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Pedro Buendía

The emergence of graffiti's urban subculture as a means of political expression has become a singular issue of the so-called Arab Spring. Graffiti and urban art, which had little to no relevance in the Arab world until now, emerged with unusual force in many countries, notably in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Egypt. This blossoming takes shape in tangent with the strengthening of a civil society and its rise as a decisive actor in the new political arena. In Egypt's case, graffiti achieved a leading role that reflected the milestones of civil disturbance, marking the walls with virtual snapshots of the popular sentiment. The proliferation of graffiti also had considerable resonance in international media because of the strategy of spreading rebellious and subversive slogans by means of the symbolic occupation of a public space, which, until now, was monopolized by authoritarian powers.

Spanish Un fenómeno singular de la denominada “Primavera Árabe“ ha sido la eclosión de la subcultura urbana del graffiti como medio de expresión política. De escasa o nula relevancia hasta ahora, el arte urbano de las pintadas ha surgido con una fuerza inusitada en varias zonas del mundo árabe, notoriamente en los Territorios Palestinos, el Líbano y Egipto. Dicho florecimiento cuaja en paralelo con la rearticulación de la sociedad civil y su irrupción irreversible como actor de los nuevos escenarios políticos. En el caso de Egipto, los graffitis han tenido un señalado protagonismo como reflejo de los sucesivos hitos de las revueltas, marcando los muros y paredes con verdaderas instantáneas del sentir popular. La proliferación del graffiti ha tenido asimismo una considerable resonancia en los medios internacionales, debido a la estrategia de ocupar simbólicamente el espacio público, -que hasta ahora estaba reservado al monopolio de los poderes autoritarios- para la difusión de consignas contestatarias y subversivas.

French Un phénomène singulier de la “printemps arabe“ a été l'émergence de la culture urbaine du graffiti comme un moyen d'expression politique. Avec peu ou pas d'importance jusqu'à ce jour, l'art urbain et le graffiti ont émergé avec une force inhabituelle dans diverses régions du monde arabe, notamment dans les Territoires Palestiniens, le Liban et l'Égypte. Ce e éclosion doit être mise en parallèle avec le renforcement de la société civile et son émergence comme acteur décisif dans le nouveau scénario politique. Dans le cas de l'Égypte, le graffiti a joué un rôle clé comme reflet des jalons successifs des révoltes, en marquant les murs avec des instantanés virtuelles du sentiment populaire. La prolifération des graffitis a rencontré aussi un écho remarquable dans les médias internationaux en raison de la stratégie d'occupation symbolique de l'espace public pour la diffusion des slogans rebelles et subversifs; un espace public qui était réservé jusqu'à aujourd'hui aux pouvoirs autoritaires.

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J. Donald Hughes

Henry David Thoreau remarked that he had traveled widely—in Concord, Massachusetts. An intentionally contradictory statement, it is nonetheless true if the landscape is composed of many interpenetrating biomes and cultural uses. Fields and forests, groves and gardens, towns and temples form the tesserae of a landscape mosaic embodying the interpenetration of culture and nature, and while such elements provide diversity, they can also, paradoxically, mold integrity. The integrity of nature, in the sense of the completeness of the ecosystem that is present in a place, invests that place with power and lays a claim on sentient beings. Mosaic landscapes have a higher degree of biological diversity than monocultures because they manifest ecotonality, and they are spiritual stimuli for the psyches of those who live within and travel through them. Maintaining the variety of elements within the mosaic, and preventing effacement by huge, land-altering projects where "culture" disregards nature, is a moral imperative. The arrangement of tesserae in a particular landscape mosaic must not be haphazard, but should make both cultural and natural sense, following the underlying geology, the paths of celestial events, and the places where myth and history have resonated, binding cultural meaning to the fabric of the land. Such a pattern leaves areas of varying habitats where biodiversity may flourish. In a future when humans will inhabit the Earth sustainably, the concept of the landscape mosaic may serve as an organizing principle.

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Lost in Hanoi

Disorientation, Travel, and Urban Space

Shane Strange

Using a 2010 trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, this article looks at the ways that disorientation is used as a trope within the urban environment and to create the traveling subject. Suggesting that travel is a form of deliberate disorientation/ orientation, the article focuses on ideas of disorientation within the urban environment and the ways they have been portrayed in Western cultural forms (the flâneur; the dérive) while suggesting these forms are not sufficient to understand the dynamics of travel. Moreover, the article focuses on two forms of travel as disorientation derived from John Zilcosky—the trope of being "lost and found" and that of "the return." Finally, the article suggests that Marcus Auge's idea of non-place is not only a sufficient way of conceptualizing contemporary notions of travel, but is also an indicator of something beyond its scope—that of globalization.

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L'Express et l'espace après Apollo 11

La dramaturgie du récit journalistique à l'épreuve du spatial

Jérôme Lamy

This article examines the treatment of outer space in the French weekly magazine L'Express from 1969 to 2009. After the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, space was essentially analyzed from the perspective of geopolitics: International tensions, the Cold War, and the emergence of an integrated Europe served as prisms through which the subject of outer space was explored. After the Challenger crash in 1986, thinking about space took on a more commercial orientation; business, trade, and competition became a powerful frame of reference. At the same time, ecological concerns emerged to reinforce a negative view of space exploration. Space debris and the decline of utopian expectations became recurring themes. This cultural history of disenchantment over space reflected both a scaling back of Promethean ambitions and the assimilation of space into everyday life.

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Andrea Felicetti

This article analyzes contemporary democracies from a deliberative democratic standpoint and focuses on the connection between public and empowered spaces. The idea of deliberative systems and the concept of “transmission” are introduced to discuss the ways in which the public is able to affect the empowered spaces. While elections perform important democratic functions, alone they cannot provide a good quality means for connecting deliberation in the public to that of actors in the empowered space. The problem with transmission is exacerbated to the extent that alternative forms of participation are neglected. The limited ability of the public to affect the empowered space in deliberative and democratic ways contributes to the crisis of democratic systems. One solution to this problem is to acknowledge the role of citizens' deliberation. The article argues for the systematic introduction of spaces for citizens' deliberation that would parallel existing decision-making.

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Across, Along and Around the Öresund Region

How Pleasure Boaters Live the Swedish-Danish Border Area

Markus Idvall

The article deals with the question of how people as individuals live and simultaneously direct a border region in different ways. How are ordinary inhabitants' tactical choices and manoeuvring movements related to the organised space of two nation states and their mutual borderland? What is the analytical gain, if the borderland is a seascape with dwellers that are more maritime than territorial in their practices and views? Using Ingold's perspective of seafaring versus shipping and aspects of Deleuze/Guattari's nomadology, a cultural analysis is performed on a number of interviews with pleasure boaters in the Swedish-Danish Öresund Region. The striated and linear space of the nation state was found to be fundamental for how people live the border region. However, by its stress on heterogeneity and unpredictability the smooth space of wayfaring inhabitants is also a crucial factor for understanding how border regions come into being and change.

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Alterpolitics or alterotopies

A critique of nomadology with reference to West African Fulbe

Riccardo Ciavolella

This article offers a critique of how the anthropology of pastoral nomadic societies participates in the debate about alternative forms of political organization and emancipation. In the first part, I retrace the roots of the reciprocal and circular influence between anthropology and critical theory, focusing on Deleuze and Guattari's “nomadology” and their reliance on ethnographies of “primitive” and especially nomadic people. Attracted by the spatial autonomy and immanent forms of resistance of nomads, their work nourished the poststructuralist interpretation of power, which in turn influenced contemporary radical political anthropologists. In the second part, I reintroduce ethnographic evidence on pastoral nomads into the discussion. Relying on recent ethnographic evidence of the crisis of nomadism, especially in West Africa, I argue that we should be more prudent in considering interstitial spaces of freedom and resistances as strategies for structurally changing power and for emancipation.

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Jewish Space Reloaded

An Introduction

Eszter B. Gantner and Jay (Koby) Oppenheim

In 1996 the historian Diana Pinto published her often since quoted and discussed article on ‘A New Jewish Identity for Post-1989 Europe’. She was one of the first Jewish intellectuals to reflect on the fall of the Iron Curtain and the resulting political changes and their possible consequences for Jewish communities in Europe. In her article, she introduced the term ‘Jewish space’ that motivates the focus of this issue, as well as the term ‘voluntarily Jewish’, which describes the construction of identity free of external prescription. Pinto situates Jewish space in the context of the Erinnerungspolitik European democracies engaged in during the 1980s, when Holocaust memorialisation began to assume an institutional form through the establishment of Jewish museums, research institutes and exhibitions.

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Mapping Time, Living Space

Comment and Reply

Stephan Feuchtwang and Susan Bayly

The Bad, Fear and Blame? Comment on Bayly’s Mapping Time, Living Space Stephan Feuchtwang

Reply Susan Bayly

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Zygmunt Bauman

A bizarre adventure happened to space on the road to globalisation: it lost its importance while gaining in significance. On the one hand, as Paul Virilio insists,1 territorial sovereignty has lost almost all substance and a good deal of its former attraction; if every spot can be reached and abandoned instantaneously, a permanent hold over a territory with the usual accompaniment of long-term duties and commitments turns from an asset into a liability and becomes a burden rather than a resource in power struggle. On the other hand, as Richard Sennett points out, ‘as the shifting institutions of the economy diminish the experience of belonging somewhere special … people’s commitments increase to geographic places like nations, cities and localities’.2 On the one hand, everything can be done to far away places of other peoples without going anywhere. On the other, little can be prevented from being done to one’s own place however stubbornly one holds to it.