SZEPTEMBER 17. > VACANT CITY: Abandoned spaces and cultural uses in Prague

The KÉK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre presents the next event of the “Vacancy” series:
Vacant Spaces and Alternative Uses in Prague: film screening and lecture
September 17, Monday, 7pm
Művelődési Szint, Blaha Lujza tér, Corvin Áruház (Somogyi Béla utca), 3rd floor
Admission: 500HUF. The screening and the lecture are in English.

Squat Wars
(Czech, 2009, 26′. Dir: Jan Hanus)
Short documentary on the history of squatting in Prague

Michaela Pixová: Vacant Spaces and Alternative Uses in Prague
The city in the era of neoliberalism provides an extremely unstable living space. Continually changing means of production, modernization and unequal right to capital accumulation and private ownership are pushing forward the production of urban space, and at the same time leads to the creation of countless brownfields and underused property. In the meantime, the population and inequalities are growing, and so is the need for vacant space. The lecture will focus on the way vacant space in urban areas comes into existence and becomes reclaimed for new alternative uses. It will draw on a number of interesting cases from Prague and discuss the potentials and limitations of alternative uses of vacant space in the context of a post-socialist city. The end of the lecture will be devoted to the presentation of Praguewatch, a watchdog organisation which deals with contested cases of urban planning and development in Prague, and which the lecturer is a member and co-founder of.

Michaela Pixová is a social geographer and activist from Prague, currently finishing her Ph.D. at the Faculty of Science, Charles University. As an urban geographer she draws on the work of Marxist, neo-marxist and other critical geographers and social scientists. Due to her involvement in Prague’s alternative scene her main interest is in the spaces and spatial practices of alternative cultures and in contemporary urban social movements. She is also a co-founder of Prague based watchdog organisation called Praguewatch, which deals with internet mapping of contested cases of urban planning and development in Prague. She is also a member of a politically active artists’ collective Guma Guar.

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