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What is a wall for? City-making places reframing III 
Bárbara Côrtes Loureiro (Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP))
Lígia Ferro (University of Porto - Faculty of Arts and Humanities)
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Urban Studies
Tuesday 22 June, 16:15-18:00 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

Epistemological issues concerning uses of space arise in the city, from common sense to planned uses and academic analyses, especially in terms of architecture functions: which are the ways of using city spaces? How are spaces transformed into places? We propose to discuss unforeseen possibilities.

Long Abstract

Urban architecture appears in anthropological and sociological debates sometimes like a presumed representation of barriers, limits or even the fascination for extraordinary heights, sizes and symbols of power. However, practical resignifications are constantly found in the uses and relationships established by city dwellers within spaces, configuring insurgent citizenships (Holston, 1996) or performing city-making (Agier, 2015).

City-making studies involve some sensitive look at the dynamics of corporealities and their expressions by what we usually call "urban practices". Activities such as Parkour, vertical dance, urban abseiling, skateboarding, graffiti, pixo, or just sitting or walking where isn't expected/planned, can deliberately or unconsciously transform the meaning of places carefully designed by urbanists. Here we'd like to discuss ways in which the body movement in those practices and the marks left in space can reframe the intended uses of urban space, and its implications.

Starting with a panel session to share ethnographic research and make contributions to the debate, this activity should evolve to a workshop where unforeseen possibilities of using the space can be proposed, in a way that makes everyone present able to experience new meanings of the place. To do this, it will only be needed the place where the accepted papers are to be presented, and some tolerance for noisy dislocations in the room: exploring new ways of being in a space can involve unexpected movements. Ideally, a final discussion of the experience can take place in order to come back to the initial presentations discussion.