Re-conceptua lizations of Public Space 2

What are the practical and symbolic meanings and uses of public spaces and how is the notion of ‘public’ re-conceptualised in periods of crisis? How do people react when public spaces are at stake and how do they claim them when they are threatened for economical and political reasons?

  • Amal Khalaf

    (researcher and projects curator at the Serpentine Galleries / UK-Bahrain)

    Khalaf’s research addresses themes of urbanism, community, radical pedagogies and arts through participatory projects and media initiatives. Thinking through temporary and ephemeral inhabitations of space in Bahrain, assumptions about the relation between space and public get rewritten. Space all over the world – whether that space is rural, urban or digital – is over-determined. Where in Bahrain is there a space where you can still find and experience indeterminacy? Indeterminacy contains the possibility of making, of agency and action, and especially of making by those who lack access to formal instruments for making and action, whether in terms of economy, politics, histories and national narratives.

  • Konstantin Kastrissianakis

    (researcher (Cambridge and Durham) / Greece-Lebanon)

    Kastrissianakis’ research centers on the questions of public space in Athens and Beirut, with a main interest in the way publics are formed in these two cities and how space is used in the construction of multiple worlds and urban cosmologies. His work looks at architectural atmospheres, social movements and urban marginality more broadly, using anthropology, architectural analysis and philosophy as well as mapping and participatory digital story-making.

  • Dounia Salamé

    (Dammeh cooperative / Lebanon)

    Dammeh cooperative seeks to create a cooperative for women and trans* persons to develop, sustain, and practice politics of social, economic, environmental, and gender justice. The cooperative is built on social and political values agreed on and works to translate these values into policy and practice in its structure, governance, and activities. Our intervention will focus around why we wanted to organize as a coop (in opposition to an NGO, for example) and what it means to us to organize as a (safe) space not only as a community.

  • Mohammed Bzeih

    (Green Southerners collective / Lebanon)

    Mohammad Bzeih is a Senior Mathematics student at the Lebanese American University (LAU) and the coordinator of the Green Southerners Organization’s Sustainability Committee. Green Southerners is a Lebanese NGO that aims to preserve the wildlife and the cultural heritage of Lebanon and adopted the concept of ‘Rewilding’. Bzeih’s presentation will focus on the case of Adloun (a coastal village in South Lebanon) as an illustrative example of Green Southerners projects and how it is related to public space in general. In the absence of organization and planning a project to build a port on the ruins of what’s believed to be of an ancient Phoenician city may go ahead albeit the fact that the region is ecologically active.