COMMONING THE CITY
COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES FROM ISTANBUL AND BEYOND
Güldem Baykal Büyüksaraç & Derya Özkan (eds.)
This edited volume has its roots in Spaces in Common, a seminar series realized in Istanbul in the Spring of 2016, where a group of academics and activists were invited to think together about forms of urban living created through acts of commoning –spaces imagined and lived as urban commons, belonging to no one and everyone.
The proposed collection of papers similarly aims to reflect upon urban inhabitants’ commoning practices that produce and reproduce life in the city for the sake of cultivating a new ethos to sustain livelihoods and affirm communal instincts beyond motivations of profit, competition, and wealth spared for individual well-being at the expense of others. These practices develop a culture of commoning that helps imagine a city marked by alternative socio-spatial relations and practices. Such imagery is possible only with active and creative urban inhabitants immersed in cultures of commoning through their quotidian practices, be they work, reproductive labor, or leisure and festivity. It is these practices that make our spaces in common despite (and in the midst of) capitalist social relationships. We embrace the concept of urban commons as it allows us to think beyond the public-private and state-market dichotomies that are the building blocks of capitalist social formations.