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manifestar o direito à cidade… Outubro 3, 2012

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in Uncategorized.
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O “direito à cidade”, conceito avançado por Henri Lefebvre, reganhou num sentido no momento em que o direito de manifestação parece estar a ser ultrajado e combatido pelo reaccionarismo neoliberal. Hoje mais do que nunca a liberdade de nos manifestarmos parece estar a ser atacada fortemente pelo aparelho estatal. A reflexão sobre este conceito de Lefebvre, tem sido um contínuo na teoria social e nas ciência sociais, em especial na geografia humana anglófona (ver livros recente de David Harvey e Don Mitchell). Um dos textos que mais me apaixonam sobre o tema é “RACE, PROTEST, AND PUBLIC SPACE: CONTEXTUALIZING LEFEBVRE IN THE U.S. CITY” de Eugene J. McCann, publicado em 1999 na Antipode, texto que nos pdoe dar muitas pistas sobre algumas das conflitualidades que hoje percebemos nos espaços urbanos da contemporaneidade.

Aqui fica uma bocadinho do texto:

My argument is in two related parts. First, I suggest that social theories, such as Henri Lefebvre’s discussion of the social production of space, both inform and are informed by the material circumstances of everyday life. As such, they must be transported from one context to another with care and sensitivity. Therefore, I argue that Lefebvre’s theory, outlined in his book The Production of Space (1991), must be contextualized in the racialized geographies of U.S. cities if it is to deepen our understanding of urban sociospatial processes. The glaring omission of any explicit discussion of the role of racial identities in Lefebvre’s discussion cannot go uncorrected in analyses of U.S. urbanism. Second, I do not want to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater by suggesting that Lefebvre’s conceptual framework cannot be applied to the U.S. context. I contend, rather, that Lefebvre’s work does lend itself to a thorough discussion of race and racial identities in U.S. urban settings through its attention to the central role imagination and representation play in producing space. I argue that Lefebvre’s conceptual framework is especially instructive when used to understand how the production and maintenance of “safe” public spaces in U.S. cities is fundamentally related to representations of racial identities and to an ongoing process in which subjective identity and material urban spaces exist in a mutually constitutive relationship. In this regard, Lefebvre’s concept of “abstract space”—space represented by elite social groups as homogeneous, instrumental, and ahistorical in order to facilitate the exercise of state power and the free flow of capital—lends itself to a discussion of the manner in which downtown business spaces in U.S. cities are exclusionary territories dominated by White, middle-class males.

 

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