Counter-Terrorism, Concrete Barriers and Everyday Life

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


In the aftermath of the truck attacks in Berlin, Nice, Paris and Stockholm, new counter-terrorism measures are being installed across European city centers. Through an ethnographic approach, this paper explores the situational effects of one of the most conspicuous material responses to these attacks: concrete barriers. We draw on the recent turn towards mobilities design thinking to suggest that these béton barriers are more-than physical obstructions, but artifacts that shape urban practices in unexpected ways. Set in the context of Copenhagen, we explore how the newly introduced concrete barriers reveal the social, cultural and practical conditions of the city. By establishing a critical mobilities design oriented understanding of counter-terrorism ‘in situ’ that addresses both the technical properties of concrete barriers, as well as their social, cultural and practical significances and potentials, we seek to nuance dominant accounts of urban counter-terrorism and rethink tomorrow’s counter-terrorism design processes and solutions.
Period29 Aug 201830 Aug 2018
Event title(Em)powering Mobilities (CMUS conference)
Event typeConference
LocationAalborg, Denmark