Public Spaces and Psychoactive Revolution. The Impact of New Intoxicants on Public Spaces, Consumption, and Sociability in North-Western Europe, c. 1600 – c. 1850
Between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries Europe underwent a psychoactive revolution that had a profound and lasting impact on how people experienced, used, perceived, and policed urban public spaces.
PSPR recovers this momentous history by exploring the traffic and consumption of tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, and opium in the four metropoles of Amsterdam, Hamburg, London and Stockholm between c. 1600 and 1850. Consulting a host of different archives and closely collaborating with schools, museums, drug prevention units and a United Nations programme, it brings a timely and urgently required perspective on intoxicants and the politics of inclusion and exclusion in contemporary Europe.
The new intoxicants created new public spaces, like the coffeehouse, and brought ‘public’ practices of consumption into the domestic sphere.
Pehr Hilleström, Three Women Telling Fortune in Coffee, 1780s (Stockholms universitets konstsamling, J. A. Berg Collection #158)