Public space as a battleground

Fight at tavern.jpg

One of the critical ideas guiding our team’s historic research is the notion that public space is always contested. That is why we were very excited to come across an article by anthropologist Farhan Samanani, published this summer by Aeon Magazine. Samanani reflects on his ongoing research on contemporary public spaces and their social and communal uses. He observes that clashes over the use of public space are a common feature of urban life (and boast a long history, we might add). Samanani criticizes the modern-day conception of public space: “Deep down we don’t truly value public space, because we’ve been conditioned to think it should be given to us, as of right – instead of forged through encounters, interactions and, crucially, negotiations.”

Read the full article here