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25 May 2016

“The importance of public sphere is the exchange of meanings”

Interview with Bo Stråth

The historian offered a brief reflection on the evolution of public spaces, from their elitist monumentality to their popularization and final commercialization.

[Duration: 00:01:54 | Language: Inglés]

Bo Stråth, Emeritus Professor of Nordic, European and World History was interviewed by “Shared Spaces” on February 2015, after he gave a talk “On the Changing Meaning of the Concept of Reform”, at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), included in the conference cycle “Wield the Word.” In his brief interview the historian asserts that the importance of a public sphere should be found on its enabling function that facilitates “the exchange of meanings, exchange of opinions;” for that, his “ideal of public sphere is the speakers’ corner in Hyde Park, as it used to function”, where everybody could stand up and speak to the public. He also reflects on the historical evolution public spaces, by putting the example of the Senate Square, in Helsinki. Built in the 19th century as the center of an imperial capital, the Square in its initial function of monumentality was mainly used by the ruling, religious and intellectual elites of the moment. Nowadays public spaces have moved on from that 19th century ideal to become more popularized, but, as he warns us, also commercialized, as it is the case with football stadiums.

Marta Ill Raga

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