Aliena Kadabra, Åke Karlung, SE 1969, 6'. Échangeur, Anne Reijniers, Rob Jacobs, BE 2016, 33'. | every day words disappear | Michael Hardt on the politics of love, Johan Grimonprez, BE 2016, 15'. Disseminate and Hold, Rosa Barba, BR/DE 2016, 21'.
Urban public space carries within it the ideal of equality: free access to spaces for encounters, exchange, dispute, and negotiation of differing interests, for everyone. Yet public space has always been inscribed with representations of those in power; its usage is constrained by rules, monitored, controlled, and, these days, increasingly commercialized. Culturally conservative contempt for the masses—which reverberates in debates on populism and Donald Trump’s rise to the US presidency—also shows the extent to which a broad, diverse public is being denied the right of participation, in both right- and left-wing circles. The thematic focus of Common Wealth stretches from the advantages and disadvantages of the great humanist mobilizations of modernity to postcolonial emancipation and the theory and practice of the commons: the city—where things that do not belong together come together—as a site of social utopia.