The discussions of urban commons involve us in breaking up the totalizing notion of those dominated by power as passive consumers and reconsidering how urban life is made as creative production, constantly appropriating and reappropriating the products, messages, and spaces for expression. The common acts of engagement and reorganization are based on re-appropriations and redeployments of the dominant image economy and hierarchical distribution of space experienced in the city. Hence, they are also a part of the struggle for the reclamation of public space wherein wrongly privatized space is returned to its rightful owners. The special issue “Art, Urban Commons and Social Change” discusses how art in the urban space creates unmediated spaces and instances of emancipated subjects.
The authors analyze various forms of art within economic, cultural, and social urban contexts to shed light on the complexity of modern urban life and struggles for urban commons. They delve into the issue of urban commons and social change both in the role of urban social struggles and creating urban communities. Some questions that the contributors seek answers are: Under what conditions could art become effective in reclaiming democratic citizenship? What kind of public should artistic creativity in the urban space try to constitute and what kind of public spaces are needed to that effect? What can we learn from urban art about visual resistance in the interplay with political power structures?