Public Space: Fights and Fictions

LÉOPOLD LAMBERT

Léopold Lambert is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Funambulist, a bimestrial magazine associated with two online platforms—a blog and the podcast, Archipelago. These three mediums all articulate questions on the politics of the built environment in relation to bodies, contributing to linking architecture with the humanities and political activism. Léopold Lambert is the author of Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence (dpr-barcelona, 2012), Topie Impitoyable: The Corporeal Politics of the Cloth, the Wall, and the Street (punctum books, 2016) and La politique du bulldozer (B2, 2016).

FIGHTS. Public space is not a gift from a transcendental entity to the bodies that occupy it. Without struggle to make it ‘public’, this space is merely the other side of the walls built to privatize space and, as such, public space is the space of exclusion par excellence. The fights for publicness are not fights for a return to the ‘natural state’ of this space; it is a construction of a sociality through space and bodies. FICTIONS. Through imaginaries, we individually and collectively interpret public space influenced by narratives imposed on it. These narratives should also be the objects of our struggles as they crystalize the normative reading of spaces and the bodies they host. In this regard, we should embrace fiction’s subjectivity rather than denigrate it.