Cultural diversity, public space, aesthetics and power
Incirlioglu, E. O.
Tandogan, Z. G.
European Journal of Intercultural Studies
51 - 61
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In this paper we argue that issues of inclusion and exclusion to public space can be examined by invoking the principle of "aesthetics". Those that are aesthetically pleasing, tasteful, or desirable are allowed in public spaces, yet these characteristics are defined through social and cultural mechanisms. Differences between cultural groups in terms of body movement, proximity relationships, definition of personal space, clothing, and other visible features, are evaluated and judged through the filter of power relations. Numerous non-European migrants who reside in the North experience discrimination as a result of being "visible foreigners". They are not welcome in public areas and they do not meet the prevalent aesthetic standards, defined by the dominant discourse around aesthetics. This trend obstructs the development of multicultural coexistence and the possibility of transnationalism. In order to realise cultural expression for all, we extend an invitation to scrutinise power inequalities by means of multicultural educational programs.