‘You can say – we do not want the junkies and the sex workers. But they are here!‘: On the spatial exclusion of anti-social behaviour in Bratislava - Nové Mesto

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Abstract

The paper focuses on the discursive framing of drug users and sex workers as subjects of public space governance within the process of local policymaking. The core of this study analyses the non-governmental organisation OZ Odyseus grant application for a harm reduction programme and a subsequent debate of the Municipal Council Members of the Bratislava city district – Nové Mesto. The aim of the meeting and the debate was to approve funding for numerous social projects, including a fieldwork-oriented organisation OZ Odyseus, which provides harm reduction in numerous city districts of Bratislava. The analysis disclosed the application of specific subject positioning frames, which conceptualise drug users and sex workers as ‘out of place’, anti-social and not members of a local community. Results of the study point to the conceptualisation of (commercial) public space as ‘stolen from the normal people’ and the need for spatial segregation of sex workers and drug users in order to reclaim and revitalise it.

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