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The airport malls

Rekacewicz, Philippe

Publisher:  Le Monde diplomatique
Date Written:  08/03/2013
Year Published:  2013  
Resource Type:  Article

An airport is a zombie zone between two worlds. The retail spaces are seductive, yet you didn't choose to shop here. You didn't choose to be here. They are controlling you, guiding you, harassing you: will you be able to resist a purchase?


Everywhere - in post offices, stations, airports, streets - public space is being privatised and pedestrians diverted through commercial spaces.

Airports have become hyper-commercialized and hyper-securitised spaces, in which travellers are held prisoner. management companies have reorganised the flow of passengers through terminals, turning them into laboratories where they test subtle spatial modifications to determine how to make the most money form passengers, who are manipulated and channelled through specially designed zones filled with tempting merchandise.

Everything in the "inside" space is regulated, from the freedom to gather in groups to photography. No complaints or choices of route are allowed. It's a capitalist and monopolistic economy, where just a few multinationals run hundreds of shops , restaurants, bars and airline ground services, contracted out to local operators. The right to information is denied; notices setting out "passenger rights" are placed where they are least visible, in dark corners or behind pillars.


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