Newsletter

10/2012


Article of the month: Next stop sell-out city

"Is it chance or social class that determines where one gets on and off the bus? How are the stops really connected? How does civic space create social structure, and how does social structure create civic space?"

In an article first published in German in dérive (forthcoming), urban activist Nicole Vrenegor records her conversations with civic campaigners based along Hamburg's no. 3 bus route (photos by Anke Haarman). From the outskirts to the new HafenCity development, she hears a repeated criticism of Hamburg's city council: lack of consultation, token gestures towards social justice, investor-friendly development over liveable urban space.

"What vanishes are the places that don't pay their way, but are very valuable indeed to those who need them," writes Vrenegor. "These are the blind corners on the game board of the city, the empty lots gone to seed, the heterogeneous city quarters, the public spaces where people don't need to spend and consume."

In 2009, a group of artists took over a complex of buildings in the historic Gängeviertel earmarked for demolition and redevelopment. The squats became a symbol of resistance to profit-driven urban planning and a taste of what could be; still, writes Vrenegor, with the HafenCity project poised to expand yet further, campaigning remains an uphill struggle:

"The new land they want to claim is by no means empty. Around 50,000 people live on the islands in the river, Wilhelmsburg and Veddel. For years, many of them have been calling for a development plan for their neighbourhood, but not for an advertising machine to attract investors, which is what has now happened. [...] Even if we can't prevent the government from 'leaping over the Elbe', we can make sure that they land with a bump."

Nicole Vrenegor
Next stop sell-out city
Urban activism in Hamburg
This article is available in English


Eurozine conference held in Hamburg

Harbour cities as places of movement, immigration and emigration, of inclusion and exclusion: this was the starting point for three days of debate at this year's Eurozine conference, held in Hamburg from 14 to 16 September and co-organized and hosted by the journal Mittelweg 36 and the Hamburg Institute for Social Research.

Opened by Jan-Philipp Reemtsma, the conference programme included Saskia Sassen on global land grabs and urban expulsions, Helmuth Berking on port cities without ports, Joëlle Zask on the harbour city as community of strangers, and Saib Musette on Algiers and migration to and from North Africa.

Texts bases on conference presentations will be published in Eurozine in October. Read a conference report here and view photographic impressions of the conference here.


Financing cultural journals: A European survey

Like other types of cultural organization reliant on public funds, journals throughout Europe have felt the impact of recession. In addition to funding cuts, cultural journals are also having to negotiate the upheavals taking place in the print sector. Through a survey of financing for journals, Eurozine takes stock of the economic situation of the network, in order to communicate its experiences internally and to others who hold a stake in European cultural policy today. With reports from Mute (UK), Sodobnost (Slovenia), Varlik (Turkey), Blätter (Germany), Intellectum (Greece), Vikerkaar (Estonia), Wespennest (Austria), Res Publica Nowa (Poland) and Host (Czech Republic).

Read the survey here.


New articles

Eurozine Review
The posterboy of postmodernity
"Merkur" debates the power and powerlessness of experts; "Res Publica Nowa" locates Poland's middle class; "La Revue nouvelle" takes populism seriously; "Blätter" wants to re-politicize Europe; "Mute" refuses to make demands; "Multitudes" revolts; "Akadeemia" celebrates 100 years of Estonian film; "Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais" reads street papers and self-help literature; and "Samtiden" asks what created Breivik.
26.09.2012

This article is available in English

Tomasz Zarycki
In search of a usable past
Who were the ancestors of the Polish middle class?
As the new Polish middle class seeks to establish its own identity and to break with the traditional ethos of the central European intelligentsia, it may draw on the experience of merchants once based in the Polish sector of the Russian empire.
26.09.2012

This article is available in English and Polish

Christian Demand
A fish riding a bicycle
Architectural criticism as lay preaching
Critics love to rage at architectural "abominations", accusing anyone who accepts or even likes the ugly object of "aesthetic illiteracy". However the case of Paul Schultze-Naumburg, architect, art-theorist and Nazi, cautions against claims to represent the "collective taste".
26.09.2012

This article is available in German

George Blecher
Hard truths in an anxious time
Choreography replaces vision in a leaden US election campaign, writes George Blecher. No amount of media hype can disguise voters' sense that neither Obama nor Romney is offering a significant variation on the status quo.
19.09.2012

This article is available in English

Eurozine Editorial
Financing cultural journals: A European survey
Like other types of cultural organization reliant on public funds, cultural journals throughout Europe have felt the impact of recession. In addition to funding cuts, journals are also having to negotiate the upheavals taking place in the print sector. As a network of European cultural journals, Eurozine must collectively take stock of the situation it finds itself in and communicate its experiences both internally and to others who hold a stake in European cultural policy today.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Walter Famler, Andrea Zederbauer
"A dramatic decline in advertising revenue"
Wespennest, Austria
A dramatic decline of advertising revenue has forced Austrian journal "Wespennest" to scale down from four to two issues a year. While commitment to the print format remains undiminished, the question of how to build up readerships across generations remains open.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Märt Väljataga
"The impact of new media remains unclear"
Vikerkaar, Estonia
Generous funding for Estonian journals, rooted in the politics of national identity, has shielded them from the effects of the crisis. Yet past continuity is no guarantee for the future, as "Vikerkaar" and others negotiate the transition from print to digital formats.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Osman Deniztekin
"The squeeze is being applied selectively"
Varlik, Turkey
A long tradition of financial independence might come to an end if "Varlik's" sales decline much further, says the editor of the Turkish journal. In a climate where cultural support is heavily politicized, "Varlik's" future stands or falls on the demand for critical content.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Evald Flisar
"Culture has been marginalized, even stigmatized"
Sodobnost, Slovenia
Swingeing funding cuts with worse expected has left Slovenian journals to a death by instalments, writes "Sodobnost" editor Evald Flisar. The new government's disdain for national culture combines with a unhealthy proximity to the corporate sector.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Artur Celinski
"Professionalization, not cultural politics"
Res Publica Nowa, Poland
In Poland, policy for journals funding is all about "professionalization", writes "Res Publica Nowa" editor Artur Celinski. Declining subsidies together with a sluggish sales climate obliges the young journal to diversify into areas beyond strictly publishing.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Simon Worthington
"A larger programme of creative destruction"
Mute, UK
Internationalizing itself following a 100 per cent defunding by the Arts Council of England, "Mute" magazine is developing new publishing strategies in the digital field while retaining a strong commitment to the long-form text, writes director Simon Worthington.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Victor Tsilonis
"Meritocracy is a ghost"
Intellectum, Greece
With sharp drops in advertising revenue and drastic public cuts, the financing system for Greek journals has never been less transparent. As the "networking" factor attains new levels, meritocracy seems a far-off dream, says "Intellectum" editor Victor Tsilonis.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Marek Seckar
"Our reach is very limited, and this makes us vulnerable"
Host, Czech Republic
Czech journals depend heavily on steadily declining state funds. As a small sector of the cultural budget, funding for journals barely registers wider policy trends. It is precisely this inconspicuousness that gives cause for concern, says "Host" editor Marek Seckar.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Göran Dahlberg, Martin Engberg
"Media change is a slow process"
Glänta and Ord&Bild, Sweden
A long-standing media diversity policy in Sweden means journals such as "Glänta" and "Ord&Bild" enjoy an exceptional degree of stability. The question is how, amidst the massive changes affecting other media, they can turn the particular character of the cultural journal into a strength.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Daniel Leisegang
"The real problem is not the recession"
Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, Germany
As an independent, self-financing publication, "Blätter" is a relative exception in the journals field. So far, it has not felt the impact of recession; rather, the big challenges lie in generating demand for political content and keeping pace with media change.
12.09.2012

This article is available in English

Nicole Vrenegor
Next stop sell-out city
Urban activism in Hamburg
Is it chance or social class that determines where one gets on and off the bus? "Right to the City" activist Nicole Vrenegor takes the number 3 from Hamburg's outskirts to the new HafenCity development, stopping along the way to talk to people who oppose the sell out of the city.
10.09.2012

This article is available in English

Thierry Baudouin, Michèle Collin, Arnaud Le Marchand
Glocal democracy in embryo
On the pioneering role of European harbour cities
The globalization of the harbour workforce challenges the democratic political culture typical of traditional port cities. As prime examples of the convergence of economics and multi-culture, European harbour cities can lead the way in revitalizing forms of urban citizenship.
10.09.2012

This article is available in English

Claus Leggewie
Decadence or renewal?
Deciding the future of the Mediterranean
Regeneration of the Mediterranean region must draw on its legacy of cosmopolitan democracy while offering prospects for ecological, scientific and energy-political development. The Mediterranean may then re-enter the European consciousness as the "Mare nostrum".
12.09.2012

This article is available in English and German

Slavenka Drakulic
Buying a kidney
Thousands of Europeans die annually waiting for a new kidney, heart or liver. At the same time, the black-market trade in organs is thriving. So should organ trading be legalized? Slavenka Drakulic, herself a two-time kidney transplant patient, argues the pros and cons.
07.09.2012

This article is available in English

Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder
The great transformation in the global labour market
The global expansion of higher education allows work traditionally reserved for the West to be done more cheaply and just as well in emerging nations. The result is that the wages and working conditions of western employees no longer set the benchmark.
05.09.2012

This article is available in English

Ramin Jahanbegloo
The Green Movement and nonviolent struggle in Iran
Though it had the potential to turn violent, Iran's Green Movement was determined to seek dialogue with the state. In doing so, it put back in the bottle the genie of violence released by the Khomeini revolution thirty years earlier, writes Ramin Jahanbegloo.
05.09.2012

This article is available in English and German

Eurozine Review
Democracy and arithmetic
"New Humanist" takes a reasonable line on circumcision; "Dilema veche" despairs of political innumeracy; "Soundings" counts the winners and losers of the global auction for jobs; "Arena" criticizes a system that prevents women having it all; "Mittelweg 36" sees the "Collateral murder" video for what it is; "dérive" talks about the weather and the city; "Springerin" features angry artists; and "Ny Tid" says the e-book has a place on the library shelf.
05.09.2012

This article is available in English

This work programme has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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Eurozine Newsletter: 10/2012
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