As part of the Contested Spaces forum taking place in the Crossing at Central Saint Martins during the CSM degree show; the round table discussion “Contested Squares: Social Uprising and Political Imaginaries in the Age of Neoliberal Crisis” held on Thursday 19th June 2014 discussed why urban spaces become crucial in facilitating social protests and how the production of these spaces as contested is related to urban imaginaries and contested futures. This event was part of the ‘Expanded Boundaries / Restless Futures’ programme at CSM – an official event listing of the London Festival of Architecture 2014
Speakers: Orsalia Dimitriou, Giulia Carabelli, Carl Fraser. Chair: Gunter Gassner
Under system-wide conditions of neoliberal crisis within Europe, urban space has re-emerged as a central site of political contestation. Through a roundtable discussion concerning the social uprisings within Athens, Kiev, London and Mostar, the discussants will bring their existing corpus of evidence-based research to bear on the question of how and why public space is mobilised in the context of state-crisis. In particular, these movements’ renewed emphasis on a revitalised discourse and practice of citizen democracy injects a sense of urgency into the re-appropriation of public squares, as spaces that are transformed beyond mere physical locations and into the symbolic locus of new imaginaries and aspirations for a rejuvenated ‘body politic’.
Giulia Carabelli on the process of reconstructing Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina
Ursula Dimitriou on the relationship of social movements with critical democracy and practices of commoning in Athenian public spaces.
preparing the space