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Allan Siegel

Close Encounters of the Food Kind

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Allan Siegel
Close Encounters of the Food Kind
Cities, Public Space and Democracy

The antecedent of modern democracies is most often associated with the public space of the ancient Athenian agora; this market place and public square fostered forms of discourse intrinsic to a democracy.  The social space of the agora represents a fundamental site within which unfettered forms of political debate can materialise. To locate the practices of politics singularly within the formal spaces of the governing institutions of a democracy, such as parliaments and congresses, is to divorce democracy from the cauldron of public space. Using images and texts, Close Encounters of the Food Kind cross-examines the connections between a democratic praxis and public space: particularly in relation to market halls and the public or private social spaces devoted to food and other commodities necessary for human survival.

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