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Public Spaces for Dialogue and Active Citizenship

June 2014
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Intercultural Affairs

Multicultural classrooms. An opportunity not a problem
Anke Martina Witt / Qantara

It is increasingly the case that students from different nations, cultures and religions sit together in the same classroom. Experts at the University of Hildesheim in Germany are considering how teachers worldwide can better prepare themselves for this kind of diversity.

Educate me

Educate-Me is a social and educative space whose mission consists of improving the state of well-being of financially underprivileged children in Egypt through developing and delivering a self-directed learning program that empowers them to pursue their dreams.

Jadal: Knowledge and Culture

It’s an interactive open space, born under the initiative of a group who worked on the activation of the cognitive side and cultural development of Society, as well as Arabic reconsideration as a rich unlimited language capable of expressing Literature and Arts. Jadal is interested in innovation and innovators in all its fields (Literature, Plastic Arts, Photography, Films, Music, Modern Dancing, etc.), especially with new empowered experiments.

In Focus

Intercultural cities: governance and policies for diverse communities

The Intercultural Cities programme, sponsored by the Council of Europe, supports cities in reviewing their policies through an intercultural lens and developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realize the diversity advantage. The programme proposes a set of analytical and practical tools to help local stakeholders through the various stages of the process.

Cities, conflict, and state fragility: Reflections on a five-year research programme
Tom Goodfellow, Dennis Rodgers & Jo Beall // Urban Studies

The Cities and Fragile States project of the Crisis States Research Centre, a research programme funded by the Department for International Development, recently finalised five years of research that aimed to explore the link between the urbanisation of violence and debates concerning a category of countries often described as ‘fragile’, ‘failed’ or ‘failing’ states. What, if anything, is the link between weaknesses at the level of the state in particular parts of the developing world, and changes in the spaces in which violence plays out? What, moreover, can be said about why some cities in troubled regions remain remarkably peaceful and resilient, seemingly against the odds? These are some of the questions we address in a new Special Issue of Urban Studies on ‘Cities, Conflict and State Fragility in the Developing World’.

Tahrir & Taksim
Amin Farzanefar. Qantara

In 2011 and 2013, two major cities in the Islamic world , Cairo and Istanbul, were rocked by popular unrest. The extended demonstrations seemed to usher in a new culture of protest. This two-part report looks at how the art and music scenes changed in Cairo and Istanbul as a result of these protests.

Part I: A new culture of protest
Part II: Soundtrack of two revolutions

From Carbon Democracy to the Right to the City: On the Struggle Against Neoliberalism
Koenraad Bogaert // Jadaliyya

In his book Carbon Democracy, Timothy Mitchell analyses the interrelation between, on the one hand, the historical development of energy from fossil fuels and, on the other hand, the rise of democratic mass politics. The French philosopher Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991) understood this very well. Already in the early 1970s, he anticipated Mitchell’s suggestion that in our contemporary societies the techniques of resistance used by coalminers, or more broadly, those used by factory workers to sabotage production processes through strikes, etc., were not as effective as they used to be.

مؤسسة التعبير الرقمي العربي "أضِف"

مؤسسة التعبير الرقمي (أضف) منصة عربية تؤمن بأن إنتاج المعرفة والتعبير الحر من أسس بناء وتعزيز مجتمعات فاعلة. تؤسس أضف مساحات وتدعم مناخات للتعلم والتعليم وتبني مهارات وتطور أدوات – تقنية معلوماتية – لدعم الأفراد والمجموعات العاملة على الأرض بهدف تطوير وتقوية ممارسات فاعلة في المجتمع.

La première révolte de la multitude du travail métropolitain
Giuseppe Cocco // Multitudes

Des manifestations massives de mécontentement tant à l’égard de la politique que de la politique économique se sont produites au Moyen-Orient, en Espagne, à Wall Street. Elles touchent désormais le Brésil. Pour quelles raisons ? Que représentent ces mouvements sociaux actuels ?

The Corrala Utopias bringing Seville back to life
Alexandra Kuderski / Cafebabel

Ravaged by the economic crisis which spread unemployment, poverty and homelessness, the people of Seville are fighting back with ingenuity and joie de vivre. The Corrala movement is taking back empty properties, not only giving people a place to live, but also a community to value…

Artistic separation versus artistic mixing in European multicultural cities
Marco Martiniello

This introductory article discusses the diversification of diversity in Europe. It then looks at the tension between ethnic separation and ethnic mixing in urban Europe in general terms. The next section elaborates on a similar tension in the field of popular arts. Finally, the article presents the main insights of the contributions to the special issue.

Urban Sketchers

Urban Sketchers, also referred to as USk, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel. From dynamic cities all over the world, sketchers portray everyday life — from commuters on packed rush-hour subways to coffee drinkers at a sidewalk café. Their open sketchbooks show lively streetscapes, soaring architecture and intriguing faces, all quickly rendered by the sometimes furtive scratching of pen to paper.

La gentrification mise en politiques. De la revitalisation urbaine à Bruxelles
Mathieu Van Criekingen // Métropoles

À la suite d’autres travaux, cet article soutient que l’analyse du déploiement de processus de gentrification ne peut désormais être dissociée de l’étude de l’appui de politiques publiques en leur faveur. Si elle s’inscrit en termes structurels dans la néolibéralisation en cours des politiques urbaines, la mise en politique de la gentrification relève en effet, aussi, de mobilisations particulières d’acteurs situés, publics et privés, opérant à différentes échelles.


حبر مؤسسة إعلامية تسعى لإيصال المعلومة وتشجيع المواطنين لسرد فصصهم والتفاعل من أجل الوصول إلى مجتمع أكثر انفتاحاً وتواصلاً. تقوم حبر بإنتاج محتوى تفاعلي ذو قيمة معلوماتية، كما توفر مساحة لحوارات نقدية وآراء متعددة، بالإضافة إلى تنظيم ورش عمل ودورات تدريبية في مجال الإعلام الرقمي، وجمع الناس معاً في نشاطات مجتمعية. تدافع مشاريعها عن حقوق الإنسان وحرية التعبير والوصول إلى المعلومة. إنها مساحة يمتلك الناس من خلالها حرية سرد ومشاركة قصصهم وآرائهم الخاصة.


7iber is a media organization that seeks to inform, inspire and engage communities to foster a more open society. It creates original informative content, provides a platform for critical conversation, conducts trainings and researches in the field of digital media, and bring people together. Its projects stand for universal human rights, freedom of expression and access to information. It is a space where people and communities have the freedom to craft and share their own narratives.

جدل: معرفة وثقافة

هي مساحة تفاعلية مفتوحة، ولدت بمبادرة من مجموعة من المشتغلين على تفعيل الجانب المعرفي وتطوير الثقافة بكافة تجلياتها في المجتمع، وإعادة الاعتبار للغة العربية كأداة ذات إمكانيات غنية وغير محدودة قادرة على التعبير المتمكن في الآداب والفنون. تهتم بالإبداع والمبدعين في كافة الحقول (الأدب، الفن التشكيلي، التصوير الفوتوغرافي، الفيلم، الموسيقى، الرقص المعاصر وغيرها)، لا سيما التجارب الجديدة المتمكنة.

EuroMed Media Review

INTERARTIVE: Call for texts and artistic projects: Culture and Urban Space

For the publication of issue #65 the digital journal InterArtive will publish a special issue dedicated to diverse aspects of the current discussion about Culture and Urban Space. We invite theorists, critics, curators and artists who work on the subject to participate.
As a substrate for artistic and political action, the city is a place with established hierarchies in regard to the distribution of space, visibility and networks. Economical centres, cultural networks and points of architectural and historical interest hold their already structured symbolic values, that constitute the façade of the city.

Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat to conclude selection of urban projects to be included in the framework of the urban project finance initiative.

The UfM Secretariat participated today in the seminar Urban Development in the FEMIP Region, held in Luxembourg on the occasion of the FEMIP Committee meeting. The seminar aims to discuss urban development challenges in the FEMIP region, as well as the Urban Project Finance Initiative (UPFI) and the Medinas 2030 initiative.

EU project helps southern Mediterranean municipalities join Covenant of Mayors to implement sustainable local policies

The EU-funded project ‘Cleaner energy-saving Mediterranean cities’ (CES MED) has achieved considerable progress, with seven municipalities from the Southern Mediterranean having already adhered to the Covenant of Mayors, and more than a hundred planning to do so.
The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020.

Lebanon: EU project offers learning support to 600 children in Palestinian refugee camps

A project that offers learning support to Palestinian refugees in South Lebanon has been launched at the El Buss Refugee Camp in Tyre, Lebanon, by the European Union, War Child Holland Lebanon and Tadamon Association (S.A.S.C.D).


Assessing Urban Development after the 'Arab Spring': Illusions and Evidence of Change
Stadnicki, Roman; Vignal, Leïla; Barthel, Pierre-Arnaud

This article analyses the specificities of the modes of production of the urban fabric and identifies the spatial, social, economic and political disjunctions that developed within the Arab cities – and led, with other factors, to the 'Arab Spring'. The perceptions of the city and the claims on the urban environment have been transformed. The article demonstrates that the impacts of 'Arab Spring' on the production and the politics of the Arab cities remain to be seen. However, temporalities of change reflect gaps and iterations.

Resurrecting the Mediterranean Past: Toward a Cosmopolitan Europe in Marseille
Camille René Cohen

The ongoing Eurozone crisis prompts questions about both the viability of the European project and the techniques used to ensure its continued support. This paper explores the cultivation of European belonging in Marseille, France with special attention to narratives resurrecting the Mediterranean and enacting the cosmopolitical in Marseille's year as European Capital of Culture, known as MP2013.

Creative economy and employment quality in large urban areas in Spain
Simón Sánchez-Morala, Ricardo Méndez & Alfonso Arellano

The impact of the economic crisis should act as an incentive to devise less vulnerable economic development models for Spanish cities. This study confirms that the impact of the creative economy, one of the most interesting initiatives in this context, remains very limited. Furthermore, microdata obtained from a sample of one million workers in Spain, published annually by the Social Security system, confirm that the sharp contrasts emerging in employment quality between sectors and regions, the processes of ‘precariousness of talent’ and labour dualization expressed through inequalities in the occupational structure are each becoming significant threats to viable economic development.