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只有当我们需要公共空间,它才会在我们的感召下形成

收复公共空间-以 Buku Jalanan 为例

Reclaim/Recovering of Public Spaces - Buku Jalanan as Case Study


文字插图 writing & graphic:何凯晶 KJ

英文翻译 english translation:程媄臆 Gwen


 

"Space was produced before being read; nor was it produced in order to be read and grasped, but rather in order to be Jived by people with bodies and Jives in their own particular urban context."
—— <Production of Space> by Henri Lefebvre

1. 打开公共空间的想像——从一块空地开始 Imagination of Public Space




想像这块辽阔的空地,四周无围栏,万物皆可使用,老树根爬出地面,蜜蜂枝间筑巢,小孩掷石子玩乐,流浪汉席地而睡,这是公地的雏形:一个你不需要认识任何人或者做任何事情的地方,除了出现在那里,每个人之间最大的共同性就是没有共同点的。


后来“尺度”和“单位”被发明了,人类文明以新规则重新划分了公地。


当万物开始被“度量”,便有了衡量标准和可比性,被分类成可用资源和无用资源,而为了配置资源就有了制度和结构,产生了生产者和支配者;管理者和使用者。公地逐渐被赋予各种条件,并发展成最终形态:国家视角下的土地,并通过殖民统治、征服领土;城市维度下的公园、市集、广场、街道等等。公共空间并不是天然存在,而是通过土地划分,资源分配而来,空间为了体现权力关系而异化,已失去其中立性和独立性。


Paint a picture of a vast open space, ‘fence-less’ by nature. In this picture of ubiquitous environment, age-old roots crawl out of the ground, bees build hives among the crevices of branches; the scene where children amusing themselves with sticks and stones , where homeless slumbering on the ground. This is the prototype of a public spaces: a place where you don't have to know anyone or do anything, where the greatest commonality between everyone is that they have nothing in common except to exist there.


Then soon after, "scale" and "unit" were invented, and human civilization redefined the public spaces with new rules.


When everything starts to be "measured", it forms into Metrics and Comparables, classified into usable and useless resources, and in order to allocate resources there are institutions and structures that create producers and dominators; managers and users. The public spaces were gradually given various conditions and developed into its final form: land in the perspective of the state and through colonial domination, conquest of territories; parks, marketplaces, squares, streets, etc. in the urban dimension. Public space does not exist naturally, but formed through the division of land, the allocation of resources, and the differentiation of space to reflect power relations, having lost its neutrality and independence.



2. 为什么城市越“大”,我能使用的空间却越来越“小” As Cities Get ‘Bigger’ Our Space Gets ‘Smaller’




城市是另一个度量人类文明的指标,越先进的城市,越有国际地位。而城市就是资本空间化的过程,土地和楼房也是空间被商品化的结果,为了让人消费、买房、投资而再生产更多的空间。以土地资源作为发展单位,它的面积有限性也提高了它的收益价值,并通过变更所有权,抛售来流通增值。土地匮乏,却抑制不了资本的扩张,楼越建越高,房价越来越高。


然而城市的发展结果不是共享的,只有空间等级不平等,资本可以累积。因此贫者越贫,富者越富,国家和私企对空间的支配,却也在间接仲裁无产阶级“无法创造财富,因为你不够努力。”


Garrett Hardin 描绘的公地悲剧(Tragedy of the Commons)正是在映射这样的社会关系,他假设有块公共草地,但每个牧羊人为了最大化自己的利益会增加自己羊群的数量,多一只羊多吃一些草可以卖多一些钱。羊是私人拥有的,但草地是大家共有的,过度开发公共资源只会导致供不应求,获得了短期的暴力,却看不见资源耗尽对所有人都无利。


Cities are another measure of human civilization; the more advanced they are, the more internationally recognize they are. The city is the process of spatialization of capital, and land and buildings are also the result of space being commodified, reproducing more space in order for people to consume, buy houses, and invest. The limited size of the land resource as a unit of development also increases its revenue value, and it is circulated to increase its value by changing ownership and selling it off. The scarcity of land does not inhibit the expansion of capital, and as buildings are built as soaring heights, so are the housing prices increase tremendously.


However, the fruits of urban development are not shared, only the results in unequal spatial hierarchy and capital can be accumulated. Thus the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, domination of space is beingv done by the state and the private sector, but also indirectly arbitrate the proletariat "a person can't create wealth due to lack of hard work."


Garrett Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons is a mapping of such social relations. He hypothesised that there is a communal meadow, but each shepherd will increase the number of his flock in order to maximize his own profit, and with that extra sheep gets fattened by eating just that much more grass turns into a more profitable situation. The sheep are privately owned, but the grass is common space to all, and overexploitation of the commons will only lead to oversupply, short-term violence, and unseen depletion of the resource becomes a detriment to all.



3. 流动空间 Space Mobility —— 以 Buku Jalanan 街头书坊为例



此章节收录“草稿”与 Buku Jalanan @ Shah Alam 核心成员 Zikri Rahman 和 Ihsan Hasan 的线上访谈内容。

Buku Jalanan “街头书坊” 于 2011年由一群 UiTM(Universiti Institut Teknologi MARA)学生发起,以占据公共空间组成临时读书会的组织模式,任何人都可以以它为名衍生自己社群,根据官网统计,如今它在全球各个城市已有70多个独立运作的分支组织。Buku Jalanan 社群以马来文为主要语言媒介,关注 B.A.C.A (Books书籍 / Arts艺术 / Culture文化 / Activism 社运) 四大主题。

This section features an “draf.” online interview with Buku Jalanan @ Shah Alam core members Zikri Rahman and Ihsan Hasan.

Buku Jalanan was launched in 2011 by a group of UiTM (Universiti Institut Teknologi MARA) students to form a temporary book club in a public space, and anyone can create their own community under the name of Buku Jalanan. According to its official website, it now has more than 70 independent branches in various cities around the world. The Buku Jalanan community uses Malay as the main language medium and focuses on four main themes: B.A.C.A (Books / Arts / Culture / Activism).


访问整理 interview:黄君儿 Queenie


受访者Ihsan刚好是一名建筑师,他之前的毕业论文探索空间的生产模式,其背后原因摆脱不了金钱或者宗教、性别等社会因素;而参与“街头书坊”,让他感叹空间原来可以与资本主义无关,不建基于盈利上的空间创造,形成空间的过程不再以尺寸、建筑法规、和效率为指标,而是围绕着人类的价值观、正义和对知识的热爱组织起来。


传统的图书馆是知识的仓库;而在无特定时间无特定地点发生的“街头书坊“,着重的是知识的交流。“街头书坊”有别于现代民族国家,学习的目的不是为了灌输提高社会凝聚力的价值观和理想;相反的,它以异议的可能性为讨论框架,构建容许不同想法流通的的知识系统。(1)


为了防止被有心人士恶意扭曲异见,发起人Zikri表示,我们的对应方式是让讨论过程透明化,于是选择公共空间的目的也是为了能见度和可达性。公共化的讨论是基于群众信任和集体共识,也是抵制举报的一种方式。


The interviewee, Ihsan, happens to be an architect, and his previous thesis explored the mode of creation of space, and it’s reasons which cannot deviate from money or social factors such as religion or gender; his participation in "Street Books" made him wonder how space can be independt from capitalism, not the creation of space driven by profit, and forming space no longer solely based on size, building regulations, and efficiency, but organized around human values, justice, and love of knowledge.


The traditional library is a trove of knowledge; the "street workshop", which takes place at no particular time or place, centered around the exchange of knowledge. "Street workshop" is unlike the modern nation-state, the purpose of learning is not to instill values and ideals that enhance social cohesion; rather, it uses the possibility of dissent as a framework for discussion and the construction of a knowledge system that allows for the circulation of different ideas.(1)


In order to prevent the malicious distortion of dissent, Zikri, the founder, says that our response is to make the discussion process transparent, and so the public space is chosen for its visibility and accessibility. Publicized discussion is based on mass trust and collective consensus, and is a way to resist whistleblowing.



“流动性”与“临时性”的场域是街头书坊的精髓,让它窜梭于现有社会制度的裂缝,提供新的可能性。大家用简单的形式利用公共资源和占据公共空间,如“窃取”路边过期的竞选横幅,或者利用宜家的环保袋,就可以在公园一角搭建临时空间,颠覆我们对实体空间的感知。而这个虚形空间就像磁铁般,把志同道合者和路人吸引过来;长达两个小时的活动结束以后,书、书架、垫子都收拾带走,公园回到了原来的样子,仿佛什么事都没有发生过。


使用公共空间时,需要进行空间上的“谈判” (negotiation),而在过程中有时需要用更激进的态度,让人直面空间上的权属问题,小事情如巴士隔壁座位上挪走自己的书包,大事情如占领广场表达诉求,谈判是收复公共空间必经过程。


街头书坊刻意选择使用马来语作为讨论媒介,Zikri认为,马来西亚缺乏以马来文为主的批判性讨论,如果我们不使用马来语讨论社会上重要的问题,它会沦为“压迫语言”。Ihsan也指出他们想收复马来语的“语言空间”。马来语似乎是权力的象征,专属于统治阶级的语言,他希望可以让马来语变回原先表达美、艺术、及自由的语言。


“街头书坊”以模块化(modularity)且适应性高(adaptability)的运作模式,让它可以流动于各个公共空间,形成去中心化的公共网络。



source: provide by Buku Jalanan


The "mobility" and "temporariness" of the space is the essence of the street bookstore, allowing it to scurry through the cracks of the existing social system and offer new possibilities. SImply By using public resources and occupying public space, such as "stealing" expired campaign banners from the roadside or using IKEA environmental bags, we can build a temporary space in a corner of a park, subverting our perception of physical space. This imaginary space starts to acts like a magnet, attracting like-minded people and passers-by. After the two-hour-long event, the books, shelves, and mats are packed away and the park returns to its original state as if nothing untouched.


When using public space, spatial "negotiation" is required, and sometimes a more assertive attitude is needed in the process, so that people can face the spatial ownership issues directly. From minor incidents like removing one's school bag from the next seat on the bus, to significant/powerful moments like occupying the public square to express one's demands, “negotiation” is a necessary process to recover public space.


Street Books deliberately chose to use Malay as the medium of discussion. Zikri believes that there is a lack of critical discussion in Malay in Malaysia, and that if we do not use Malay to discuss important issues in society, it will snowball into a "language of oppression". Ihsan also pointed out that they wanted to reclaim the "linguistic space" of the Malay language. Malay seems to be a symbol of power, the language of the ruling class, and he hopes to return it to the language of beauty, art, and freedom.


The modularity and adaptability of the street books allows it to flow through various public spaces, forming a decentralized public network.


Reference Sources:

1- Simon Soon. Creativity in Dissent: From the Politics of Pedagogy to the Art of Pedagogy. 27th Dec 2018. DOI: 10.20495/seas.7.3_449. https://englishkyoto-seas.org/2018/12/vol-7-no-3-simon-soon/shou





4. 空间里游离、消失的人 Out of Space


如果说空间是各种社会力量交织的场所,那么公共空间的形成就是消解社会阶层和阶级矛盾的过程,消除身份的差异性,尊重每个人都有使用公共空间的权力,其中也包括非法外籍移工、流浪汉、难民等,然而这些人常因为影响市容而消失在公共场合。


大家的顾虑也是因为在其他非公共空间里,他们处于权力不对等的最下方,几乎都是最基层劳工群体。亦或者有的根本失去了固定住所,丧失了社会身份,更没有消费能力,被排除在空间之外。于是当大家共处在公共空间,会有一种权力对等转换而产生的不适感。


If space is a place where various social forces interconnect, then the formation of public space is the process of dissolving social class and class conflicts, eliminating identity differences and respecting everyone's right to use public space, which includes illegal foreign migrant workers, vagrants, refugees, etc. However, these people often driven/forced away from public places because of their impact on the city's appearance.


The concern is also due to the fact that in other private spaces, they are classified at the bottom of the power imbalance and are almost always the most primitive labor group. Or some of them simply lose their permanent residence, their social identity, reduce their consumption power, and are alienated. Thus, when people exist together in public space, there is a sense of discomfort caused by the shift of power parity.


在城市的高速发展下,衍生了许多无人管辖的畸零地块——“灰空间”或“负空间”,如:工业废地、高架桥下,这些空间暂时失去了私有权和法制效用,也没有集体共识来约束空间行为。于是这片阴影成了边缘群体避难所的天然屏障,人们越是不敢靠近,他们越是自在。所谓一群人的安全隐患其实是另一群人的安全堡垒。或许对他们而言,公共空间的能见度反而是一种目光迫害。


然而阴影下的躲藏是暂时性的,负空间随时都有可能被改造并重新纳入城市肌理,他们只能再次迁移到另一个负空间。“驱赶”还是“包容”的争辩也不时发生在空间里,却也隐约把他们置于第三者视角的审判里,话外之音是他们如今的处境是自己的选择,而非政治资本发展下无力改变命运的受害者。


如何为他们正名?如何重新让他们参与到公共生活?这是每座城市都难逃的功课。毕竟本质上,他们依旧是城市里公共空间的使用者。


Under the rapid development of the city, there are many ungoverned and irregular plots of land - "gray area" or "negative area", such as industrial wasteland and spaces under elevated bridges. These spaces have temporarily lost their private rights and legal utility, and there is no collective consensus to regulate their behavior. So this patch of grayness became a natural barrier to the refuge of marginalized groups, the more people were afraid to approach, the more comfortable they were. It could be said that, one’s safety hazard is a the security fortress of another. Perhaps for them, the visibility of public space is instead a kind of gaze persecution.


However, hiding in the shadows is just temporary, negative space may be transformed and re-integrated into the urban fabric at any time, and they can only migrate to another negative space again. The debate of "expulsion" or "inclusion" also occurs in the space from time to time, but it also implicitly places them in the judgment of a third party's perspective, with the implication that their current situation is their own choice, while also the development of non-political capital are unable to change their fate of the victims.


What proper title should be given? How can they be reintegrated into public life? Every city has to take accountability for this. After all, they are still essentially the users of public space in the city.



5. 收复公共空间 之 日常行动 Reclaiming Public Space


因为有不合理的土地运用,才有收复(reclaim)的需求,在马来西亚市中心,#MerdekaKL 运动曾以号召大家在街道组建临时公园野餐 “March for Merdeka Park” 来呼吁群众重新看见被118高塔计划夺走的默迪卡公园。 八打灵再也 (Petaling Jaya) 居民自主发动联署签名 “Say No to PJD Link”反对建设高架桥压缩城市空间。虽然不是每场捍卫公共空间的运动都能取得成果,可是当我们以城市空间使用者的身份,扮演空间权力中制约和监督的另一方,收复公共空间,同时也在收复我们的公民权利,拥有话语权去叙事我们和这片土地建立的联系。


疫情下我们经历了行动管制,即便出门也需要保持距离,人和空间,人和人之间重新被一种新的秩序重构。公共空间先是被封锁,然后解封开放,被隔离板划分成各种小格间,维持在熟人之间的社交活动。我们通过已认识的人身上找到熟悉感,回到同一个话语体系里面,我们减少了与他者公用同一个空间所需要表现的克制与尊重。1米模糊的距离,分不清口罩下是谁,只有二维码返送的系统后台知道,默许的新社会契约,让国家以绝对权威掌控我们的流动。没有自然人流,没有因为共同使用而产生公共认知。


但是公共空间不会因为失去了物理条件而不存在,一片荒域 (no man land) 也不会自动变成公共空间;相反公共空间是社会性的,是基于公共生活建立起来,并会随着当代社会集体意识的改变而改变。换言之,只有当我们需要公共空间,它才会在我们的感召(争取)下形成。


(完)


The need for reclaim is due to senseless land use. The #MerdekaKL campaign in downtown Malaysia was a movement for temporary park picnics spawn in the streets, the "March for Merdeka Park" was called to reclaim land use of the park as 118 Towers project took over the existing park space. Petaling Jaya residents have initiated a petition for "Say No to PJD Link" to oppose the construction of elevated highways that oppresses urban space. Although not every fight in defending of public space is fruitful, when we take action as users of urban space and stand on the other side of the spatial power of restraint and oversight, we are recovering public space and at the same time reclaim our civil rights and voice out our the affiliation we have built with this land.


During the pandemic, we experience a movement control order, we kept our distance even when we go outdoors. Between user and space, and among people, are reconfigured by a new order. Public spaces were first cut off and then later unblocked, divided into small compartments by isolation, while maintaining social activities among a comfort zone of acquaintances. We find familiarity through people we already intimate with, and return to the same discourse system, we reduce the restraint and respect we need to show others in a common space. That vague one meter gap,inhibits us to figure out who is behind the mask, only the frigid QR code can break that code, the new social contract of acquiescence, allowing the state to control our mobility with absolute authority. There is no natural flow of people, lack of public perception caused by common use.


But public space does not cease to exist because of the loss of physical conditions, nor does a ‘no man land’ automatically become public space; rather public space is social/communal, built on the foundations of public life, and will morphe along with the collective consciousness of contemporary society. In other words, public space is only forged when we need it, when we demand for it (fight for it).


(End)


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