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“The margin of the sea, and the land and the city is always a contested ground”

Interview with Philip Hoare
The writer Philip Hoare speaks to us of seafronts as the city’s public spaces where the citizen is free.

[Duration: 00:05:05 | Language: English]

The writer Philip Hoare was interviewed by Shared Spaces on 14 September this year after the lecture “The Sea as a Border”, which he gave at the CCCB as part of the cycle Inhabiting the World. His passion for the sea extends to the seafronts of cities and their beaches which, in their condition of marginal places, have always been informal, open and anarchic zones where all kinds of people could move freely. The example he gives of this is the atmosphere characterising old ports, which were havens of social diversity. However, he laments that they have now been turned into areas that are very valuable in economic terms, where the “commercial imperative” prevails in the form of yachts, exclusive marinas and expensive properties which, consequently, become mechanisms of exclusion. He insists on the need for the sea, as a public space, to be totally accessible to the whole population.
As his favourite public space, Hoare chooses a small beach in his birthplace, Southampton in the United Kingdom, because he likes contrast between the industrial port and this space of freedom for swimming, walking or playing sports.

Teresa Navas