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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creation of subjectivity in spaces of crisis : a case study in Daneshjoo Park, Tehran, Iran Kermanian, Sara


Public spaces are known to be spaces of social interaction, communication, or public actions. However, many of the public spaces involved in the current unrests in the Middle East, were spaces of crisis before they turned into spaces of revolution or civil war. In this research, I examine the role of public spaces in their condition of crisis on the creation of the subjectivity of their constituents and the limits and possibilities of these spaces for the formation of critical moments of thinking. I explore the answers of my questions through the ethnographic study of one example of spaces of crisis: Daneshjoo Park in Tehran. The data I use mainly comes from my personal observations and dialogues with constituents of the park during the seven years of my using the park from 2005 to 2012. Other sources of information include people's memories or comments about the park published on their weblogs or Facebook, maps, urban policies, the penal code of the Islamic Republic and public media. The result of this research shows that political power’s way for using spaces of crisis to manipulate people’s subjectivity passes through the hierarchy of identities. It also shows that the diversity of spatial experiences that forms in the condition of crisis can lead to the formation of “involuntary moments of thinking” and break the boundaries of subjectification.

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