The maidan stand: reclaiming the rights and governing the commons
(National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy)
Igor Tyshchenko (National university of "Kyiv-Mohyla academy")
Paper short abstract:
The paper analyzes maidan in Kyiv as a self-managed civic body living a life of its own in the very center of the city. Through several situated group-identities we look at the ways the city inhabitants have organized themselves to reclaim their basic rights and to govern the urban commons.
Paper long abstract:
Initially, Euromaidan that started on Independence Square on Nov 21, 2013 in Kyiv was intended to be a peaceful protest. But on Nov 30, after the riot police detained dozens of protesters in a violent crackdown it has become mass-scale and open-ended. After 22 Jan 2014, when two protesters were killed during clashes with police, protests spread across the country. Having become a metaphor, maidan in Kyiv celebrates its rebellious character and appears to be not just a protest, but a self-managed civic body with its everyday routines, toponyms and spatial practices living a life of its own in the very center of the city. Through several situated 'group-identities' (e.g. self-defense/ maidan-guards, kitchen aid, doctors-volunteers, automobile-maidan, and volunteers of the hospital-watch) we look at the ways the protesters have organized themselves to reclaim their basic rights and to govern the urban commons. The special interest presents the mapping of 'Euromaidan' as a spatial configuration that occupies certain space and interacts with the rest of the city (segregated and sometimes even hostile to its inhabitants) on the principles of a military camp; we also intend to analyze the practices of occupying public/administrative buildings and manning the barricades that refer to the practices of urban revolutions, the ones the city did not experience in previous times. In all its complexity, Euromaidan could be grasped as a metaphor of civility, as reclaiming the public life in a city, thus turning segregated and commercialized spaces into inclusive public ones.
Governing urban commons