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    Towards the city of thresholds

    by Stavros Stavrides

    ISBN 978-88-904295-3-8, pp. 160 – € 16

    In the creation and social use of thresholds a potential spatiality of emancipation emerges. Social struggles and movements are exposed to the formative potentialities of thresholds.

    Fragments of a different life, experienced during the struggle, take form in spaces and times with threshold characteristics. When people collectively realize that their actions are becoming different from their usual collective habits, then comparison becomes liberating.

    But these thresholds, these heterotopias, are bound to the inconsistencies and twisting ways of social change. In them, the radical otherness of human emancipation is confronted, approached and explored.

    Can the city of thresholds become the spatial equivalent of an emancipating project based on the negotiation between different but open identities in the process of collectively inventing the future?


    Table of Contents


    Spatiotemporal thresholds and the experience of otherness
    Beyond borders
    Thresholds as social artifacts
    Approaching otherness
    An emancipating spatiality?

    Part I

    Chapter 1

    Exemplary metropolitan rhythms and the city of enclaves
    Rhythms, social practices and public space
    The logic of red zones
    The partitioned city and the “framing” of identities
    A “state of exception” becoming the rule 31
    Exception versus thresholds
    Red zones as normalizing exceptions and the “city of thresholds”
    Citizens before the fencing politics
    From the city of enclaves to the city of thresholds

    Chapter 2

    Inventing rhythms, inhabiting exception
    Inhabiting rhythms
    Habits, habitation and otherness
    An experience of the aftermath: inhabiting a “state of exception”
    Can space activate memories of discontinuity?

    Part II

    Chapter 3

    Walter Benjamin’s thresholds
    Traces and individuality
    The flaneur and urban phantasmagoria
    The dialectics of de-enchantment
    A “study of thresholds”

    Chapter 4

    Navigating the metropolitan space: walking as a form of negotiation wi th otherness
    The metaphor of navigation
    Crossing passages to otherness
    Negotiating choreographies

    Chapter 5

    Theatricality: the art of creating thresholds
    Approaching the other
    Distance and democracy
    Distance, difference and racism
    Four steps towards the different
    Theatrical distance
    Proximate otherness
    Baudelaire and the clown
    The theatrical city
    Neighborhoods and manageable proximity

    Part III

    Chapter 6

    Heterotopias: appropriating Foucault’s geography of otherness
    Power, order and places
    The spatialization of knowledge
    Spaces of otherness?
    Constitution in turmoil
    Heterotopias as spaces in suspense

    Chapter 7

    Identities and rebellion in Zapatista heterotopias
    Those without face
    The mask
    Any face
    Heterotopian experiences

    Chapter 8

    The December 2008 youth uprising in Athens: glimpses of a possible city of thresholds
    A spontaneous uprising
    The quest for urban justice
    Identities in crisis and the experience of urban porosity
    Is there life after December?


    About the author. Stavros Stavrides is an architect and teaches at the National Technical University of Athens.


    (Currently unavailable –– in the process of being reprinted)

    Download the full PDF version


    This book has been reviewed in City – Analysis of Urban Trends

    An interview by An Architektur with the Author can be found at e-flux journal

    More information and papers by the Author can be found at NTUA

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