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— Krasny, Elke. ‘Public.’ In Invocations of the Tragic. A Glossary for Critical Theory, edited by Athena Athanasiou and Elena Tzelepis,

For centuries, public space has been given special significance in the context of political ideas and collective imaginaries. Thus understood, the idea of public space speaks of a politics of appearance and of rights, including the rights to public assembly and speech. The regimes of power that commanded the planning, designing, and building of public spaces bestowed considerable authority on public space. They filled the political idea of public space with power. Quite paradoxically, it is precisely the claim to this authority and this power that the enactment of public assembly and speech makes. Public space lends authority and power to those who claim it. Those who gather in public space, here and now, claim the political idea of public space in the material and built realities of specific public spaces that were shaped, financed, and built by ruling powers. How can the figure of Antigone ask of us to see the contradictions and conflicts that would open up a much more complicated, unsettling, and uneasy understanding of the realities of public space as a political idea?
Read more:, 2023.