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The month of April draws to a close discussing May with Xavi Acarin — the city as a backdrop for revolts, protests and revolutions in the past, globalisation and the future of urban life under surveillance. The city as the centre of power relations defining a future that is proclaimed segregated, conflictual and contaminated. How can we combat that?
Aymara Arreaza R. analysed the politics of constructing a new narrative for Barcelona. Over the past few years the Catalan capital has been striving to offer an inclusive, open image through actions such as the removal of the monument to Antonio López and certain artistic projects in public space. Furthermore, brands collaborate with – or reappropriate the work of – artists in communal space, transforming citizens into spectators: Juanjo Santos remembered Holly Golightly eating croissants in front of the window of Tiffany’s in a text in which he asked himself to what extent we are accomplices to this privatisation of the street.
Beatriz Sánchez Santidrián presented us with an initiative for reappropiating urban space in Paris, in this case a private venture that was supported by the council. The Yes We Camp collective carries out projects of urban transformation in places of disuse: former hospitals, future eco-neighbourhoods that are shared spaces of creativity and reinsertion.
As regards the image of the city, in the abstract, at the beginning of the month Albert Alcoz recovered the collective film En la ciudad (1976-1977), with contributions by Eugènia Balcells, Iván Zulueta, Antoni Miralda and Eulàlia Grau, among others. What image of the city would emerge if there were a second part to this project?
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)