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Space, Art and Homelessness

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Chapter Summary

The concept of no-man's-land is basic to understanding homeless activism. No-man's-lands are spaces that, mainly because they escape official attention, allow for forms of behavior not normally approved of according to the norms governing mainstream public life. An example of a no-man's-land mentioned by Doron is the military zone on the outskirts of nineteenth century Paris, a ring of fortifications populated "by thousands of people whose homes had been demolished by Haussmann's neo-classical restructuring of Paris and by farmers who were drawn to employment in the redeveloping city but could not afford to live inside it". No-man's-land as well as counter-space must both be distinguished from a third kind of space, namely official or mainstream public space. Counter-spaces arise through actions that are publicly visible, but they arise through a clash of rhythms.

Keywords: counter-space; Doron; Haussmann; homelessness; no-man's-lands; Paris



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