Accepted Paper:

Acting-out subjectivities: two scenes of the history of politicization in Madrid  


Romina Magdalena Colombo (Universidad Nacional de EducaciĆ³n a Distancia (UNED))

Paper short abstract:

The paper aims to analyze two cases of emergence of neighborhood assemblies in Madrid, inscribing them in a certain social history of politicization, so to resignify them as commoning struggle episodes and interpret their praxis loci as a result of the topological dimension of the right to the city.

Paper long abstract:

Our starting point is the comparative-historical analysis of two scenes of politicization taken from the recent history of Madrid: the emergence of neighborhood assemblies in the poor periphery during the 1970s and as a part of the 15-M mobilizations during 2011, both in conjunctions of depoliticized citizenship and strict state administration of scarcity conditions (inexistence or dismantling of public rights infrastructures).

The specificity of the politicization process represented by these milestones is condensed in three traits, namely: (i) it is existential, since it doesn't appeal to consciousness (such as class belonging) but to subsistence (e.g. bread or house price); (ii) it is collective, for it allows to constitute a certain political community around a determinate system of satisfaction of needs (i.e. space-time structures of everyday life); and (iii) it is urban.

An analysis of traits (i) and (ii) will enable us to use the notion of common in its theoretical fertility, thanks to which a neighborhood assembly might be conceived as a commoning practice, hence related to the defense of a certain moral (ergo emancipatory) economy. A subsequent reflection on trait (iii) will lead us to the deep semantics of the right to the city, in a hardly thematized aspect: interpreting the neighborhood topoi or common(ized) places as public spaces sanctioned as such (for instance, public) by means of an appropriation through bodily practices, we will reflect on the topological dimension of the right to the city as a territorialization strategy of political subjectivities in-act.

Panel P026
Governing urban commons