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Roussou, E., Ricchiardi, A. (2024, May). Enclaves of commoning across the divide: self-organised spaces against divisions. In AESOP Symposium: “Constructing Peace through Public Space: What publics? Whose commons?”. Nicosia, Cyprus

https://aesop-planning.eu/tg-news/public-spaces-and-urban-cultures/aesop-tg-psuc-conference-cyprus-symposium-constructing-peace-through-public-space-what-publics-whose-commons

Posted on 16-04-2024

Contemporary Nicosia is characterised by overlapping layers of division. The rising neoliberalisation resulting in intensified touristification and commodification of resources, paired with the tangible division between north and south, and the limited social safety nets for incoming migrants and refugees, widen the socio-economic gaps among different communities. This situation also fuels an increasingly precarious terrain of social and spatial enclosures for urban dwellers to navigate. Against this backdrop, there is a proliferation of bottom-up, self-organised, horizontally managed, non-commercial spaces that operate in the margins of everyday life in Nicosia across the divide. While these enclaves of “commoning” may vary in terms of scope of activities, members or target audience, they all share similar ideological positioning and socio-ecological values, thus forming a network of alternative forms of encounters. This work explores the factors enabling the emergence of these commons and the ways in which they operate to overcome the various layers of division. By adopting a spatial mapping and ethnographic approach, we look into both spatialities and processes, exploring motivations, intents, actions/activities and methods towards self-sustenance and intercommunal outreach. The exploration highlights commoning practices and discusses their potential in creating bridges across divisions.Contemporary Nicosia is characterised by overlapping layers of division. The rising neoliberalisation resulting in intensified touristification and commodification of resources, paired with the tangible division between north and south, and the limited social safety nets for incoming migrants and refugees, widen the socio-economic gaps among different communities. This situation also fuels an increasingly precarious terrain of social and spatial enclosures for urban dwellers to navigate. Against this backdrop, there is a proliferation of bottom-up, self-organised, horizontally managed, non-commercial spaces that operate in the margins of everyday life in Nicosia across the divide. While these enclaves of “commoning” may vary in terms of scope of activities, members or target audience, they all share similar ideological positioning and socio-ecological values, thus forming a network of alternative forms of encounters. This work explores the factors enabling the emergence of these commons and the ways in which they operate to overcome the various layers of division. By adopting a spatial mapping and ethnographic approach, we look into both spatialities and processes, exploring motivations, intents, actions/activities and methods towards self-sustenance and intercommunal outreach. The exploration highlights commoning practices and discusses their potential in creating bridges across divisions.

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