Media, City, Movement

Medien, Stadt, Bewegung

Historical studies show: The emergence of the modern city and the mediatization of urban living space went hand in hand. This is reflected not only in the "mass press" emerging in urban spaces, but also in early cinema, radio, posters on advertising pillars and a variety of other "small media" (Dayan 1999). Even in today's changing urban living spaces, diverse media have a prominent place. Just think of mobile devices, the mobile phone with its diverse apps, location-based media services, the various "public screens" and the multitude of highly mediatized events. Historically and currently, the establishment of "new media" is repeatedly associated with collective education processes and the emergence of social movements in the city: Urban identities and other forms of collective formation in the city are always supported by the media. And social movements are always also media movements. The workers' radio movement is a prominent example from the 1920s. In the urban alternative scenes of the 1970s and 1980s, their alternative media were a fixed component and today's urban movements - "urban gardening", "critical mass", "occupy" - stand for an "urban life in digital modernity" (Rauterberg 2013). The aim of the workshop is to explore this interrelationship of media, urban spaces, constructions of collectivity, the emergence of urban movements and their activities through an analysis of the manifold communicative figurations of urban life. The workshop takes an interdisciplinary perspective and brings together researchers from communication and media studies with the social and historical sciences. Key questions across all three panels are:

How is the transformation of "city" and "urban space" related to the transformation of media and communication?
What significance do media have for the communicative construction of "collectivity", "identities" and "community building" in the city?
How do "urban movements" relate to media, their change and media-related designs of collectivity?
The duration of a lecture should not exceed 30 minutes in order to allow sufficient time for discussion. It is planned to publish the results of the workshop in an anthology.

If you have any questions, please contact Sebastian Kubitschko (sebastian.kubitschko[at]

Friday, 04.12.2015

09:00 Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp, Dr. Sebastian Kubitschko, Prof. Dr. Inge Marszolek:
Welcome and Opening

Panel 1: Media, Identity and City in Historical Change (Moderation: Prof. Dr. Julia Lossau)

09:15 Prof. Dr. Adelheid von Saldern, Leibniz University of Hanover: Media
and city in the 20th century: Coherence systems from a historical perspective

10:00 PD Dr. Lu Seegers, Research Centre for Contemporary History in Hamburg: Hamburg Media and the Interpretation of the Hanseatic (1920s to 1960s)

10:45 Dr. Daniel Morat, FU Berlin: Local calls. The early telephone in Berlin

11:30 Prof. Dr. Inge Marszolek & Dr. Yvonne Robel: On Medial Surveying
urban space in the 1950s

12:15 Lunch snack

13:15 Final Discussion Panel 1

Panel 2: Media and Urban Community (Moderation: Prof. Dr. Joachim R. Höflich, University of Erfurt)

14:15 Prof. Dr. Gabriela Christmann, Leibnitz Institute for Regional Development and
Structural planning: spatial pioneers in neighbourhood development and their communicative figurations

15:00 Dr. Regine Buschauer, Zurich: This side of the 'Smart City'. Visions and Figurations of the Mobile City

15:45 Coffee break

16:15 Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp, Dr. Sebastian Kubitschko, Piet Simon, Monika Sowinska, University of Bremen: Communicative Figurations of Community in the Mediatized City

17:00 Final Discussion Panel 2

19:00 Dinner

Saturday, 05.12.2015

Panel 3: Media and urban movements (Moderation: Prof. Dr. Christine Lohmeier, University of Bremen)

09:15 Prof. Dr. Christoph Bieber, University of Duisburg-Essen: On the politics of the Smart City - urban development and administration under the sign of the "Civic Tech" movement

10:00 Dr. Ulrike Klinger, University of Zurich: From Tahir Square to Pegida: Urban Movements and Social Media

10:45 Coffee break

11:00 Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp: Pioneer Communities in Urban Space

11:45 Dr. Sigrid Kannengießer: Repair Cafés - Urban Places of the Repair Movement

12:30 Lunch snack

13:30 Final discussion Panel 3

14:30 End of the workshop

Prof. Dr. Christoph Bieber: Smart City Policy - Urban Development and Management under the Sign of the Civic Tech Movement

The concept of the Smart City is highly relevant for the future of urban spaces, but the discourse is currently still strongly dominated by technology providers and focused on increasing efficiency. Particularly in coordination with infrastructure companies, there are implicit conflicts of incentives and objectives between the economic interests of the technology providers and the control objectives of the administration. In addition to perspectives for networking, product development, location and technology promotion, the Smart City is also an explicit venue for political processes, as the growing number of protests in medialised urban spaces has shown. The lecture outlines current developments in the field of "Smart City Governance" and asks about the political consequences of the increasing networking of infrastructure, public space and citizenship.

Dr. Regine Buschauer: This side of the Smart City. Visions and Figurations of the Mobile City

Currently prominent visions present the city system-centrically as the future 'Smart City'. They thus follow a story of "mythical" (Dourish/Bell 2011) thinking of mobile and ubiquitous or pervasive media technology, which has always been confronted with diverse figurations of urban mobile communication. The lecture traces moments of this field of tension in the history of mobile communication using examples from the 1970s and early 1990s. From the point of view of media history, the question is thus posed about genealogies of contemporary visions and figurations of the 'mobile city' in the context of movement, urban space and mobile and pervasive media technology.

Prof. Dr. Gabriela B. Christmann: Space pioneers in neighbourhood development and their communicative figurations

The article examines communicative figurations of "space pioneers" in socially disadvantaged urban districts of Berlin-Moabit. Spatial pioneers are understood as actors who not only rethink and use spaces, but also communicate about them and encourage other actors to communicate. The starting point is the empirical question of the extent to which grassroots initiatives by space pioneers can trigger new spatial interpretations and neighbourhood development processes via communication processes. The aim is to show how space pioneers network and which media and direct forms of communication distinguish their networks. Above all, it will be shown within the framework of which forms of media communication the actors work in large public spheres of urban space, to what extent they find a hearing in public discourse and can change orders of knowledge. The contribution is rounded off with sketch-like reflections on how the communicative construction of space can be conceived in theoretical terms.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp, Dr. Sebastian Kubitschko, Piet Simon, Monika Sowinska Communicative Figurations of Community Building in a Mediatized City

In the course of the last century the modern city has increasingly changed into a mediatized city. In fact, the character of contemporary cities today can hardly be understood without media. Living in the city means - especially for young people - living with mobile phones and other mobile devices, location-based services and constant access to the Internet. All these media are crossed by multi-layered "communicative figurations" of urban community. At this point, urban community must be understood in a double sense. On the one hand, the city is an important "mediatized context" for many communities that have a great importance for young people (friendship, reference groups, sports clubs, etc.). On the other hand, the city itself is an important "imagined community" (Anderson 1983). This can be understood as an indication that progressive mediatization is not only related to translocal communicative networking, but to change in local communicative networking. Accordingly, mediatization does not inevitably lead to a loss of local community building in the city, but rather to its transformation. Following this course of argumentation, the lecture is structured into four sections. At the beginning, the current "Smart City" discussion is critically questioned, criticized with regard to its decontextualization, and pleads for a longer-term perspective on current developments in the "mediatized city". Following this theoretical superstructure, we analyze urban community building of young people in the above-mentioned double sense (the city as a "mediatized context" and as an "imagined community"). In the third part, the lecture focuses on various mediatized places in the city that play an important role in the process of community building and reconstructs their (site-specific) communicative figurations. Finally, the analytical sections are related to each other in order to make further statements about the media-related transformation of community building in the city.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp: Pioneer communities in urban areas

Certain communities have a prominent role in a technology-related change of collectivity by "designing" new media technology-related collectives. In their own view, these groups can be understood as "pioneers", i.e. they form pioneer communities of a media-related change of collectivity. Examples of such pioneering communities are the Maker Movement, the Quantified Self Movement or the Open Data Movement. The aim of the lecture is to use media ethnographic data (interviews, observations, evaluations of self-representation) on the one hand to make it tangible to what extent these groups represent an independent phenomenon as "pioneer communities" and cannot simply be described as "social movements". On this basis, it is also important to reflect on the extent to which urban space is a special context for the constitution of these pioneer communities. The argument at this point is that it is especially urban localities at which pioneer communities in Europe are constituted as communicative figurations.

Sigrid Kannengießer: Repair Cafés - urban places of the repair movement

Since a few years a new repair movement can be observed, which turns against the consumer and throwaway society and pursues the goal of sustainability. This movement becomes visible above all in repair cafés - events in which people meet to repair their defective everyday objects together. While some people offer repair help here, others seek support in the repair process. Repair cafés are a predominantly urban phenomenon - in cafés, pubs and cultural centres these events take place and the repair community meets. The lecture presents the results of a study in which Repair Cafés were analysed as an urban phenomenon from a media and communication science perspective.

Ulrike Klinger: From Tahir Square to Pegida: Urban Movements and Social Media

In recent years, social networks such as Facebook or Twitter have been seen to have great potential in the context of urban (protest) movements - the talk of supposed "Twitter revolutions" even suggested that they made some urban movements possible in the first place or that they decisively changed them. The amount will critically examine the role of social media in mobilizing and coordinating urban political movements. In the context of media change and communicative figurations, it is argued that urban movements can only be broadly mobilized across media.

Prof. Dr. Inge Marszolek and Dr. Yvonne Robel: On the Media Surveying of Urban Space in the 1950s

The media communication in the urban space and about the urban space always represented a kind of "measurement of the world" on a small scale. The contribution illustrates this with a view to media discourses in the two "media cities" of Hamburg and Leipzig. On the basis of visual and auditory sources, the article asks what discursive strategies and regular patterns such a survey was associated with in the 1950s. What role did discourses of networking or fragmentation play in the two cities with different but interrelated framework conditions? The aim is to discuss the extent to which spatial structuring offers were reflected here, which in turn corresponded with specific drafts of collective identities.

Dr. Daniel Morat: Local calls. The early telephone in Berlin 1877-1914

In the first decades of its public use, the telephone was first and foremost an urban medium that served primarily to communicate within the city. Through the new form of media production of auditory presence during physical absence, the telephone also created new forms of penetration and appropriation of urban space. Using Berlin as an example, the lecture reconstructs the early uses of the telephone and its effects on the auditory perception and media networking of urban space.

Prof. Dr. Adelheid von Saldern: Media and city in the 20th century: Coherence systems from a historical perspective

The historical interrelation between the city and the media is characterised by a growing coherence on both sides. In particular, communication and socialization processes in urban space as well as urban identity constructions have increasingly been produced, expressed and communicated through the media. For their part, the media have always seen themselves as ubiquitous, but have always remained strongly connected with the urban economy, the "urban people" and their urban cultures. The short introductory lecture analyzes concrete examples in order to shed light on this interrelationship and the dynamics associated with it.

PD Dr. Lu Seegers: Hamburg Media and the Interpretation of the Hanseatic (1920s to 1960s)

The term Hanseatic played a central role in Hamburg's self-description in the 20th century. In general, it diffusely describes a basic attitude characterised by sobriety, pragmatism, openness to the world and liberality. However, there is much to suggest that the Hanseatic was associated with different meanings in the alternation of democracy and dictatorship. The urban media played an important role in this. On the one hand, they acted as multipliers of the interpretations of key actors of the Hanseatic. On the other hand, they reflected and shaped corresponding associations. Using the example of regional daily newspapers, the article shows, on the one hand, how the Hanseatic in Hamburg was connoted in the various political systems. On the other hand, the article discusses how the Hanseatic was portrayed outside the Hanseatic city on the basis of national daily newspapers. While the representations of the Hanseatic inwardly were rather connoted as community-building, so my thesis, in the external representation the exclusive character was rather emphasized.