographs as a way to affect social change
This paper will discuss the impact of a series of photographs that I shot and published in a local independent magazine, which I co-edited, Salford Star. The photographs document a group of young Salfordians attempting to look at an exhibition of paintings by L.S. Lowry at the Lowry Arts Centre in Salford. The photographs not only document their experience, but also raise issues about ‘Art’ and regeneration, identity, class and gentrification. With specific references to theories on ‘The Other’, ethnography and representation, the paper will explore issues such as ‘Critical Distance’; ‘The Currency of the Photograph’ and ‘Interruption Communication’, by applying insights drawn from the theoretical work of Emmanuel Levinas, Hal Foster and John Tagg. The aim of the paper is to reflect upon the ethics and politics of photography and how photographs can be used to effect social change. The photographs explode middle class agendas on regeneration and the benefits they bring and expose the divisiveness of such policies. They offer a critique of the funding mechanisms of local government, attempt to represent the views of people massively underrepresented in the main stream media and will add to current debates on aesthetics, politics and ethics.
Chara Stephanou, University of Cyprus, Greece Anna Casaglia, University of Milano Bicocca, Italy Layers of sovereignty in the urban space of Nicosia
The focus of our analysis looks at the divided city of Nicosia, which since 1958 features a peculiar organization of space. We propose that a horizontal and vertical type of layering takes place and that its spatial structuring reflects the kind of politics at work within this space. From the rooftops of private houses to the sewage pipelines that run below the city, Nicosia experiences an interweaving of sovereign authorities that suggests different claims and usages over the same domains, but regulates them in diverse and ambiguous ways. These sovereign authorities refer to state institutions that came into effect after the island’s partition in 1974 and to military bodies whose presence is justified on the basis of a peacekeeping guarantee. In the light of the unsettled political situation of Cyprus, the sovereign authorities appear to be at once, both temporary and permanent, thus leading to a state of exception in terms of space configuration. These powers at work, in their soft and hard forms, operate through surveillance, urban planning, immigration policy and national borders, conditioning the way in which people live and experience space. Division in this sense is utilised to built and reinforce different and rival identities through the opposition of “we” and “the other.” The paper aims to expose and explain the layering at work and subsequently to underline the consequences of the spatial configuration on social relations and on the social perceptions and uses of space.
Basak Tanulku, Lancaster University, UK Not rivals but cooperative competitors: politics in two gated communities in Istanbul
In this paper I explore the ways in which gated communities engage in politics with different actors. This paper is based on my PhD research in which I analyse two gated communities built by the same developer company in suburban Istanbul. In the literature, gated communities are mostly considered as isolated and isolating places. Only a few studies analyse gated communities in a larger framework and look at the relations with the outside world such as the studies of Salcedo and Torres’s (2004) and Sabatini and Salcedo’s (2007) on Santiago, Chile. On the other hand, in most of the literature in Turkey, gated communities are considered as “self-sufficient small towns” (Bali, 2004) and their relations with the outside are described as “conflicting” (Kurtulus, 2005).
By contrast, based on the interviews conducted with two groups of participants, I argue that the two gated communities engage in relations with nearby gated communities, local municipalities and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Gated communities establish pressure groups to solve local problems. In this aspect, there is dichotomy between gated communities and local municipalities, which are considered by participants as insufficient to answer the demands of residents. However, in some cases these two actors come together to solve local problems against greater powers. The cooperation between gated communities and local municipalities also shows a conflict with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which has become a representation of larger social and political conflict in Turkey. At the end, by analysing the difference between two gated communities, I show that gated communities are not isolated from outside world rather they establish different relations which can change urban space and politics.
Rawiri Taonui, University of Canterbury, New Zealand The language of power and place – how Pakeha and Maori have adapted the language of the Treaty of Waitangi to support changing positions on shifting political landscapes
Key words appear in debates between cultures. Their meanings are more complex than simple definitions and translations. They depend on the vicissitudes of time, place, culture and personality, and relationships of power. Key questions include: Who determines the language used? Who defines what that language means? Who has the power to compel others to accept their definition? Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. In 1840 they signed the Treaty of Waitangi with Britain. There were two versions of the Treaty, one in English and a second in Maori. Direct translation of either Treaty does not match the other. Centrepiece to this is that the English version of the Treaty cedes Maori “sovereignty” to the Crown while guaranteeing Maori the “full, undisturbed and exclusive ownership of the lands, forests, fisheries and estates”. The Maori version grants kawanatanga (governance) to the Crown while guaranteeing Maori their tino rangatiratanga (supreme chieftainship) over lands and treasures. Power in Space and Place: Debate about the terms of the Treaty continues today. This paper argues that the differences of wording and meaning in different times, spaces and places reflect relative relationships of power. The British wrote both language versions of the Treaty. This allowed the latently dominant group to begin controlling meaning. Even today these are the terms that Maori use to describe relationships with the Crown although neither kawanatanga nor tino rangatiratanga were pre-1840 indigenous words or phrases. The non-indigenous origin of kawanatanga is widely recognised
visi-avis it is a transliteration. The argument that tino rangatiratnga is not an indigenous phrase is new research by the writer/presenter. In 1840, the English version encouraged an international European audience to accept British authority in New Zealand. The Maori text was designed to appease Maori that little would change (for the moment). In 1867, when the balance of demographic and military power had shifted to the Colonial government they produced a further Maori translation of the English text that was for the first time an exact copy of the English because they had the power to enforce it. Maori also changed their interpretations. For some decades Maori hung to the Maori version of the Treaty that they remained independent, however, after five decades of war and attempting to remain autonomous a new class of Maori arose around 1900 with a mantra that Maori to work within the system. They also translated the English text of the Treaty into Maori along the lines of 1867 as way of defeating those pursuing independence.
Similar dynamics repeat today. 95% of Maori land was alienated from them between 1840 and 1980. Over the last 20 years in making restitution the Waitangi Tribunal set up to hear these claims, the Courts and the Crown have gradually dispensed with the English reference to “full exclusive and undisturbed possession” in exchange for emphasising tino rangatiratanga while downgrading that from full chieftainship to a meaning stressing “self management”. This exercise preserves the Crown’s sovereignty from challenge while avoiding the question of restoring Maori lands. Interestingly Maori are compelled to accept these new definitions when signing agreements for around one to two percent of losses. In a further turn in time, space and place the radical Maori movement very much continues under the banner of the tino rangatiratanga phrase which was ultimately coined by the Crown in the language of the Maori to quell their reservations.
Eran Tzin, Ben Gurion University, Israel Relocated in space: the power of postmodern aesthetics
A generation ago Fredric Jameson published his seminal study "Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism". According to Jameson, the "postmodern hyper-space" is so complex that it is beyond the grasp of humans. That incapacity, he argued, makes it impossible to map not to mention to challenge - the power network of global capitalism. The result, he concludes, is "the emergence of a new kind of flatness or depthlessness, a new kind of superficiality in the most literal sense."
For Jameson architecture is one of the arenas in which the 'postmodern condition' is produced. In my paper, I examine the development of a new condominium in Tel-Aviv, Israel, which has set new standards of luxury. I will argue that this development characterizes the Israeli axes of power and marginalization. Those include: the marginalization of Eastern Jews, the production of a global-city by a local growth machine and the implementation of an after-Fordist regime. Mostly, however, I wish to argue that the new development is symptomatic of what Guy Debord called: "society of the spectacle." Contrary to Jameson, I will argue that in the years that have passed since his above-mentioned study, many of us have found our way in the "postmodern hyperspace". However, under the rein of the 'postmodern condition', that re-orientation has not resulted in configuring or wishing to challenge hegemony. Conversely, it has resulted in the comfort one feels in an aesthetic environment, detached of any social relations. That, of course, is exactly what the spectacle aims for.
Francesco Vitale, University of Salerno, Italy The last fortress of metaphysics: Jacques Derrida, policies of architecture
In his writings on architecture Derrida defines it as “the last fortress of metaphysics” and supports the necessity of a deconstruction of architecture involving its theory as well as its practice. I intend to unfold the meaning of these propositions referring them to Derrida’s determination of the Western concept and tradition of the political as “onto-topo-politics” (Spectres de Marx, 1993). In the Western culture the political has always been bound to the issue of the gathering within space, of the closing of frontiers as the condition of its living unity. The place and territory are not simple material elements that add to the political, but they are essential to the constitution of the dream of the living unity of the political. If that can explain the reactions of a community against what seems to threaten the closing of frontiers which grants the supposed living unity of the political body, today it is no more possible to retain the “ontotopopolitical” axiomatics. It is no more possible to think of the future of the political, our own future, from within hermetically closed frontiers: especially, the pervasive dissemination of tele-technologies modifies not only the individual and social experience of space but also its structure and functioning, life itself, our political, economic and research institutions as regards their spatial determination. It is necessary to see in these changes new chances and not only a mere threat, in order not to conjure the most serious threat away: the dream of a full and pure autosufficiency keeping alterity and alteration out of what we take as our own individual, social, cultural and political identity. I aim to demonstrate that the deconstruction of architecture
proposed by Derrida points at that: the necessity and, thus, the meaning, the ethical and political bearings of what Derrida defines as “the architecture of the event”.
Megan Watkins, University of Western Sydney, Australia Spatial disciplining and pedagogies of home and school: embodying a disposition to learn
... the most fundamental problems of political philosophy can only be posed and truly resolved by means of a return to the mundane observations of the sociology of learning and upbringing. (Bourdieu, 2000)
Taking on Bourdieu's challenge, this paper examines how the utilisation of spaces within the home and school by children of differing cultural and socio-economic backgrounds impacts upon their disposition to learning. It explores how children can develop a certain familiarity, or what Seamon (2002) refers to as an 'at homeness', through the spaces they inhabit and the practices in which they engage which facilitates educational performance. Individuals become comfortable within particular milieus and the positive affective relationships that develop encourage a certain naturalness about activities performed there. This paper draws on a study of children of Chinese, Pacific Island and Anglo-Australian backgrounds whose different home and school environments produce quite different educational experiences leading to the formation of, what I call, the scholarly habitus. The organisation of space and its relation to specific practices, I argue, is crucial to the acquisition of forms of self-discipline necessary for sustained scholarly labour.
These micropractices of power embedded within the spaces of children's lives underlie the very inequalities of education yet, as a function of space and the discipline it engenders, are largely ignored, overshadowed by macro analyses of class and ethnicity which fail to capture the subtleties of how inequality is embodied and reproduced within the pedagogies of the everyday.
Danielle Wiley, Carleton University, Canada Interpreting urban form: the social dimensions of urban morphology in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver
Although inner-city areas are often vulnerable to formulaic “urban renewal” schemes, the delicate position of these sites in the urban environment demands that they be carefully considered in the context of the city’s unique morphological development. The interpretation of urban form can provide a critical perspective on local cultural, social and economic realities of inner-city sites. The Downtown Eastside (DTES), once Vancouver’s most productive blue-collar district, is Canada’s poorest “postal code”. At the turn of the 19th century, the vibrant district was built up with manufacturing buildings, a residential fabric of SRO (single room occupancy) hotels and a commercial street anchored by Woodwards department store. One hundred years later, the closure of Woodwards emblematized the district’s economic decay and social strife. The City of Vancouver has since initiated several revitalization projects in the DTES, including an architectural competition to redevelop the Woodwards site. The winning scheme, currently under construction, adheres to a popular design strategy for urban renewal in North America: condominium towers atop of podiums containing “cultural amenities”. I suggest that, despite the City’s efforts to accommodate the diverse stakeholders and resident populations in the DTES, these revitalization projects have not been fully absorbed by the district. This discord is legible in the projects’ architecture, which is incongruent with the intrinsic structure of the urban fabric – a fabric that has been constituted by a historical relationship between people and place. My study maps the morphological development of the DTES. Digital cartography allows several interpretive modes to be integrated into a rich representational environment, including: topographical surveys; architectural studies; municipal codes and by-laws; demographic statistics; archival images and videos; news media and counter-media; narratives and artistic depictions. This urban site study recognizes residents and authorities, developers and architects, and everyday practices and visionary planning as distinct forces of morphological change. The site study becomes a positive interpretive context in which to propose future urban development.
Aaron Winter, University of Abertay Dundee, UK Race and the politics of place: white nationalism, states rights and separatism in America
Throughout American history, the Ku Klux Klan and wider racist extreme right have claimed to defend white supremacy in terms of different geographical borders and boundaries – the South in the first era (1866-1872), the nation in the second era (1915-1928), and the states in the third era (1952-1967). Following the passing of the Civil Rights Act, many sectors of the extreme right believed that they had lost the nation to African Americans. In response, they rejected the white
supremacy, nationalism and states rights politics of their predecessors, as well as America itself, in favour of white separatism. Some isolated themselves in compounds, while others migrated from their traditional Southern base to the nation’s geographical margins in the Pacific Northwest in order to establish a white homeland (e.g. Aryan Nation’s ‘Northwest Imperative’). In this paper, I will examine the shifting historical, political and geographical borders, boundaries and spaces which the extreme right identified with and attempted to defend or create, from the post-Civil War South to the White Separatism of the post-Civil Rights Era. These will be examined in relation to American history and political developments, discourses about the relationship between race and nation as well as debates about American identity and nationalism. The latter of which is of particular importance as America is in the process of moving from the aggressive, isolationist and ‘unified’ nationalism of the post-9/11 Bush era to the renewed internationalism of the Obama era, but also experiencing a rise in white supremacy, white nationalism and white separatism.
Miljana Zekovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia Radivoje Dinulovic, University of Novi Sad, Serbia (co-author) Politicization of public space
Considering today’s overall politics we conclude that there are no more issues in any domain of life that have not been politicized, manipulated or misused. Connection between every single discipline and politics realizes itself through unanswerable question – Who is actually in charge? Dealing with politics in architecture and urbanism leaves the profession in doubt: Who is the actual owner of public places and spaces? Whose is the town? Whose is the state? Questions of property and ownership of public spaces and places seem even more complicated from Serbian perspective. Due to multilayered evolution of the state itself, Republic of Serbia faces challenges of public property ownership at all levels. Inherited state-property relations from Ex Yugoslavia (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1943-1992) showed as inadequate and inapplicable. Prosperity and new-town concept, open space megalomania and national identification points lost their significance. During wars that led to its final division, the state suffered from stagnation in all fields of architectural and urban development, which continued in unstable period of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992-2006). Facing exhausted political scene with stress on EU integration process today’s state deals with far more unsolvable problems.
In light of all past events one may wonder: what really happened with urban and architectural strategy and image of prosperity that former state sent to the world? Changes in public spaces usage developed through several fazes. Public gatherings that included thousands of people with straight sense of national identity in spaces that were understood to be mutual defined the first faze. Period of total stagnation, wars and mass political gatherings followed. Usage of public spaces and places today has financial and semi-private tone. Discontinuity in urban planning strategy reveals questions: Who develops the strategy? Who approves it? Who carries it out? And perhaps at the first place – is there any?