Public Space: Fights and Fictions

DANIJELA DUGANDŽIĆ

Feminist worker, curator, cultural producer and creator, Danijela Dugandžić has been active in the women’s movement and in the field of feminist art for twenty years. She is currently an acting directress of the CRVENA organisation and member of Red Mined, a feminist curatorial team. Together with a team of four researchers, architects and activists, she developed Gradologija (Cityology), a comprehensive research and activist programme dealing with questions of urban governance, the use and misuse of public space in the city, urban mobilization, and the possibilities for creating, maintaining, and developing what is known as the ‘urban commons’. She is currently curating the Actopolis Sarajevo project, a transnational laboratory dealing with urban issues and experimenting with strategies for action.

The public sphere has definitely gone through a number of transformations in my lifetime, from a socialist self-governance system where the public sphere seemed closer to its basic idea to its tremendous collapse from the start of the war from 1992 to 1995 and until the numerous and frequent attempts to reboot it in the post-war period. Today, we face fictional democracies in which it is almost impossible to think public spheres. In the case of Sarajevo, reclaiming it often appears to be a fiction. However, aside from constant efforts to challenge and question power, what we seem to need to create functional democracies is to enable spaces for a new imagination, experiments, tries and failures in which we can create new ideologies of commons pushing our societies further and allowing a much needed transfer of the meaning and nature of the public sphere.