Panel II: Between Public and Private

Friday, 13 December 2013, 15.00-18.30 @ Zico House

Despite its historical contingency, the concept of a public space remains a powerful utopia that is strongly connected to the idea of a political space and to individual citizenship. As empty signifier a dichotomy of public and private continues to be the frame of reference for politicians, urban planners, and city dwellers. Every concrete meaning and manifestation of this dichotomy has an immediate impact on the lived, built, and imagined city, which is necessarily contentious and a dystopia for many of the individuals affected. How do moral norms (whether imposed by society or the state) affect the delineation of public and private space, and how do diverse concepts coexist or clash? How do (changing) gender relations define public and private space and how are they formed by the structural design of urban space? How do alternative public spaces influence cultural production and how do manners of cultural production alter space? What influence does virtual public space have on real space?

  • Nazanin Shahrokni: A Gender-Divided City? An inquiry into the spatial politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Mathew Gagné: Expanding Queer Spaces in Beirut: Mobile communications technologies and contestations to heteronormative space
  • Nahid Siamdoust: Tehran’s Soundscape and the Public Sphere
  • Mazen Haidar and Akram Rayess: Public Sounds, Private Spaces: Towards a Fairouz Museum in Zoukak el-Blat

Discussant: Robert Saliba (American University of Beirut)

Cinema Vendôme, Mar Mikhael, 2010  © Konstantin Kastrissianakis
Cinema Vendôme, Mar Mikhael, 2010
© Konstantin Kastrissianakis