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“Public Space for me would be how the civic interacts with the production of knowledge”

Interview with Rosi Braidotti
The Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Rosi Braidotti, shed some light on the relation between the production of knowledge, the university, the city and public space.

[Duration: 00:05:48 | Language: English]
The Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Rosi Braidotti, shed some light, in “Shared Spaces” on the relation between knowledge, the university and public space, after she gave a talk on the Posthuman Condition at the CCCB, on November 2015. By stressing the historical importance of cities in Europe –which, she reminds us, are older than nation-states—Braidotti quickly turned his shared reflection on public space to her habitus and habitat: the university, and the production of knowledge. She explains how the origin of cities such as Bologna or Utrecht is clearly related to the existence of the university, and how this had an effect on public spaces: places where one could read, think, share knowledge or do nothing. As she says, public spaces are defined on “how the civic interacts with the production of knowledge”.

In the case of contemporary knowledge production, the use of internet as the main source of information and mediation technology is increasingly generating atomized public spaces in which individuals have no interaction. Moreover, Braidotti sees the detachment of the city from the university as a danger, which she exemplifies with the selling of historical university buildings in Bologna, which will be turned into spaces with commercial uses. “By selling the city we are losing public spaces where it is ok to read a book and think” she affirms, making it hard to “escape from the velocity of consumerism, and the attachment to commodification”. In the end of the interview, Braidotti introduced us to the power of the ancient tradition of bell-ringers in the city of Utrecht. According to the Professor, bells represent a communication code that is material, manual and civic in a much more respectful way than the power of internet technologies, which always has always ambiguous effects on the construction of civic and public spaces.

Marta Ill Raga