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Struggle

Tuğçe Şahin

Published Jul 24, 2020

One of the definitions of ‘struggle’ in Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018) is ‘Make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction’. But I want to underline another meaning of struggle from our everyday life, daily routines which is not a forceful or violent effort. Nowadays most of us living or working in the big cities. Besides their chaos, madness, and crowd we may think that cities are very big places full of possibilities to live and to explore. It depends on how we shape our daily life. Michel de Certeau said that the use of the city is restrictive and directive, actually, any random action to break it is a form of resistance. For sure in cities, in our environment, we can talk about some established rules even though these rules can be manipulated by us or we can explore other things that are not shaped by the rules. Mostly to manipulate the rules and create our own way, we use small tactics and random actions as part of our daily routines. In this manner, this random action in itself may create a struggle. As Certeau mentioned ‘random actions’ are important for this kind of struggle. Most of the time these are not the actions you defined or decided to do. It becomes spontaneously with the help of tangible, small, and daily routines. Like to choose walking or taking a bus for work or school instead of driving your private car, to spend more time in public spaces instead of commercial centers, to create some leisure time for yourself in between all rush. Because sometimes just existing and not leaving the urbanscape, using that space for your daily random activities, has potential in terms of struggle. Even your activity can be just a quest for belonging. If I give more examples; using reusable bags for your shopping instead of using more and more plastics, maybe to create an urban garden in your neighborhood. With all these kinds of actions which look unrelated but actually connected with a matter of vital importance and with all other small tactics to change the rules which are insisted to us as an unchangeable condition of living in a city, our everyday life in itself can be defined as a struggle. When we are more aware of time and space in our daily life and in our city, finding new tactics and new ways for this type of struggle can be easier.

References 


Oxford Dictionaries (2018) Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/struggle (Accessed 16 December 2018) Certeau, Michel de (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press, Berkeley.

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