2014 OPEN CALL > 2014 FESTIVAL THEMATICS AND QUESTIONS > Securitisation of urban space

 

‘Security measures’ have become pervasive, supposedly to protect the public from threats such as ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’ and ‘anti-social behaviour’. These threats are defined so broadly as to encompass potentially any activity. In the name of security, entire communities have been turned into suspects – subjected to surveillance, preventative measures, restrictions on movement, secret evidence and punishment without trial.  Securitisation measures have been increasingly outsourced to companies such as G4S, thus making accountability even more difficult.  Vast urban spaces – housing, leisure, shopping, etc. – have been privatised; security guards exclude people or police their behaviour as security problems.
 
Securitisation measures have especially targeted urban populations for several reasons. Cities host high-profile events, such as intergovernmental conferences or the Olympics, which provide opportunities for protests to gain mass-media coverage.  Capital cities (such as London) link state agencies with multinational companies, alongside migrant communities which have fled from oppressive regimes. Likewise Muslim diaspora communities hostile to Western military intervention. ‘Security’ measures aim to intimidate and deter any dissent.  They also portray protest as a danger to society, create public fear and deter association.  
 
Questions: How to counter the fear and undermine the securitisation agenda?  How to create joint protest by those who are being targeted?

 

Last updated on July 28, 2014 by This Is Not A Gateway