Taksim, Tahrir, Occupy & Co
Session 1: Political Meaning of Urban Space

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The first event in a debate series in collaboration with Dr. Nadine Godehardt, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik / German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin, focussing on the interdependencies between urban space, society and international politics in times of crisis

Part 1: Welcome and Introduction

Welcome and Introduction
Hans-Jürgen Commerell, Director, ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin - 00:00:00 - 00:05:54
Prof. Dr. Volker Perthes, Director, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin - 00:05:59 - 00:16:14

Dr. Nadine Godehardt, Deputy Head of Research Division Asia, SWP, Berlin - 00:16:19 - 00:22:58

Part 2: Discussion

Panel Discussion with statements by:
Dr. Regina Bittner, Head of Department Academy & Deputy Director, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
Dr. Tali Hatuka, Head of the Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Ali Madanipour, Professor of Urban Design, Director of Global Urban Research Unit, Newcastle University
Dr. Simon Teune, Institute for Protest and Social Movement Studies, Berlin
Prof. Jaap de Wilde, Professor of International Relations and Security Studies, University of Groningen

moderated by Dr. Nadine Godehardt, Deputy Head of Research Division Asia, SWP, Berlin

The following Front-Row Peers accompanied and furthered the discussion:
Dr. Oliver Lembcke, Chair of the Political System of Germany, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Prof. Michael Mönninger, Professor of Aesthetics and Art History, Braunschweig University of Art
Dr. David Shim, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations and International Organization, University of Groningen
Prof. Georg Vrachliotis, Professor for the Theory of Architecture, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Roman Wilhelm, Graphic Designer, Berlin

This debate brought together speakers with different backgrounds (Architecture, Urban Planning, Political Theory, International Relations, etc.) to conceptually explore the political meaning of urban space with the aim to highlight how incidents in everyday urban spaces actually affect (inter-)national politics. A particular focus were civil resistance and protest movements (e.g. Arab Spring, Oranienburger Platz Berlin, Pegida movement in Dresden, Occupy Wall Street) that frequently occupy streets, public squares, financial and governmental districts or central city parks. Further up for discussion: To what extent has the increasing number of protests in urban spaces changed their significance in international politics? And what are the implications that result for local urban planning and urban design?

BACKGROUND: The series
Incidents on everyday urban spaces increasingly raise global attention. Civil resistance and protest movements frequently occupy public squares, financial and governmental districts or central city parks. People demonstrate against their national governments or join into spontaneously organized protests in support of (inter-)national issues. Images of demonstrations on Tahrir Square in Egypt (2011), Taksim Square in Turkey (2013), the Maidan in Ukraine (2013-4), of Occupy Wall Street (2011), the Sunflower-Movement in Taipei (2014), the Umbrella-Revolution in Hong Kong (2014) or the Pegida-Movement in Dresden (2015) strongly influence the global understanding of specific (inter-)national actors and crises situations. Everyday urban places are in the process of becoming icons of international politics that are interpreted very differently depending on the chosen viewpoint (European, Russian, Chinese, Media, Politics, etc.). They reveal new forms of political articulation that underscore the intertwining of everyday and international politics.

This series is a collaboration with the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and generously supported by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg and by the Forum Ebenhausen e.V. (Freundeskreis der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, SWP).


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