Questioning COVID-19 Pre-packaged Solidarity Initiatives in the Dutch Urban Spaces

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has drastically transformed the urban topography and rhythms of the Dutch cities, both in the streets and when “seen from the window” (Lefebvre 1992/2004, 27). Windows and balconies, the liminal spaces where the private and public meet and depart, have become sites not only to “gaze from” but also to “gaze at”. Teddy bears, children’s drawings and letters, white T-shirts with red hearts hanging on/from the windows, as well as flags fluttering from balconies, all contributed to transforming this retracted border of cityness into a political space of communication. Similarly, the windows of commercial spaces have turned into message boards of unity and solidarity, with posters at once inviting customers to support local businesses and boosting feelings of locality...

Author Biographies

Marija Sniečkutė, PhD Researcher, European Studies, University of Amsterdam

Marija Sniečkutė is a PhD researcher at the department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam. She has an academic background in Argumentation and Philosophy (University of Amsterdam), Sociology and Criminology (Vilnius University). Sniečkutė is an affiliate of the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies and a member of the Huizinga Institute. Her research focuses on nationalism, populism, political communication, cultural history, and discourse analysis. Lately, she wrote articles for the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (2018) and a chapter “Values in Populism and Argumentative Counter-Strategies: the Case of Viktor Orbán” in Vox Populi: Populism as a Rhetorical and Democratic Challenge (forthcoming).

Elisa Fiore, Radboud Institute for Culture and History, Radboud University Nijmegen

Elisa Fiore is a PhD Researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen. She does research at the intersection of feminist theory, sensory studies, urban studies, and memory studies. She is a research affiliate of the ASCA Cities Project at the University of Amsterdam. Fiore has recently published an article on racial aesthetics of commercial gentrification in Amsterdam (Space & Culture 2020). She has previously published contributions in The Posthuman Glossary edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova (Bloomsbury 2018), and is co-editor of the Special Issue “Contesting Whiteness at its Intersections: European Racial Formations” of the Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Amsterdam University Press 2018).

Published
2020-08-03