Citymaking: space, culture and identity
International conference, Zagreb
THURSDAY, MAY 17 2018
9.30 – 10.00
Opening of the Conference
Jasna Čapo (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb)
Presentation of the Project City-making: space, culture, and identity
10.00 – 11.00
KEYNOTE: Setha M. Low (City University of New York)
Public space and civic life: Threats and opportunities
( coffee break )
11.20 – 12.00
Ger Duijzings (University of Regensburg and Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies (LMU Munich and University of Regensburg)
Engaged urbanism: situated and experimental methodologies for fairer cities
12.00 – 12.40
Valentina Gulin Zrnić (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb)
Performance, protest, procession, promotion: Single space, multiple publics
12.40 – 13.20
Nevena Škrbić Alempijević (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Creating a Square: Performances and public space in Zagreb
( lunch break )
14.20 – 15.00
Andrew Smith (University of Westminster, London)
Staging the city: How festivals and events affect public spaces
15.00 – 15.40
Alexandra Bitušíkova (Slovak Academy of Sciences)
Urban festival as a new way of city-making and marketing: The case of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
15.40 – 16.20
Agata Lisiak (Bard College Berlin)
The place to be? Unpacking the image of Berlin as a creative and diverse metropolis
( coffee break )
16.40 – 17.30
Tigran Haas (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; Centre for the Future of Places)
Creative City (Place) Making and Plural Urbanism: Post-gender geographies, public spaces and cultural urbanism
FRIDAY, MAY 18 2018
10.00 – 10.40
Laura Šakaja (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science)
The conceptualisation of urban space by blind and visually impaired white cane users
10.40 – 11.20
Tihomir Jukić (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Architecture) and Jana Vukić (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Small scale urbanism and social sustainability: Interdisciplinary research of public space in Zagreb
( coffee break )
11.40 – 12.20
Katja Hrobat Virloget and Neža Čebron Lipovec (University of Primorska)
Oblivions and meaning-making in a contested town: Koper/Capodistria in the eyes of different generations of local residents and migrants
12.20 – 13.00
Anna Horolets (University of Warsaw)
Migrants in the city: re-creational capacities of public spaces
( lunch break )
14.00 – 14.40
Boris Nieswand (University of Tübingen)
Diversity, Morality and Threat in Murcia and Frankfurt
14.40 – 15.20
Sanja Đurin (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb)
Queer activism and transformations of the city
( coffee break )
15.40 – 16.20
Jasna Čapo (Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb) and Petra Kelemen
(University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Finding a niche: migrant economy in a city not promoting international migration
16.20 – 17.00
Tihana Rubić (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Multiple and complex discourses on active aging: Challenges to creating an aging-friendly Zagreb
Closing of the Conference
Jasna Čapo, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb
Valentina Gulin Zrnić, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb
Petra Kelemen, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Sanja Đurin, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb
Within the project “City-making: space, culture, and identity” the city-making is regarded as a comprehensive concept aiming at untangling and understanding of multiple, multilayered and interdependent (f)actors and processes that influence contemporary urban transformations and urban life. Two perspectives that are crucial for city-making are the politics of space and the politics of difference. The first perspective evolves around the concept of public space as produced by social cultural, political, economic and environmental interactions, tensions and negotiations creating specific material and symbolic urban landscapes. The second perspective refers to the concept of diversity, or in gateway cities, of super-diversity of city residents: it arises not only with regard to cultural and ethnic differences but also with regard to professional, educational, employment, class, legal status, age, gender and other differences.
Both perspectives constitute knots at which global political, economic and cultural flows meet and collide with local imaginaries, histories, interests and developments, bringing about the restructuring of the city, its identity and positioning on urban scales of power nationally and transnationally. The notion of city-making refers also to various agents that influence urban restructuring and everyday life from top-down and bottom up perspectives – institutions, civil associations, initiatives and individuals – whose internal dynamic is also prone to various and changing power relations. Moreover, the multifocal optic on city-making is necessary since contemporary cities are salient hubs of global, transnational, national and local political, economic, social and cultural flows.
The multifaceted concept of city-making underlies the project “City-making: space, culture, and identity” which focuses on urban transformations in the Croatian capital, Zagreb. The project emerges from the theoretical insights of anthropology of the city, anthropology of space and place, urban migration studies, and post-socialist studies. In methodological terms it is based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, the phenomenological approach, discourse analysis, and mental mapping. Within the past four years the project team members have undertaken research into various topics such as: the production and construction of green and open spaces in Zagreb from the mid-20th century onward; middle-class international migrants and migration of highly-skilled professionals to Zagreb; urban gardening, civil engagement and transition movement; blind persons’ concepts and understanding of the city; the unemployed residents and their urban practices; re-naming of streets and squares; sexual minorities and the use of urban space; art and public space, etc.
We would like to present some of our research results regarding Zagreb urban transformations at the conference. In addition, we would like the conference to give us an opportunity to discuss theoretical and methodological potentials of the concept of city-making as we understand it with colleagues doing research in various other cities of the world. Possible topics of the conference include but need not be limited to the following questions:
- How do various actors of city-making (city managers, civil society associations, residents) imagine and create the city? How do these images and creations relate to one another?
- Which strategies do the city governors use to create a certain identity of the city and raise the city’s visibility (branding, tourism, cultural events..) with the aim of positioning it in the global arena?
- By which everyday practices do city residents symbolically inscribe themselves in the city, notably in public spaces?
- How is social, economic and cultural marginality treated by policy makers?
- How are issues of city governance (with regard to public spaces, diversity, marginality) represented in media?
- How are the taken-for-granted mainstream political, social and cultural values (nation, democracy, multiculturalism, social diversity, tolerance) experienced in everyday practices?
- Does the city function as a socially fragmented organism, a ‘social mosaic’ of parallel worlds which live side by side and do not interpenetrate or as an entwined whole? What is the potential for social cohesion as part of urban identity?
- Which—and to what extent—economic, social, political and environmental factors as well as public policies influence the quality of life in the city?
- What are venues to ensure sustainable and livable city?