Brigitte Sölch will discuss why the ancient concepts of Forum and Agora are still part of the imagination of the public and political dimension of urban space, and that there needs to be a critical historical reflection in order to judge and activate their utopian potential for the present.
It is astonishing and impressive at the same time how Forum and Agora have shaped the (Western) idea of the city, its public spaces and political constitution for over 2000 years. Even in the present, this idea is still alive—both in terms of the historic past of the city and its possible future. Even the internet forum was linked to this vision, which means to the idea of democratic space creation, communication, and participation. How did that happen? In other words, what role did the post-war-period play in the formation of this particular notion of Forum and Agora? And what could it be in terms of utopian potential if we critically consider the processes of their historical appropriation and regard Forum and Agora as a central problem rather than a solution?