Vortrag in englischer Sprache. Vor dem Vortrag wird der 30 min Dokumentarfilm »Future Suspended« gezeigt, der die Auswirkungen der Krise in Athen thematisiert.
Fierce austerity measures and economic crisis have had drastic effects on social and urban reproduction in Athens. However, the severe socio-economic situation has also led to the emergence of new forms of collective initiatives and spaces of commoning in which people not only express their anger and needs but also develop new forms of life in common. The realm of the common emerges, thus, in a constant confrontation with state controlled "authorized" public space in times of economic crisis and austerity programs.
In Athens one can not only trace the devastating effects the paroxysmic financialization of capitalist economy has on processes of urban and social reproduction, but also the emergence of new forms of collective initiatives and praxis which are connected to acts that transform public space. Transformative acts of this kind invent common spaces. It is when people manage to establish forms of collective control over public space that space becomes shared space, space not given to but literally or metaphorically taken by the people. Practices of commoning create common space. Such practices do not simply transform spatial relations and relations between people in and through space. Space actually becomes both a stake in sharing efforts and a means to give form to acts of sharing. Common space is shared space but also space that regulates, encourages and institutes practices of sharing.
In today’s Athens, forms of space commoning can be traced in dispersed initiatives focused on collective everyday defense actions against the austerity measures. In practices of collective improvisation and collective inventiveness common spaces are created in which people not only express their anger and needs but also develop new forms of life in common. The realm of the common emerges, thus, in a constant confrontation with the state controlled “authorized” public space.
is architect and associate professor at the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece. His research is currently focused on forms of emancipating spatial practices and urban commoning.