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The Politics of Public Space I

Berlin Kreuzberg

In times of a pandemic crisis, individual freedom of movement and social life are curtailed for the sake of public health. In our cities, restrictive rules and directives from local governments particularly impact on how we (are allowed to) use public space. With every new directive we need to re-adjust, re-align and re-configure our way in which we navigate – if at all – the city. These times raise new questions concerning the right to the city, or more specifically the right to public space.
While drifting through the city, in this associative acoustic city walk our participants are exposed to a range of different voices and approaches that critically reflect on the politics of public space in general and on public space in times of a pandemic crisis in particular. Local urbanists, sociologists, architects, planners and urban actors read out classic texts or talk about their own approach on topics such as diversity, digitalization, gender, the state of exception, homlessness, and surveillance in relation to public space.


Obdachlosigkeit und Öffentlicher Raum
Dr. Lisa Vollmer (Stadtforscherin – Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) über Baracken im 19. Jahrundert und Obdachlosigkeit unter Covid-19

The Physical and the Social City
Dr. Anna Steigemann (Urban Sociologist – TU Berlin) reads Michael Sorkin

Auszüge aus SARS-CoV-2 Eindämmungsmaßnahmenverordnung gelesen von Michael Stütz

Street Level Bureaucracy
Dr. Christian Haid (Sociologist – POLOGONAL) on street level bureaucracy

Twittermeldungen der Berliner Polizei (23.März bis 4.April 2020) gelesen von Michael Stütz

Is this a Dream?
Tinatin Gurgenidze (Architect and Urban Researcher – Co-Founder of the Tbilisi Biennial) reads her corona diary

Digitale Überwachung und Corona
Dr. Moritz Ahlert (Stadtforscher – TU Berlin) zu digitaler Überwachung und Corona

Street Fight
Dr. Annika Levels (Urban Planner – Urbanizers Berlin) reads Jason Henderson

Stadt und Epidemie
Dr. Antonio Carbone (Historiker – Deutsches Historisches Institut Rom) zu öffentlichem und privatem Raum in Zeiten von Epidemien

Körper in Bewegung und die Politik der Straße
Nora Unger (Kulturwissenschaftlerin) liest Judith Butler

All the Single Ladies
Dr. Annika Levels (Urban Planner – Urbanizers Berlin) reads Rebecca Traister

Zones of Exceptions
Dr. Christian Haid (Sociologist – POLIGONAL) on street level bureaucracy

Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben
Dr. Nihad El-Kayed (Sozialwissenschaftlerin – HU Berlin) liest Georg Simmel

Throwntogetherness: An Ideal?
Lukas Staudinger (Architect – POLIGONAL) reads Doreen Massey

Eyes on the Street
Dr. Nihad El-Kayed (Social Scientist – HU Berlin) reads Jane Jacobs




Concept and Production: POLIGONAL Office for Urban Communication, Dr. Christian Haid and Lukas Staudinger
Audio post-production and theme tune design by Marina Petrova.