Thresholds

Thresholds are Spaces in-between the Self and the Other
Thresholds are in-between Real spaces and the ‘spaces of the Other’
Thresholds are Gaps
Thresholds are neither One nor the Other
Thresholds are new Hybrid Identities
Thresholds are Theaters of expressive acts of Encounter
Thresholds are Bridges
Thresholds are Doors
Thresholds are Distance
Thresholds are in-between Here and There
Thresholds are Frontiers
Thresholds are Instable
Thresholds are the Wild Land
Thresholds are Circles
Thresholds are spaces of Play
Thresholds are Interstices
Thresholds are non-Hierarchical
Thresholds are Possibilities
Thresholds are Encounters

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To Dwell the Threshold becomes the practice that allows ‘to perforate the boundary between the Self and the Other’ (Stavrides) by allowing the encounter among differences.

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One thought on “Thresholds

  1. Hi Azzurra, thanks again for showing us the film, I found it very inspiring and brilliantly made, even more so after having seen it before!

    Due to the lack of time I was not able to say what I actually wanted to say at the screening.
    I am also very interested in these in-between-spaces, or thresholds. Besides that fact that I only recently engaged in issues around borders myself which makes my knowledge about it a fractual one, I have two main points that I would like to put in a nutshell:
    First, how, why and by whom are (spatial) units or entities defined, and second what is the meaning of places/spaces in between them? Those two concerns are, however, tightly related to each other, or two sides of the same coin. Where there are not two different entities, there is no border and hence no potential relation.

    So, on the first point, I remember a quote from I. M. Young which (more or less) says that neither in philosophy nor in social science do we have models of how to define a group. Therefore, even if these classifications of groups might be historically grown and developed according to (apparently) objective, obvious criteria, we don´t really know. Moreover, in times of intensified internationalisation, people (not only international elites) can be seen as having a multiplicity of different affiliations and therefore belonging to a variaty of groups. Taken together, this made me think of entities (groups, spatial units) as open “bundles of trajectories” rather than as spaces encircled by a border. Accordingly, the substance of these groups or spaces collapses into lines, stories, narratives, and so forth, to form a space that is open at the edges rather then closed.

    On the second point, for me the (remaining) space becomes this “borderland”, as I use Etienne Balibar´s concept, A space that is dispersed across a territory, representing a space of opportunities and possibilities. This space is necessary to keep this balance between chaos and order that has been brougth up by Robert Biel at your screening. Without this in-between spaces, we would get stuck in stasis and there would literally be no “room for maneuver” and our work as development planners, and the work of many others who think about alternative views, would be impossible. However, the problem for “us” as planners is that as soon as we seek to introduce or to implement alternative policies, we create order ourselves; even if it is a “good” order. In other words, disorder, uncertainties, undefined spaces are essential for progress and development, but it is a constant struggle of how to appropriate this space.

    Here questions on the balance of power come in. They also relate to my first point on who defines entities in the first place. Because these decisions clearly follow patterns of power, and, going back to what has been part of the discourse at your screening, this is a market-driven, neo-liberal, globalised, environment at the moment.

    As a last note I wanted to stress the role of scale in all this. I think you touched upon it when talking about the distinction between the self and the other, as we also saw in the first section of your film. For me the debate on scale is closely interrelated to (open) space and borders, meaning that as much as we need distinct entities to enable relations or encounter, this distinction cannot be too rigid and fixed. In this fluid sphere, scale is a necessary vehicle that helps us navigating through space as much as allows us communicating about it. But, we need to conceptualise scale in the same way we conceptualise space, as open, processual and in constant change.
    Overall, I like the concept of “scale invariance”, which means that we find the same patterns (bundles of trajectories) on many different “scales”, from the family to the neighbourhood, the quarter, city, region, nation-state, and so on.

    Again, thank you very much for sharing this great film with us, it has been very inspiring and stimulating!

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