The City and the Political was an open class at The Public School, Berlin, that invited anyone to join in discussions between theories and spatial practices of “the city” and “the political.” The blog “citypolitical.net” is associated with the class, but independent. It is an information platform that goes beyond the topics, events and discussions of the class.
The city is home to modern people. This class begins at the scale of the city in order to open up all levels of discourse on spatial production. What is space? What is public vs. private space? What is democratic vs. controlled (neoliberal) space? How should architects, urbanists, politicians, developers create space? How should the people take back space?
The political hints to a wide range of concepts regarding man’s relation to one another, institutional formations, and potentially radical acts of protest. The spatial production of our cities cannot be divorced from a serious theoretical understanding of our contemporary politics, as representative democracy, the social movements within our cities, and strategies of radical political emancipation.
The first rendition of this class consisted of fruitful, but perhaps distracted, conversations wherein architects and philosophers disagreed about definitions, strategies, and pedagogy. The second rendition of the class hopes to rigorously define the terms within the texts, so as to come to some group understanding of definitions, and only then to unpack, critique, and mobilize the concepts towards new concepts or spatial practices.
The readings will be announced weekly and listed at classes. If you’re interested in becoming more involved in the facilitation of the course, please let us know.
We also hope to move beyond conversation by developing a research group that can organize events and develop textual/digital output to articulate positions and deepen discussion between the city and the political.