The domesticated counterculture

The Domesticated Counterculture - Art, Space and Politics in the Gentrified City, de Luca Pattaroni - Edition MétisPresses, Collection vuesDensemble, December 2019 - 296 pages 

For a long time a driving force in the contestation of urban development models and a focus for artistic experimentation, the alternative cultural milieu is now largely integrated into contemporary forms of urban production. Examining the genesis and contemporary stakes of this reversal allows us to understand the ambiguities specific to European cities, which are seeing the last spaces of freedom and creativity disappear as gentrification progresses.

To study this institutionalization of counter-cultures, the book draws on a series of field studies in Geneva, Lisbon and Ljubljana that shed light on a new "post-counter-culture" regime in which urban and cultural issues are now inseparable.

Domesticated counter-culture thus offers a fresh look at the spatial and political metamorphoses of European cities and questions in particular the aporia of the "creative city" which proclaims the reconciliation between culture and economy, even as it physically excludes the most marginal and radical fringes of the worlds of art and civil society.

Texts by Leticia Carmo, Guillaume Drevon, Thierry Maeder, Luca Pattaroni, Yves Pedrazzini, Mischa Piraud and Emmanuel Ravalet.

Luca Pattaroni is a doctor of sociology and a lecturer and research professor at EPFL, where he heads the "Cities, housing and collective action" research group of the Urban Sociology Laboratory. He has been a visiting professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, as well as a visiting researcher at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) and Columbia University (New York). Member of various editorial and scientific committees, he is also a member of the Advisory Council for Culture (State of Geneva) and President of the artist cooperative Ressources Urbaines. For the past twenty years, he has been exploring the expression of differences and marginality in the city, in terms of precariousness, contestation, creation and overflow. The challenge is to open a renewed and critical thinking on the forms of emancipation and oppression encountered in contemporary cities.

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