Barcelonan Okupas: Squatter Power! is the first book to combine close-readings of the representations of Spanish squatters known as okupas with the study of everyday life, built environment, and city planning in Barcelona. Stephen Vilaseca broadens the scope of Spanish cultural studies by integrating into it notions of embodied cognition and affect that respond to the city before and against the fixed relations of capitalism. Social transformation, as demonstrated by the okupas, is possible when city and art interrelate, not through capital or the urbanization of consciousness, but through bodily thought. The okupas reconfigure the way thoughts, words, images and bodily responses are linked by evoking and communicating the idea of free exchange and openness through art (poetry, music, performance art, the plastic arts, graffiti, urban art and cinema); and by acting out and rehearsing these ideas in the practice of squatting. The okupas challenge society to differentiate the images and representations instituted by state domination or capitalist exploitation from the subversive potential of imagination. The okupas unify theory and practice, word and body, in pursuit of a positive, social vision that might serve humanity and lead the way out of the current problems caused by capitalism.
UCS 001 Stephen Vilaseca on Street Art in Barcelona Valencia and Bilbao Spain (28 June 2013) Conversational interview inspired by scholar Stephen Vilaseca‘s recent article “From Graffiti to Street Art: How Urban Artists Are Democratizing Spanish City Centers and Streets,” originally published in the journal Transitions: Journal of Franco-Iberian Studies (8, 2012). Topics include: public space, graffiti vs. street art, artists Escif, Frágil and Dr. Case, Valencia, Bilbao, and Barcelona. [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]
WallHunters: The Slumlord Project
[this post follows up on previous posts on artist Gaia posted on this blog]
The project will install 15 large street art pieces with posted info that reveals/publicizes the ownership of dilapidated vacant houses.
Using radical methods, our project will unite three forces to catalyze discussion of Baltimore’s vacancy problem and how to solve it:
- Wall Hunters Inc, a recently created, street artist run non profit organization
- Baltimore Slumlord Watch
- a film being made that gives voice to the ignored on the topic of vacancy and the power of street art.
In short, the project will bring together 15 artists from around the country, each of whom will install a large piece on a dilapidated vacant house. QR codes and text detailing the ownership information that is uncovered by Slumlord Watch will accompany the art. Voices of the people who live in these neglected areas of town, will be heard Continue reading
Here’s a feeble attempt to post something after so much time away from blog, life, teaching, and so on–a few images shot from the streets of Madrid on November 14 during the “huelga, huelga, huelga general” [general strike] or to use another chant “Las huelgas no se venden, las huelgas se defienden” [strikes aren’t for sale, strikes are for defending–[better translation out there?]. I wasn’t present for some of the infrequent skirmishes of the day, but a highlight was the manifestation of 6:30 in the afternoon which, as with other protests of the day, drew from a wide cross-section of Madrileñans, both younger and older who gathered in central Madrid from Cibeles up to Plaza Colón and back down to the statue of Neptune by the Prado and of course on the Gran Vía and elsewhere. Television coverage was on the whole slanted toward the PP / Rajoy of course, which might be expected.
More on the T2M conference which I was attending there [in the Museo del Ferrocarril at Delicias] later…
The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) is a living archive of urban activism. The Museum chronicles the East Village community’s history and grassroots activism. It celebrates local activists who transformed abandoned buildings and vacant lots into vibrant community spaces and community gardens. Many of these innovative, sustainable concepts and designs have since pulsed out to the rest of the city and beyond.
CFP-edited book on Marxism and Urban Culture
Submissions are invited for an edited book on Marxism and Urban Culture that has received initial interest from an international publisher known for their strength in Marxian-themed series and titles.
While all abstracts using a Marxian framework to approach culture in urban contexts are welcome, it is anticipated that submissions will conform to one of two subtypes reflecting the division of the book into Continue reading
A number of scholars have participated to produce this new text that tries put the Occupy Wall Street movement into the context of scholarly work on public space, democracy, and social change. Just getting started on it, so I can’t comment to extensively, but I am impressed by the wide range of disciplines represented and the astonishing number of scholars (nearly three dozen) that are represented.