26. February 2021

“I will kill you, I will waste your life and nothing will happen”.

Rebecca Enobong Roberts | Comrade Deji Adeyanju

Navigating public space is globally complex and complicated . In nations of the Global South, where democracies are gradually becoming problematic , it is becoming obvious that these democracies are blurry with porous boundaries. Various mechanisms such as “no trespassing” signs, high fences and strategic CCTV cameras all testify to increasing contestations over what public space means and who has a right to access it. In Africa, the situation is progressively getting worse, as the recent oppression and killings of unarmed protesters in public spaces attest to. For example, the arrest and killings of unarmed protesters in the cities of Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria and Kampala, Uganda , should bring to the fore debates and questions on the reconfiguration and negotiation of public space. In this post, we seek to reflect on the ENDSARS protest in Nigeria and its implications for rights to public space in Nigeria.

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19. February 2021

Subreddits im Konflikt: Die territorialen Praktiken von Online-Gemeinschaften

Daniel Lambach

Raumkonflikte gibt es auch im Internet. In sozialen Medien bilden sich soziale Gemeinschaften, die über territoriale Praktiken der Inklusion und Exklusion ihre Grenzen festlegen und auf diese Weise ihre Identitäten ausbilden. Am Beispiel eines Reddit-Forums („Subreddits“) zeigt dieser Beitrag, wie Praktiken der Grenzziehung und ritualisierte Konflikte zur Gemeinschaftsbildung beitragen. Dabei wird deutlich, dass Konflikt, Gemeinschaft und Raum in der digitalen Umgebung genauso untrennbar verbunden sind wie in der physischen Welt.

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12. February 2021

Vom Container „Schulhaus“ zur transformativen Bildungsregion? Über die Notwendigkeit eines raumpädagogischen Paradigmenwechsels

Dr. Kathrin E. Plank

Durch die coronabedingte Erschütterung der Beschränkungen von Lernort und -zeit wurde verstärkt ersichtlich, dass der Bildungsraum Schule in vielerlei Hinsicht den Anforderungen einer Wissensgesellschaft des 21. Jahrhunderts nicht mehr gerecht wird. Vor dem Hintergrund einer Re-Figuration des Bildungsraums stehen räumliche Neuordnungen in einem konfliktreichen Spannungsverhältnis zu schulräumlichen Deutungs- und Nutzungsgewohnheiten praktizierender Lehrkräfte. In ihrem Beitrag setzt Kathrin Eveline Plank sich mit dem Potential eines bildungsräumlichen Paradigmenwechsels für eine „Neuprogrammierung schulischer Grammatik“ auseinander.

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1. February 2021

Apart Yet So Close – A report on Cairo’s Pandemic Experience

Dina Nageeb

The Coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on cities and populations all over the world. Although the virus itself is only a tiny, invisible thing, it has set a challenge for humanity: public spaces in cities have become empty, airports are closed, prayers have been cancelled and people are told to stay home for the first time in our lifetime. As cities are not meant to only satisfy basic human needs but provide crucial physical and social environments for human interaction, the changes the virus has brought to urban spaces have left stark impressions on their inhabitants and vice versa. Our daily habits influence our lives, and the way we act and interact reforms our built environment.

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22. January 2021


Laura Isabelle Simak

This report from Beirut presents the topic of tangible and intangible borders-in-flux, which underlie the complexities of social space in modern Beirut Central District (BCD), on account of top-down planning after the civil war and the accumulation of the latest disruptive events, peaked by the port-blast on August 4th. Along with Lefebvre's triad (1974) —the people-less and conceptualized space of 'conceived' dimensions, the navigation of spatial practices or 'perceived space', and the signs and symbols of 'lived space'— it points out the changes in the urban fabric and linked contemporary borders. After introducing BCD, I will focus on Martyrs' Square due to its unique position in Beirut's former demarcation line, the main venue for political protests, and impacted area after the blast.

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21. December 2020

Leaving the house to talk in private. How COVID19 restrictions affected how and where we find someone to talk to.

Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland | Robert Vief | Daniela Krüger

Talja Blokland, Robert Vief and Daniela Krüger ask how the political measures to slow down the coronavirus, especially by not meeting other people, affected how people organised their support for challenges they faced. Drawing on representative survey results from four neighbourhoods in Berlin in both 2019 and 2020, they show that, before the lockdown, a majority of their respondents communicated face-to-face to confront their most pressing personal challenges and did so outside of their home. Under COVID19 restrictions, digital exchanges became more important – but curiously, they did not make us stay home.

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21. December 2020

More than jobs and making money

Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland

The Corona-lockdown has severely affected retail, as economic analysts show. Whether true or not, the Berlin department stores of Karstadt seemed to use the lockdown to explain its crisis when […]

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14. August 2020

Dancing in the Dark

Gilles Verpraet

The Corona crisis will change our conditions of observation. The clarification of sociological positioning for observation and interpretation requires a heuristic of subjectivity. Two main figures are shaping this heuristic: the suffering body and the virtual body, connected as well as elaborated through dense internet practices. On the basis of this heuristic the alteration of communicative action can be analyzed.

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