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
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’
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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。
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。
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).