Civic Geographies: Pictures and Other Things at an Exhibition
This paper introduces an Interventions theme section of ACME exploring the possibilities raised by the notion of ‘civic geographies’, inquiring what it might mean to rework an older, sometimes conservative and even reactionary version of ‘civics’ into alternative ways of intervening in the world, ‘counter-civics’ perhaps, with a potentially critical and transformative edge. Taking seriously the connective or associational dimensions of civics, coupled to a sensibility of engaging with the places, buildings and wider infrastructures of civic life, this collection does not seek to settle the matter of what civic geographies might entail, neither in the world nor as lens for critical-geographical theory-and-praxis. Nonetheless, it seeks to ask fresh questions through the medium of academic papers that initially grew from what might itself be deemed a practical civic intervention, namely contributions to an exhibition held in 2012 at an international Geography conference. The introductory paper that now follows will critically review the notion of civic geographies, underlining its unsettled and maybe unsettling dimensions, as well as elaborating the rationale for an exhibition that now becomes this theme section in ACME.
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