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Culture for Resistance
online resourceposted on 2023-09-01, 14:16 authored by Francesco Zuddas
In an age of rampant commodification of all human values, advocating culture might sound like just one more word used in vain against the forces of capital that continue undisturbed in their action of erosion of anything that does not have an immediate monetary value. The same could be said for another term, city. When anything can be ascribed to the capillary condition of the urban, speaking of a city is increasingly far from the idea of some sort of social bond holding together a society. Yet, if we look at the etymological trajectory followed by the terms culture and city, we can start envisaging how both contain an element of opposition against two other words that are often mistaken as their synonyms: civilization and urbanization. In fact, the history of 20th century architecture and urbanism has been shaped by the constant battle between those couples of terms and their respective advocates. In this sense, culture can be considered a project of resistance. Today, for better or worse, the social performance that was once guaranteed by the city is entrusted to the building. In this situation, the adjective cultural can be seen as a black vest for generic containers that allow the possibility of multiple activities for the mere reason of adjusting to the fluctuations of market-driven urbanization. Seen under a different light, however, it is possible to still envisage in the projects that opt to wear such vest an opportunity for more or less open or subtle commentary towards the contemporary commodified condition in which we live.
Publication titleC3 Magazine
Place of publicationSeoul, South Korea
- Published version