Aug 09 12

Conference on Post-capitalist City, Pula 14.-16.8.2009

Filed under: — andy @ 7:35

The city is the space where the reproduction of social, political and economic forms of life takes
place and where these forms of life confront instrumental political power or political diagonal. This
reproduction of forms of life represents the central site of exploitation as well as of resistance.
Resistance is manifested through production of common values and through cooperation. This
complex environment can be the key force behind the making of democracy, justice, common
values and free space. Cities can become places of post-capitalism.
During three days, the Conference on Post-capitalist City will present the common experiences
of European groups involved in mapping, planning and creating situations which escape both the
capitalist logic of production of space and reproduction of life. Some of these groups will present
their work in the form of lectures after which discussions will follow.
– The goal of the Conference is to affirm an international network of individuals and groups
exploring various forms of self-organizing in urban planning. The participants‘ experiences, their
current projects and practices, will be collected in a catalogue/brochure which will be used for
further activities. The catalogue is conceived as a theoretical elaboration of practices, sorted by
the criteria of 1) method 2) tools/instruments 3) strategy and tactics.
– Our intention is to share experiences as well as create a Document summarizing our
conclusions into a general thesis to be used in further actions.
The project’s hypothesis: It is necessary to reread the processes of exploitation and resistance in
the city as well as understand the curren relations of political powers in order to create a new
urbanism, independent from the state and other political institutions. In other words, we propose
that the separation of urban planning from the state is finally conceivable. The existing
forms of production and life have already erased the border between the profession and its
beneficiaries, between planners and citizens, architects and activists. To research new aspects
of urban development is to reinvent them. Individual experience has become the key for
describing the new urban dynamics.
The Symposium will take place in Pula, a city on the Croatian coast. This environment should be
inspiring for investigating the separation of planning and state because the state has been
retreating from Pula for the last 20 years. An historical military port, the town was deserted by the
army and now offers vast abandoned areas. Most of these spaces did not integrate into
commodity markets and the accompanying system of political power, but were transformed
instead into a laboratory for new forms of living, an informal economy and autonomous production
of common values. At this moment, the size of the ex-military areas developing independently is
ten times bigger than the ex-military areas officially integrated into the dominant economic
The process of demilitarization in Pula started as a minor issue, but has subsequently grown into
the central process by which the city is transformed. As in other cities in a similar situation, here
too the same question arises: What knowledge, methods and tools are needed to establish a
new practice of city planning based on new forms of living, and to turn the existing
political diagonal in its own advantage?
The Symposium on Post-Capitalist City is a part of the 11. Multimedia festival Media

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