Programme

 

Friday 12 June 2020

14.00 – 15.45 (BST):  COMMONING THE CITY 

Participants: Ash Amin (University of Cambridge), Massimo De Angelis (University of East London), Shannon Mattern (The New School), Richard Sennett (Chair, Council on Urban Initiatives, United Nations Habitat)

Moderators: Alex Grigor, Michal Huss, Konstantinos Pittas 

Description: This panel explores the current potentials of and constraints for the production of the city (understood as a social, historical, and multi-sensual construct) as a common space. How can we prevent a pandemic from becoming another excuse for neoliberal austerity, new enclosures, repression, and mass securitisation at the city level? How can physical spaces become ‘common’, against the backdrop of the privatisation impetus of global capitalism and the proliferation of virtual spaces? As information and communication technologies influence the city’s networks and the processes of immaterial labour, what new capacities to be ‘in common’ emerge and what new forms of solidarity and mutual care networks can be prefigured? How can emerging urban social movements practise the commons in translocal spaces?


 

Friday 12 June 2020

17.00 – 18.45 (BST): WHOSE COMMONS, FOR WHOM?  

Participants: Tali Hatuka (Tel Aviv University), Zizi Papacharissi (University of Illinois-Chicago), Doina Petrescu (University of Sheffield / atelier d’architecture autogerée), Laura Lo Presti (University of Padua)

Moderators: Alex Grigor, Michal Huss, Konstantinos Pittas 

Description: This panel deals with the ways that radical alterations in scale, time, and place, prompted by the digital age and by technological advancement require new methodologies for mapping, studying, and interpreting the commons. Taking into consideration people on the move due to conflict, migration, gentrification, and homelessness on the one hand, cyber spaces, virtual places, and digital communications on the other, what are the new points of entry into and membership of the commons? If we agree that the commons is essential to a healthy polity and functioning democracy, what issues does the privatisation of the digital commons raise? How might we renegotiate power dynamics around the production, distribution, and representation of knowledge, information and data? If common spaces are always contested, as is the notion of a coherent or unified “collective”, what is the role of protest and demonstration both in the physical and digital spheres? 


 

Saturday 13 June 2020

13.00 -14.45 (BST): RECLAIMING THE CULTURAL COMMONS

Participants: Sepake Angiama (Institute for International Visual Arts-London), Gavin Grindon (University of Essex), Ella McPherson (University of Cambridge), Pelin Tan (Bard College)  

Moderators: Alex Grigor, Michal Huss, Konstantinos Pittas 

Description: This panel looks at contestations around cultural commons and strategies to re-claim and re-mobilise them. In addition, the unfolding global health crisis urges to think about its repercussions to the basic rights of access to culture, to the diversity of cultural content and expression online, and to the precarious-now more than ever-art and cultural labor. With cultural institutions closing down, major artistic and cultural events postponed, and community cultural practices suspended on the one hand, and with the acceleration in the digitisation of cultural content and the surge in online access to this content on the other, what are the potentialities and stakes of this new reality in light of the coronavirus pandemic? How can widespread protests against toxic philanthropy, institutional racism, art washing, and gender discrimination help us to envision museums taking the side of the commons? How can culture and aesthetics serve as innovative terrains for encounters and exchanges, solidarity and sharing, synergies and community building?