Occupying spaces: dwelling as resistance 
Christine Hämmerling (University of Zurich)
Marion Naeser-Lather (University of Marburg)
Alexander Koensler (University of Perugia)
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Sui generis
VG 4.104
Start time:
27 March, 2017 at 10:45 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel sheds light on the assemblages, materialities and strategies of dwelling, both as a practice of resistance and as an expression of belonging to certain movements. We ask how the uses of physical, symbolic and virtual spaces are negotiated by different forms of mobilization.

Long Abstract

In recent years, the political instrumentalization and neoliberal commodification of (urban) places as well as the disappearance of public spaces for noncommercial use and assembly of citizens and non-citizens is contested through practices of resistance, as mobilizations of movements like "Indignados", "Arab Spring", or "Occupy" have demonstrated.

Different kinds of geographical as well as online spaces can be "occupied" symbolically, materially, and bodily, though practices of dwelling: in social networks, on demonstrations, or through squatting. In addition to the notion of dwelling in spaces, dwelling also has implications for the processes of identity and boundary formation within different forms of activism.

Our panel aims to shed light on the assemblages (Lakoff/Collier 2005), materialities and strategies of dwelling as resistance.

How are questions of ownership, inclusion/exclusion, or social norms of how to use spaces negotiated by cooperatives, movements, or cultural initiatives? How is dwelling as a means of resistance expressed through deceleration or conversion, through showing ones presence, or acting out ones ideas?

We will investigate different goals, objectives and implications of dwelling, such as rendering spaces liveable again, enabling participation, enforcing demands, or practicing alternative forms of living or economic acting, as well as the effects of dwelling in social movements such as offering security and marking boundaries. In a broader sense, this means to analyze the (re-)appropriation of physical, virtual, and symbolic spaces (de Certeau 1986, Löw 2008) and to investigate how social spaces are (re-)created (Lefebvre 1974), transforming locations and group formation temporarily or permanently.

Accepted papers: