Spaces of democracy: Art, politics and artivism in the post-socialist city

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In the countries of former Eastern Europe, the collapse of socialism and the subsequent onset of neoliberal capitalism have resulted in a massive transfiguration of urban public space at the hands of commercial interests. Examples include the proliferation of outdoor advertising that destroys the character of natural and historic urban landscapes, commercial events that restrict access to parks and squares, the design of retail kiosks and storefronts in and around public spaces that does not respect the local context sending a signal that it no longer represents the local community. Instead of public space where people interact freely, without the coercion of state institutions – the productive, constantly remade, democratic public space – there is space for recreation and entertainment where access is limited only to suitable members of the public: ”A controlled and orderly retreat where a properly behaved public might experience the spectacle of the city” (Mitchell). Drawing on insights from major theorists of public space, this paper explores the transformation of urban space in the post-socialist cities of Central and Southeast Europe (Skopje), focusing on examples of creative reuse, artistic conversion and social re-writing of the urban landscape in the face of massive economic, political and social changes. Copyright © 2011 Ed. Meridiane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-723
JournalStudia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Poposki, Z. (2011). Spaces of democracy: Art, politics and artivism in the post-socialist city. Studia Politica. Romanian Political Science Review, XI(4), 713-723.


  • Public space
  • Spatial practices
  • Artivism
  • Macedonia


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