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11.-13.09.2003 Napoli, I

Real Public Spaces: Reclaiming the Streets

The project republicart investigates the effects of participatory, interventionist and activist art practices and their strategies for urging an emancipatory concept of the public sphere. The Workshop Real Public Spaces will address the specific activist forms of creating public sphere and their connection to concrete, real spaces; most of all, the spaces that are important for the practices of an activist reappropriation of the city with their historical backgrounds in the situationist practices in France in the 60's, through the German battles for buildings in the 70's and 80's, the English Reclaim the Streets movement of the 90's, to the public disobedience of the Disobbendienti in Italy today or the Protests in Hamburg against the reactionary politics of the Schill party.

In all these contexts, activists not only fight against the dismantling of the social state and processes of appropriating public sphere, but also offensively occupy urban spaces. This in turn not only influences changing political activism against regimes of urban control, but also those art practices that intervene in social spaces, while they have to permanently avoid the danger of unblocking rather than disturbing the flows of capitalist communication at the same time. What was lacking in the art practices of the 90s "seems to be given in a new situation: being embedded in a larger context, being cross-connected with social movements. Joining the heterogeneous activities against economic globalization, the old forms of intervention art are being transformed and new ones are emerging." (http://www.republicart.net/manifesto/manifesto_en.htm)

In addition to more general approaches to the question of emancipatory concepts of the public sphere (specifically also of the development of "European public spheres"), the workshop will also focus on the significance of the real places that have developed a special relevance for artistic and political activisms or have emerged from them: squatted houses like the Centri Sociali in Italy, churches and embassies occupied by Sans Papiers in France and Belgium, bordercamps at various European borders, (anti-globalization) demos and their role in the reappropriation of (urban) public spheres.

Relevant questions in this context: To what extent are organizational experiments attempted in these and similar practices, alternatives developed to the unquestioned reduction of civil public spheres? Which forms of organization are developed in this way? Which concepts of public sphere and constitutive power? Are these Real Public Spaces suitable bases for counterstrategies against the privatization of public space so widely discussed in critical urbanism? What does the growing turn from clandestine and autonomous practices toward an offensive practice of visibility and networked alliances mean? What role do issues of anti-racism and anti-sexism play in the individual examples? And which place is taken by migrants and issues of migration?

Bifo Berardi
Boris Buden
Alice Creischer
Marion Hamm
Andrea Membretti
Jürgen Schmitt
Stefan Nowotny
Andreas Siekmann
Hito Steyerl (Moderation)
Tristan Wibault
Kathrin Wildner

Participants republicart/eipcp:
Andrea Hummer
Bernhard Hummer
Therese Kaufmann
Solvita Krese
Raimund Minichbauer
Gregor Podnar
Gerald Raunig
Ulf Wuggenig

Participant Istituto
Wolfgang Kaltenbacher

Organizer: eipcp in cooperation with the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici

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EIPCP multilingual webjournal ISSN 1811 - 1696