miércoles, enero 14, 2009

Massey (2005)

Massey, Doreen 2005 For Space. London: Sage. Chapter 12: The Elusiveness of Place, Chapter 13: Throwntogetherness: The Politics of the Event of Place, and Chapter 14: There are No Rules of Place and Space (pp. 130-176).

Places as integration of space and time, as spatio-temporal events always moving, open, in process of becoming within a sense of interconnection and transience. Natural places also constantly change. Everything everywhere changes but according to specific forms of “here”. However why we cannot grasp this constant change and tend to think in static and fix way “nature”, “culture” and “society”? It seems that Massey is thinking on the spectrum that goes from geological and planet scale to micro-movements of tiny stones, from the constructors of pyramids five thousand ago to “our time” everything is in constant fluidity considering at the same time “space” (“Geography”), “time” (“History”), “culture” (“Social Anthropology”), and “nature” (“Science”). And this encounter, this “here” and “now” is what “we” have. What is important of the place for Massey is the throwntogetherness, the negotiation of here-and-now, the steady fusion/fission of elements, a “coming together of trajectories” (141). Bodies (human, of water), places (mountains), and identities (political) are collectively shaped through practices, which forms relations, and “it is on those practices and relations that politics must be focused” (148) but more importantly for Massey space itself is the site of interconnection and social formations in a constant becoming of trajectories, histories and stories, indeed it is a constellation of trajectories both “natural” and “cultural” that are part of a continuous negotiation. And I like the definition of politics by Mouffe (quoted by Massey) that considers “the always-to-be-achieved construction of a bounded yet heterogeneous, unstable and necessary antagonistic ‘we’” (154). She takes the example of the City of London with its overpaid financial workers and how they impact in the high cost of housing and living: the inequalities of the system in which few are overpaid and everyone has to suffer the costs. More specifically, the last concentration of capital and wealth in the financial economy and the refusal to consider any forms of redistribution of the (national?) wealth with the allegedly threat that if not finance would go to Frankfurt instead of London or other regions within England would take a bigger portion of the tax revenue from London...But London/England is also part of the larger constellation of trajectories of the unequal relation north/south, first/third world in a Faletto-Cardoso vein. And these constellations are not stable or coherent both spatial and temporal because they are constantly changing and struggling. The problem of the social construction of place though is a political one, is the political position-taking within the spatialized social practices and social relations of power. Massey suggests that we are responsible toward place but yet there are no spatial rules from which guide our politics.

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