NRAI: HENRI LEFEBVRE’S “THE RIGHT TO THE CITY”
WED APRIL 20, 2011 – 7-9PM
In tandem with the ongoing activities of the 602,000: Works on Housing exhibition, April’s edition of No Reading will be hosted by Jeff Derksen of the Urban Subjects, who has selected Henri Lefebvre’s “The Right to the City”. Originally written in 1967, Lefebvre suggests that the “historic city” has already lapsed, and calls for a new approach to “the science” of the urban. To a certain extent, this science seems to involve quantifying whilst not containing those dynamic lacunae left unaccounted for within the commodity paradigm’s conception of civic space. In its analysis of “planning” and its will to properly situate the agency of architects and politicians (among others) with respect to the city, the text remains very relevant to a conversation about civics in Vancouver, in 2011. There will be much to chew on in Lefebvre’s use of the term “oeuvre” and his nuanced discussion of utopian vision. Henri Lefebvre was born in southwestern France in 1901. He worked in the fields of sociology and philosophy from the 1920s, navigating the fraught landscape of French Marxism through to his death in 1991. His book The Critique of Everyday Life was formative for the Situationist movement, and The Production of Space remains indispensable to many geographers and social theorists to this day.