Agonistic Articulations in the 'Creative' City
On New Actors and Activism in Berlin’s Cultural Politics
This book offers an empirically-grounded account of the emergence and political activities of a new collective actor in Berlin’s art field. Investigating the organizational and representative practices of Koalition der Freien Szene (Coalition of the Independent Scene) – a trans-disciplinary action platform assembling a wide variety of cultural producers in Berlin – the author unpacks the political organization of one of the most compelling contemporary art scenes, or ‘creative’ cities, worldwide, analysing both its concrete policy ‘success’ and the means by which it seeks to challenge and rearticulate the meaning of Berlin as a ‘creative’ city from the producers’ point of view. The book thus opens new opportunities for long-term transformations of the cultural political field. Theoretically sophisticated and based on empirical material including interviews with spokespeople and cultural administrators, Agonistic Articulations in the ‘Creative’ City presents a unique conceptualization of new modes of political collectivization, representation and legitimacy that imagine new avenues of political engagement at a time when political institutions, parties and regimes of representation are in crisis. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, political science and urban studies with interests in social movements and cultural activism.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: (Cultural) Politics in a Supposedly Post-Political Age
2. Mapping a Conflictual Cultural Landscape
3. Articulation of an Agonistic Actor
4. Bridge: How to Institutionalize Agonistic Agency?
5. (Re)Negotiating Steering and Rowing in Governance
6. Distillate and Outlook
Appendix: List of Conducted Interviews
Friederike Landau is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Bauhaus University Weimar, and Associate Fellow at the Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin, Germany. Her research interests revolve around new forms of political agency and activism, urban cultural politics, collaborative governance as well as post-foundational political theory. She teaches undergraduate-, graduate- and Ph.D.-level courses in urban sociology, urban planning and arts and design.