Where people have fun, encounter happens. Where encounters take place, change begins. Are pleasurescapes in port cities Europe’s true driving forces after all?
Public spaces of entertainment in European port cities, which we name “pleasurescapes”, mirror traits of European urbanization in an extraordinary way: They are transnational microcosms, representing conformity and rebellion at the same time. They are public zones of encounter and melting pot for divergent classes, cultures and religions. In studying the past and present of European port cities’ pleasurescapes, we gain insights into Europe’s cultural pluralism and its exchange of knowledge, material, technologies, and practices.
PLEASURESCAPES is a humanities-led collaborative research project that brings together researchers with museum curators, stakeholders of cultural industries and NGOs. Together, we will create a touring exhibition with accompanying catalogue and theatre production. Four cities and their pleasurescapes are of special interest for us and will be studied empirically: Hamburg(DE), Rotterdam (NL), Barcelona (ES) and Gothenburg (SE). Despite their national di erences, their pleasurescapes show intriguing transnational convergence – why and how exactly is the subject of our research.