Urban space and the politics of socially engaged art

Cecilie Sachs Olsen, in: Progress in Human Geography, SAGE Publishing, 2018

This paper interrogates the political potential of socially engaged art within an urban setting. Grounded in
Lefebvrian and neo-Marxist critical urban theory, this political potential is examined according to three
analytics that mark the definition of ‘politics’ in this context: the (re)configuration of urban space, the
(re)framing of a particular sphere of experience and the (re)thinking of what is taken-for-granted. By bringing
together literatures from a range of academic domains, these analytics are used to examine 1) how socially
engaged art may expand our understanding of the link between the material environment and the production
of urban imaginaries and meanings, and 2) how socially engaged art can open up productive ways of thinking about and engaging with urban space.

Cecilie Sachs Olsen_Urban space and the politics of socially engaged art