Aesthetics, Ideology and the City

Date and time

Pearson Building, Department of Geography, UCL

Aesthetics, Ideology and the City


Mustafa Dikec (Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London)


Engin Isin (Politics and International Studies, Open University)

How can we think of ideology as an aesthetic affair?  My paper engages with this question through an examination of the rise of the so-called ‘securitarian ideology’ in France roughly within the last decade.  I first visit the debates surrounding this seemingly old-fashioned notion of ideology to spell out some of the difficulties surrounding it.  Despite these difficulties, however, I argue against the abandonment of the notion and point to its significance as a critique of social closure and alleged self-evidence of facts that allow for such closure.  Building on Jacques Ranciere’s notion of ‘sensible evidences’, I present an interpretation of ideology as an aesthetic affair; that is, ideology not merely as a collection of discourses or a system of ideas, but as the reconfiguration of the very space in which these are described and articulated.