Assembling Neighbours. The City as Archive, Hardware, Method, and “a very messy kind of archive”


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Anthropology | Participation | Politics and Political Science




This contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium “Fuzzy Studies” reports on the rise of the “popular assemblies” movement that swept the streets of Madrid in the wake of the May 15, 2011, occupation of Puerta del Sol. Assemblies have since taken installation in public spaces as infrastructural with significant methodological implications. Their incorporation into the cityscape has demanded of participants an inventive deployment of techniques and tactics drawn from archival practices and practices of hospitality, as well as the development of varieties of urban hardware. The “fuzz” or mess of the assembly — the difficulties that participants have at putting together, let alone understanding, the assembly as an urban form — offers a valuable perspective on present-day discussions concerning the city as an object of political claims and rights.