Stephen Vilaseca’s Barcelonan Okupas [new book just published]

Barcelonan Okupas book cover

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.

[Click here to listen to a podcast interview with Stephen Vilaseca]

[Click here to go to the book’s Amazon page]

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CFP – Everyday Urban Life in the Socialist Era in Central/Eastern Europe

Èeský lid : Ethnological Journal – Call for Articles

Special issue: Everyday urban life in the socialist era in Central and Eastern Europe

Research on everyday life has had a strong position in social and historical sciences since the 1960s. Studies of urban environment focus mainly on the everyday routines, the practices and actions of individuals and groups, and their role in the reproduction of the meanings of urban space. It allows us to explore meanings attached to the multidimensional urban environment at different levels of interpretation: private or personal points of view of individuals and groups may differ from public or official interpretations. The aim of the planned issue of the Èeský lid is to explore the everyday life of inhabitants of cities and towns within the context of the former socialist system, which influenced the everyday practices of people in a specific way. Its political, economic and socio-cultural conditions created distinct structural pressure on the organization of everyday life. At the same time they influenced the setting of boundaries between “private” and “official” in re-interpretations of urban space and of the events being set in this space.

We welcome articles oriented both theoretically and empirically. The preferred topics of the proposed articles are:
• Everyday life in the public/private spaces
• Urban rhythms and routines and their persistence and disruptions
• Celebrations and festivities
• Work and leisure
• Consumption in the urban environment
• Representation of the socialist home – dwelling forms for the socialist family

Please, send your proposals (maximum 300 words) in Czech, Slovak, or English till June 30, 2012 to the e-mail address of editor-in-chief of the Èeský lid: jiri.woitsch@post.cz

The editors of the monothematic issue of the ethnological journal Èeský lid will inform you of acceptance or refusal of your proposal by August 31, 2012. The final version of the article must be submitted by December 31, 2012. The monothematic issue of the Èeský lid will be published in autumn 2013.

The editorial board of the Èeský lid, and guest editors Jana Nosková, Slavomíra Ferenèuhová, Lucie Galèanová, Barbora Vacková, are looking forward to your proposals!