Constructing Peace through Public Space - Conference, Nicosia, May 30-31, 2024

Constructing Peace through Public Space - Conference, Nicosia, May 30-31, 2024

Constructing Peace through Public Space: What Publics? Whose Commons?

Date: May 30-31, 2024
Venue: Goethe Institut and Home for Cooperation in the Buffer Zone of Nicosia, Cyprus.

International Symposium co-organized by AESOP Thematic Group PSUC (Public Space and Urban Cultures;
Organizers – Scientific Committee:
Socrates Stratis, Sebnem Hoskara, Nadia Charalambous,
Sabine Knierbein, Evangelia Athanassiou (AESOP PSUC members)

The symposium aims to examine the relationships between the publics and peace-building processes in contested cities, with the intention of answering the following questions:
• How do we create spaces for conciliation to transform conflicts constructively?
• How does the active agency of the urban environment support or cancel out conciliation processes?
• Should public space be taken for granted, or should it be part of creating common ground in deeply divided societies?
• What is the role of civil societies and bottom-up initiatives?
• How do commoning practices support the diversity of publics in peacebuilding and related planning processes?
• Can urban challenges of common concern regarding social-ecological transformations (climate and other crises) trigger such commoning practices, and how?

The location of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean offers a unique venue at the confluence of three continents and a multitude of cultures that face such unique challenges. Many of these challenges are the result of not only long-standing local issues but also of issues that have emanated from recent conflicts in the surrounding region. The island in general and Nicosia, a divided European capital with a prolonged history of conflict, internal refugees' displacements, migration and tourist flows, economic fluctuations, and rapid, often abrupt urban transformations, serve as an ideal laboratory to explore, unravel, and question public space development in unstable and contested contexts. The local urban context provides a valuable case study and can unveil the complexity of all the factors that condition the various forms of public space in contemporary contested, continuously transformed contexts.

What institutions for constructing conflict transformation? What is the role of civil society
and bottom-up initiatives?

May 31, 13:30-15:30
Round table with presentations by Dr. Paul Rajakovics (transparadiso/ A) "Learning from Gorizia/ Nova Gorica"; Jitka Hlaváčková and Martin Netočný (Prague City Gallery); Haoran Wang (University of Melbourne); Dr. Ellada Evangelou (Nihal Soganci, Cyprus).

For more information see Goethe Institut and Home for Cooperations.