Here comes the abstract of the paper by Yorgos Paschos, to be read at the 4 December Punk Scholars Network Netherlands conference.
Physical Space and Collective Identity- Making: DIY Cultural- Political Centers in Times of Lockdown
This project focuses on DIY cultural-political centers and squats situated in the Netherlands and examines the role that physical space has in the practices of collective identity formation in periods of strict lockdowns. More specifically, this thesis explores the changes and alterations that DIY centers had to face during the implementation of strict lockdowns that were introduced by the Dutch government so as to stop the fast-spreading of COVID-19. Hence, the starting point is the hypothesis that the absence of physical space intervenes in the collective identity-making of members of DIY centers and the broader community. The formation of collective identity is achieved through the cultivation of a common cultural and political ground between the members of a center, the socialization practices that are hosted in a center, based on its cultural activities and finally the daily routine and communication of the community. Following this stream of thought, the following research question is posed: What role does physical space play in the collective identity-making of DIY cultural-political spaces in times of lockdown? For the exploration of the research question, the qualitative method of in-depth, semi- structured interviews with members of Dutch DIY centers is utilized since it allows the extraction of deep meaning regarding their collective identity- making practices.
Yorgos Paschos is currently a research master student of Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has presented his research ‘DIY venues as real utopias’ at the Punk Scholars Network Annual Conference in 2020. His research will be hosted as a chapter in the book “Anarchist Punks Doing It Together – Cultural Production, Autonomous Spaces, DIY” published by Active Distribution. Finally, in his RMA thesis “Physical Space and Collective Identity- Making: DIY Cultural Spaces in Times of Lockdown”, he explores the role that physical space plays in the collective identity-making of DIY cultural-political spaces in times of lockdown.