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CITÉ SÉPARÉE – THE FIGURE OF MIGRANT IN EUROPE

INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR

AgorAkademi investigates the emancipatory potential of public space in multicultural societies. Since Ancient Greece, the participation of citizens to agora, to public life, has been at the center of reflections on democracy in Europe. With the dynamics of globalization and migratory flows, the boundaries of public space are extended beyond national communities, and it becomes the site of confrontation between different cultural norms and values. The separation appears in spatial and social terms between those who are considered citizens and part of the Cité, and others in the margins, such as those who are living in the neighborhood of migrants, and the banlieues, called the cités in French. Public space designating two different meanings of Cité loses its inclusionary quality. The figure of stranger/migrant becomes synonymous with fear and national division. At the same time we observe social intermingling among citizens from different horizons, origins, and beliefs - gathering in assemblies, occupying public spaces, and elaborating new democratic imaginaries. Contemporary agoras provide a stage for the public appearance of minorities, and social recognition among actors and experimentation. In co-presence with each other, actors bridge differences, express their subjectivities, elaborate repertoires of action, artistic performances, and develop alternative ways of society-making. We investigate in this seminar the plurality of belongings to nation, intercultural encounters, and multidimensional memories. We study the way in which cultural differences are reinvented by creative accommodations, producing hybrid norms, forms, and practices. Beyond the political language of separatism and nationalism, the everyday life experiences provide keys for understanding the ongoing process of social creativity, its embodied and material expressions contributing to the making of the Cité, synonymous with Agora and Maidan in multicultural contexts.

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CITÉ SÉPARÉE –THE FIGURE OF MIGRANT IN EUROPE

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