Who is absent?

October 10, 2018



aktivitet på torg

kvinna på torg


”That norms act upon us implies that we are susceptible to their action, vulnerable to a certain name-calling from the start. And this registers at a level that is prior to any possibility of volition. An understanding of gender assignment has to take up this field of an unwilled receptivity, susceptibility, and vulnerability, a way of being exposed to language prior to any possibility of forming or enacting a speech act.”  –  Judith Butler

The square becomes a window for social structures in society where our bodies in dialogue with others maintain and act according to the norm. The social interaction allows a particular body to be active, a certain body to watch, some bodies to passing by and some bodies to be absent.

The rules and norms in the public space have different effect on people, some moves and plays easily while some feel uncomfortable or even insecure. There are learned behaviors that contribute to calm and order, and make most acts on the square predictable. But one might wonder about what is necessary for the absent body or observing body to be able to actively use the public space. In a situation where the constructed environment and the social norm feeds each other, it can be hard to imagine what could break this order, if there is a new physical environment with other materials and conditions or does it require a collapse of the social norm through activism? Perhaps the power of collectivity can be one way of creating a broader representation of bodies in the square.


TASK 2.– Isa Draiby


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