Dis-locating public space: Occupy Rondebosch Common, Cape Town

Dans le cadre des recherches menées au sein du programme DALVAA, Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch a co-publié un article titré Dis-locating public space: Occupy Rondebosch Common, Cape Town


We argue here that public space research might benefit theoretically from the Southern Turn in urban studies. Our first objective is theoretical and methodological: unpack the idea of public space to make it suitable beyond its original location. De´tienne’s work on Comparing the Incomparable, combined with Staeheli and Mitchell’s notion of ‘‘regimes of publicity’’ offer the theoretical tools for such a displacement. We end up thinking about public space as various, context-specific configurations of loosely structured, juridical, political, and social elements that take on new shapes and are prone to partial dislocation when dis-located. We test this model by displacing it to a piece of vacant land—Rondebosch Common in Cape Town. In so doing, we deal with our second objective: offering a detailed empirical analysis of the Occupy Rondebosch Common 2012 events, which relates to broader public space debates in contemporary, liminal, South Africa.

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