[urban interfaces] research group at Utrecht University


17 October 2023
15:00 - 17:00
MCW Lab/De Grote Zaal (Kromme Nieuwegracht 20, entrance via Muntstraat 2A, Utrecht)

Open Dialogue: The city as home? Ways, prospects and dilemmas of homemaking in the public

The Open Cities Platform would like to invite you to the fourth Open Dialogue session, which will take place on Tuesday, October 17 from 15.00 – 17.00 at Munstraat 2A/MCW Lab.

The Open Dialogue sessions are recurring events during which OCP community members present ongoing research, moderate community discussions, or organize interactive sessions.

In this session titled ‘The city as home? Ways, prospects and dilemmas of homemaking in the public’, prof. Paolo Bocaggni from the University of Trento revisits the recent debate on home and homemaking on extra-domestic scales, including the city one, drawing also on the multi-sited qualitative fieldwork of ERC HOMInG. How far the city public space feels like home and is domesticated, to the (dis)advantage of whom, are questions that cut across research in urban, housing, displacement and majority-minority studies. The presentation contributes to this debate in terms of ‘homemaking in the public’, as a way of exploring and comparing the unequal accessibility, visibility and ‘appropriability’ of the public domain.

In this session, prof. Paolo Boccagni will argue that the moral and emotional repertoire of home is instrumental to opposite political stances, and that the embodied practices associated with it have to do with place attachment, as much as control and exclusion. The boundaries of home in the public are especially salient whenever outsiders lay some claim over the mainstream space, and the latter turns into a battlefield about who is entitled to stay, feel, belong, and make home there. Different conceptions of home articulate, and reproduce, contrasting ways of seeing and managing urban diversity. Questions of domopolitics,space thresholding and multiscalarity of home are worth revisiting accordingly.