‘Encountering Paratheatrical Space’
Andy Merrifield, Fellow, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge
Enter a strange room, any room you’ve never entered before. It feels empty somehow, no matter how big or small this room is, no matter how many people fill it. It’s maybe full of people: and yet still you feel lost in this room, in a space that seems dead and inert, despite its evident life. You feel there’s something missing, an absence, that there’s distance between people, between people and this space. By contrast, you instinctively know when a space feels alive, feels full, when the distance between people in space is overcome, bridged—socially as well as spatially. You sense instead a presence, a vitality, a fullness of something, a oneness between you and others in space. But a fullness of what?
As a geographer, as somebody interested in the sociality and politics of space, in…
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