Potentials of Performance

‘…So if we do not stay in the same place, it is not to be lamented. If we are on the move, then we are, in collective forms, tracking the sites of injustice and in-equality, and our trail becomes the new map of radical change’ (Judith Butler, “Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy,” 2012)

This is a personal invitation to contribute to a project that seeks to construct collective research on the potentialities of disparate civic spaces, occupancies, performances and direct actions. We write to you from Athens, Greece. During the last four years we have seen an escalation of civic mobilizations vying for a ‘right to the city’. These include the riots of 2008, the occupation of Syntagma Square, mass general strikes, occupations of universities and schools, emerging neighborhood assemblies and support networks, squats, alternative forms of exchange and values, everyday artistic and political practices of re-imagining, reclaiming and re-constituting public spaces. In November of last year a group of us occupied a closed down theatre belonging to the Greek state. We have managed to keep this occupation running despite Continue reading

Progressive Geographies

Room W007, Durham University, December 5th 1-4.30pm

With the majority of humans on the planet now residing in towns and cities, it is de rigueur for commentators to describe the world as ‘urban’; to herald an ‘urban revolution’ and proclaim cities as the triumphal spaces that ‘make us human’ (cf. Brugmann, 2009; Glaeser, 2011). Even in places that are not visibly urban, it would seem that urbanism – as a set of political, economic, cultural and symbolic forces – is often identified to be fundamental in the organisation of geography and everyday life. These are big claims begging searching questions for researchers of Geography and Urban Studies. And in this regard, it is to be welcomed that the relations between ‘urban’ and ‘world’ (or ‘planet’ or ‘globe’) have become a primary focus for critical urban research in recent years. For example, and to invoke the extraordinarily prophetic thinking of…

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