Images, Agency and Imaginaries of Welfare Space

Søberg, M. (Lecturer)

Activity: Talk or presentation Lecture and oral contribution

Description

Realization of the Danish welfare state relied on certain aims and imaginaries concerned with how to induct different kinds of social equality, collectivity, universality and distributions of services and resources. Such aims and imaginaries intertwined with various kinds of materialization and spatialization in ar-chitectural form (Swenarton et al. 2015). Attempting to iden-tify a particular intensity in these concretizations in Danish politics and architectural discourse may point to the 40 years period between the 1933 Social Reform and the 1973 Europe-an Community membership and landslide election, what one might describe as the golden years of the Danish welfare state. My particular interest in this paper is the role and agencies of images in the articulation, distribution and materialization of those aims and imaginaries in architectural culture, that is, how the aims and imaginaries were expressed through visual means, as images rather than concepts (Colomina 1994). With images of “welfare architecture” or perhaps more precise-ly “welfare imaginaries” published in the Danish profession-al architectural journal Arkitekten between 1933 and 1973 as an empirical basis, the paper addresses the question: How, by whom and why was the physical and symbolic manifestation of a Danish welfare society in built structures and spaces – or the lack of such structures and spaces – visually represented be-tween 1933 and 1973 and how do these images reflect specific imaginaries of a welfare society and of welfare space? Hence, I attempt at a discussion of the relations between images as discursive means of expression and particular biopolitical and symbolic machines as related to questions of welfare and its Images, Agencies and Imaginaries of Welfare Spacematerialization (Wallenstein 2009). Rather than relying on ar-gumentation and deduction, these images are symptoms of world-making, presented in an affective, heuristic and hence, perhaps, particularly effective manner (Didi-Huberman 2018).
Period7 May 2021
Event titleSpaces of Welfare: null
Event typeConference
LocationKøbenhavn, Denmark
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Keywords

  • Welfare state
  • Welfare architecture
  • Architectural history
  • Modernism
  • Denmark
  • Representations
  • Image theory
  • Arkitekten