Art’s failure to generate urban renewal

19th Dec 2017

Art’s failure to generate urban renewal: Lessons from Jerusalem

A new paper by Meirav Aharon-Gutman is now available online



Based on fieldwork conducted in a seam line neighbourhood in Jerusalem, this article contributes to the ongoing discourse on art in public spaces as a generator of urban renewal. The article suggests that re-thinking this convention from a Global South perspective would enable us to critically discuss the relation between art in public spaces and urban renewal. This research shows how site-specific intervention art activities had produced a conflict that consequently led to the expulsion of the artists group from the neighbourhood. Three theoretical concepts from Hannah Arendt’s work were used in the analysis of the results: political/social, action and public realm. This article claims that the artists’ group has aspired to be simultaneously ‘social’ and ‘political’: by means of a political act they wished to create a ‘dialogue’ and a ‘meeting point’ with Palestinians residing in East Musrara. Every attempt to be simultaneously political and social was perceived by the neighbourhood representatives as deceitful and threatening.


You can access and read the full paper here


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