7-10 NOVEMBRE 2012

Facultat de Geografia i Història - Universitat de Barcelona


  • Call for Papers (tancat)
  • Ponents
  • Assistents
  • Dimecres 7/11/2012

    Dijous 8/11/2012

    Divendres 9/11/2012

    Dissabte 10/11/2012

    Dimecres 7 de Novembre de 2012, 18:00h

    Public Space/Conflicts of “Publics”: a Migrant Centrality in Paris and its Problems

    Maria Anita Palumbo (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

    Urban Anthropologist, Phd Candidate, Laboratoire Architecture/Anthropologie (LAA)



    Moving from ethnographical fields results to contemporary public space anthropological analysis, this paper aims to investigate how the area of Babrès (Paris) is the scene of a new conflicts of “urbanity”, involving public space into political, economic and cultural debates as an object, instrument and mirror of social changes and fights. Barbes is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood that works as a worldwide crossroad since the end of the XIX century, in witch urban designs policies have being changing -and still change- the neighbourhood and its public space, simultaneously revealing nowadays social change mechanisms and the arena of actors involved into this process (from inhabitants to political figures) reclaiming multiples uses- and norms of use – of public space. If during the ’80-’90 a multiplicity of associations stood against the urban renovation plan of that time, with a specific concern about resisting against evictions of low class and migrants inhabitants, what we observe today is a new kind of conflicts and reclaims. The exception of this neighbourhood, as a “migrant centrality” in Paris, calls for “domestication” and “normalization” process by inhabitants and institutions in charge of its administration. After a general presentation of the activist-association scene in Barbès and its relation with urban transformations, the paper focus on some case studies concerning this area today, in order to underline how public space is the scene of a new kind of urban conflicts and actions, between the “rules” of dwellers and the habits of “users”, rising questions such as: for whom the space of a neighbourhood is public? What are the legitimate “users” and “uses” of public space nowadays? For which kind of public space and uses are people fighting for and how?