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Citizenship without Community: time, design and the city / Angharad Closs Stephens

Citizenship Studies, Volume: 14, Issue: 1, Pages: 31 - 46

Swansea University Author: Angharad, Closs Stephens

Abstract

This article engages with the concept of design as a way of re-working the standard understanding of citizenship as what takes place within a political community. In doing so, the paper draws on recent attempts to rethink citizenship as ‘acts’ rather than status and seeks to bring that work together...

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Published in: Citizenship Studies
Published: 2010
Online Access: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13621020903466282#.Vz71E9ef9Ko
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa28135
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Abstract: This article engages with the concept of design as a way of re-working the standard understanding of citizenship as what takes place within a political community. In doing so, the paper draws on recent attempts to rethink citizenship as ‘acts’ rather than status and seeks to bring that work together with attempts at re-imagining community as ‘encounters’ and ‘confrontations’ rather than that which is contained within a bounded space. Specifically, the paper argues for an approach that is attentive to ideas of time and seeks to open up an idea of community that avoids the requirement of commonality. Using a focus on citizenship as a temporal phenomenon, the article suggests that designers have engaged with ideas of time as multiple, fragmented and splintered, and that these form useful material for reworking ideas of community beyond something that can be calculated. The article offers a study of two sites of memory drawn from the city of Berlin, Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum and Peter Eisenmann's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and an art installation by the artist Gustav Metzger called Flailing Trees exhibited at the Manchester International Festival of 2009. Gathering material offered by these designs, and a tradition of writing the city as a splintered social space, the article explores the different forms of community that circulate and are instantiated at these ‘sites of memory’ and argues for an understanding of community without unity.
College: College of Science
Issue: 1
Start Page: 31
End Page: 46