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This plenary explores models and understandings of ‘shared space’ in different contexts, both historically and cross-culturally. It examines how shared space is defined, produced and contested in different locales.
Peace building efforts and policies in Northern Ireland have emphasised ‘shared space’ as high priority. The connections between ‘shared space’ and the ‘common good’ have had a long -and sometimes radical- history on the island of Ireland and beyond. In the context of the pandemic, war and displacement, and the climate crisis, discussions on shared space and the common good have acquired a renewed urgency. This plenary invites a comparative discussion in order to explore models and understandings of ‘shared space’ in different contexts, both historically and cross-culturally. It examines how shared space is defined, produced and contested in different locales. Although shared space is often analysed as offering the possibility of social cohesion, equality and justice, the plenary critically reflects on the extent to which shared space is conducive or an obstacle to the ‘common good’. It also considers how shared space, and the commons are being newly redefined and redesigned through the lens of technology and sustainability by proposing alternative modes of belonging, participation, and citizenship. By examining the relationships created by types of sharing and the commons, can anthropology offer deep-seated alternatives of sociality? Can our theoretical apparatus propose critical and creative ways of thinking about spatiality, sociality, politics and the common good in light of the challenges ahead?
Dimitris Dalakoglou (Vrije University Amsterdam)