© Maria Arndt
Flushing down hegemony : public toilet infrastructure and affective politics of accessibility

Jenaer Sozialgeographische Manuskripte, 2021 

Katharina Ciax
While the public sphere should serve a broad audience of city users, there are mul-tiple material as well as affective dimensions that are excluding bodies from having access or feeling affiliated to it. Using the city of Ghent’s publicly available toilet infrastructure as a case study, this paper wants to investigate structures of (non-)material exclusion and inclusion within the public space. Dimensions of gender, class and bodily everyday experiences are going to be identified in connection to administrative policy, and the material constitution of toilet infrastructures. Addi-tionally, this paper is examining affective dimensions and feelings of belonging to a city. In a further step, technologies of protest and repair are going to be illuminated, that are understood as a powerful tool to regain accessibility, and by that reappro-priate notions of belonging to a city and society. With the use of ethnographic methods, this paper seeks to not only display mul-tiple perspectives of the Ghent toilet infrastructure, but draw a holistic image of conflicts and emotions around the public toilet.

︎︎︎Flushing Down Hegemony Publikation