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Towards the city of thresholds

Towards the city of thresholds

by Stavros Stavrides. Common Notions 2019

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In recent years, urban uprisings, insurrections, riots, and occupations have been an expression of the rage and desperation of our time. So too have they expressed the joy of reclaiming collective life and a different way of composing a common world. At the root of these rebellious moments lies the threshold--the spaces to be crossed from cities of domination and exploitation to a common world of liberation. A city of thresholds is characterized by sudden dehierarchizations of the territory, the suspension of time, and the playful emergence of hope in a through which dark energies penetrate or awaken, but sometimes hopeful. 

Towards the City of Thresholds is a pioneering and ingenious study of these new forms of socialization and uses of space--self-managed and communal--that passionately reveals cities as the sites of manifest social antagonism as well as spatialities of emancipation. Activist and architect Stavros Stavrides describes the powerful reinvention of politics and social relations stirring everywhere in our urban world and analyzes the theoretical underpinnings present in these metropolitan spaces and how they might be bridged to expand the commons.

What is the emancipatory potential of the city in a time of crisis? What thresholds must be crossed for us to realize this potential? To answer these questions, Stavrides draws penetrating insight from the critical philosophies of Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, and Henri Lefebvre--among others--to challenge the despotism of the political and urban crises of our times and reveal the heterotopias immanent within them.

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