14 Jun 13 // Claire Colomb: Pushing The Urban Frontier // CMS Berlin

Pushing The Urban Frontier: Place Marketing, The ‘Creative City’ Agenda And Urban Conflicts In Berlin And Hamburg.

Vortrag von Claire Colomb bei der IGK Public Lecture Series 2013 // 14. Juni 2013 // 17:00 – 19:00

Im Rahmen des Internationalen Graduiertenkollegs Berlin – New York – Toronto findet in diesem Semester eine Serie öffentlichen Vorlesungen unter dem Titel  “The World in the City: Global Theories and Local Research” statt. Am kommenden Donnerstag wird Claire Colomb von der University College London vortragen: Pushing the Urban Frontier. Place Marketing, ‘Creative City’ Agendas and Urban Conflicts in Berlin and Hamburg. Fighting for the Right to the (Creative) City?

This presentation will focus on the urban conflicts and social movements which have arisen recently in the context of, and partly as a response to, ‘creative city policies’ in Berlin and Hamburg (Germany). In several German cities there is mounting evidence of a growing mobilization by cultural producers and so-called ‘creatives’ in protest movements and coalitions formed to oppose the growth-oriented, entrepreneurial policy agendas pursued by local leaders and the appropriation or outright destruction of culture and creativity which such agendas entail. In Berlin, since 2008 a protest movement has been opposing the planned redevelopment of the MediaSpree waterfront area into a media district. In Hamburg, following the occupation of a small site threatened by corporate redevelopment in 2009, a collective of artists, musicians and social activists published a manifesto entitled ‘Not in Our Name’ denouncing the use and instrumentalization of arts, culture and creativity in municipal economic development and city marketing policies.

In both cases, cultural producers or so-called ‘creatives’ played a leading role in the movements and explicitly articulated a critique of the ‘creative city’ agenda and of its consequences and impacts on urban spaces. Additionally, in both cases the protest movements widened their initial claim by embracing the ‘Right to the City’ concept. In the presentation I analyze the composition, agenda, achievements and contradictions of these social mobilizations, with reference to the hypothesis made in 2001 by David Harvey in a chapter of Spaces of Capital (‘The Art of Rent: Globalization and the Commodification of Culture’), i.e. that of the increasing mobilization of cultural producers in oppositional movements in an era of wholesale instrumentalization of culture and creativity in contemporary processes of capitalist urbanization. The presentation will conclude by discussing whether similar trends are witnessed in other countries and cities, and propose a future research agenda on the role of artists, cultural producers and ‘creatives’ in urban social movements across the globe.

Center for Metropolitan Studies  – Seminarraum 103 (1. Etage) // Hardenbergstraße 16-18   // 10623 Berlin

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