Online-Veranstaltung: Spaces of 'Gemeinsinn': Syncretic place-making in cities of diversity

Donnerstag, 01.Juli.2021, 17:00 – 18:00 Uhr, Online-Veranstaltung über Zoom.

Hier gelangen Sie zur Online-Veranstaltung über Zoom.

Vortragende Person:
Dr. Gruia Badescu 

Dr. Philipp Fraund

Diese Veranstaltung ist Teil der Vortragsreihe „Räume des Gemeinsinns“.

In an increasingly diverse Europe, cities have been hailed as spaces of hope for harbouring diversity and shaping new forms of a communal spirit. While attention has been given to institutional frameworks and social programmes to integrate migrants and foster urban community building, I argue that place-making practice can also contribute to a new, inclusive form of belonging and Gemeinsinn. In this talk, I discuss a set of practices through which architects and city-makers respond to contemporary urban transformations through the production of places and memory practices that include concerns for diversity. I focus on syncretic place-making, which I define as the process of drawing from multiple traditions to shape places celebrating a diversity of memories and identities. Echoing the contemporary anthropological understanding of syncretism by Charles Stewart, it refers to mixture and diversity expressed through practices of proximity and convergence. The concept draws from a non-hegemonic practice identified in the reconstruction of Sarajevo after the 1990s wars, with the talk discussing its promises and challenges with reference to Europe’s increasingly multicultural cities. I first discuss how syncretic place-making reconstruction in Sarajevo draws from century-old diversity and mixture, becoming a celebration of urban cosmopolitanism and openness. Nevertheless, this approach also opened other forms of exclusions and conflict, sustaining the imaginary of open cities versus reactionary hinterlands. Second, I interrogate how this practice relates to a sense of Gemeinsinn in the broader European urban context, referring to spatial practice connected with migration, from Copenhagen to Barcelona. All in all, the paper highlights both the potential and the challenges of syncretic place-making when dealing with both older and newer forms of difference, musing on larger debates on diversity, communal spirit, and place-making.