184ucl_Participation and conflict

“Participation is often understood as a means of becoming part of something through pro−active contribution and the occupation of a particular role. However, it seems that this role is rarely understood as a critical platform of engagement, but rather based on romantic conceptions of harmony and solidarity. In this context, Markus Miessen promotes an understanding of conflictual participation, one that acts as an uninvited irritant, a forced entry into fields of knowledge that could arguably benefit from spatial thinking.”

Conflict refers to a state of antagonism or opposition between two or more groups of people. It can also be described as a clash of interests, aims or targets. When we look at conflict as opposed to innocent forms of participation, conflict is not to be understood as a form of protest or contrary provocation, but rather as a micro−political practice through which participants becomes active agents insisting on being actors in the forcefield they are facing. Thus, participation becomes a form of critical engagement.”
“One could therefore argue that instead of breeding the next generation of facilitators and mediators, we should try to encourage the “disinterested outsider“, the one that is unaware of prerequisites and existing protocols, entering the arena with nothing but creative intellect.”


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