War and urban renewal mingle in south-eastern Turkey, where the government wages its war against the kurdish movement also through the demolition of traditional neighborhoods and the displacement of residents in huge public-housing blocks.
Boston has today the highest income divide of the US: evictions invariably hit latinos or afroamerican neighborhoods. City Life / Vida Urbana since the 1970s keeps building a network of mutual aid among those who suffer the consequences of these housing policies, also through the use of theater, rituals, symbols.
The anthropologist Ye LIN invites us to look at the demolition of a neighborhood in Nanjing - very near to the spot in where the Youth Olympic Games were held in 2014. Ye studies the impact on the residents of the whole process, also highlighting how our idea of "community" influences the way we judge this kind of interventions.
What happened to these young men that were so celebrated in 2011, the main actors of the so-called 'arab springs'? In recent years we only hear news about politicians, leaders, terrorists... but what about normal people, where have they been? The answer is simple: in their neighborhoods. In Hay Hlil, in Oukacha, in Hezbet el Haggana, where there is the same anger and frustration that there was before the protests.
On the occasion of the opening of "Australian 'Ndrangheta", webpage of a UCL research group of which our friend Stephen BENNETTS is a member, we propose a series of interesting videos and texts from the other corner of the world, on topics such as the expulsions of Aboriginese from native lands and urban neighborhood as Sydney's Redfern.
Mindy Fullilove calls "root shock" the trauma suffered by 1600 Afro-American communities displaced from the city centres of the US since 1949. In her book "Root Shock" (2004) she uses the metaphor of transplantation, a trauma after which, if repeated, many plants can't recover. Even the transition from the pleasure of jazz, born in the old ghettos, to the anger of rap, product of the new peripheries, is a manifestation of root shock; it is a trauma for those who suffer it, and for society as a whole.
We have been long aware that urban planning, in itself, has something to do with colonialism. But we hadn't still found a perspective so complete as the one developed by the Australian urbanist Libby PORTER, who studies urban planning as an instrument for spatial exclusion of the aboriginal population: urbanism as a complement and continuation of colonization.
As opposed to the orientalist stereotypes depicting Kathmandu (Nepal) as a place out of time and of the world, the social reality of Nepal reveals an admirable vivacity. Artists and intellectuals participate in this debates, contributing to make it a laboratory of postsecularism and "multiple modernities".
Outsized buildings erected suddenly and without any order; the police occasionally killing protesters; traditional healers slowly converting the millions of ghosts of the genocide in ancestors and protectors of the land. A look on Cambodia's capital.
The spatial conflict over Palestine has re-articulated a certain principle: to be governed the territory must be constantly redesigned. This goes beyond a search for a stable and permanent “governable” colonial form, but rather points to the fact that it is through the constant transformation of space that this process of colonization has played out. Unpredictability and the appearance of anarchy are part of this violent logic of disorder.
Our friend Anna BOSCH had been giving a workshop in participatory photography at Rancho Las Flores, a spontaneous settlement in Tijuana: shanties and self-made houses less than 1km from the most frequently crossed international border in the world. In few cities the inhabitants are so heavily influenced by images built from outside: Tijuana is represented alternately as borderland or as "center of the universe"; as a city without law, or as a "perfect place" for US tourists.
The first chapters of Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution are online. The independent troupe of Leil-Zahra MORTADA had been updating this series of videos whose trailers we already linked in a previous post. [caption id="attachment_3505" align="alignleft" width="120" caption="Rasha Azab"][/caption] Chapter 1: Rasha Azab. 29 years old, journalist. She had been involved in social movements since 2000. In the west, she explains, they promote an image of egyptian activists as sweet and non violent: this is a strategy to calm down the protests. "No revolution happens for Twitter or Facebook. Revolutions occur when people take the streets, resist, die, sacrify important things".
Lower East Side, the small, enigmatic and still resistant neighborhood in Manhattan, (NYC), still keeps the marks of a long history of squatting and counterculture, evidenced by many spaces such as housing projects, social centers and community gardens. The neighborhood is undergoing a strong gentirification process in which squatting has played a special role through recuperation of spaces and local social life. One of these spots provides accomodation for an interesting project of retrieval of the historical live heritage of the neighborhood. MORUS, or Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, is a small but dynamic museum meant to present squatting and its influence on the neighborhood in an innovatory form, at the same time underlining its live traces. Its promoters intend to show how community and grassroot organizations in East Village helped to transform abandoned buildings and empty lots in spaces for a vibrant community as well as contagious for those who visit it from outside.
"In Istanbul, we crossed the ecological limits, crossed the population limits, crossed the ecological limits. If you ask me where it is all going to lead, I will quote from Doğan Kuban: chaos" Mücella Yapıcı, chamber of architecture of Istanbul.
- Ekümenopolis: Ucu Olmayan Şehir (Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits) (2011) a movie by Imre Azem, will be in Barcelona on november 15th, 8pm at Traslaciones festival in CCCB. Director Imre Azem will participate in the debate Istanbul relatos fuera de campo on wednesday 16th at 7:30pm. [Trailer1] [Trailer2] [Web]
"Allowing my daughter to sleep in Tahrir, of course, was a revolutionary decision. This is the effect of the revolution on our way of thinking and dealing with things".Hanan Sadek, 52, works in an oil company "I'll never forget the way that soldier looked. He wouldn't look at me, he was looking away. Deliberately trying to avoid eye-contact with me, and he was crying. Then all at a sudden they all started to shoot at the same time" Sanaa Seif, 17, student "We were living with our eyes closed. We didn't use to see what is in front of our eyes" Mona Hussein, 50, housewife Every week, the independent equipe of Leil-Zahra MORTADA uploads in "Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution" a short video: the revolution should not be explained as dominant history always does, as virile adventures of heroes and martyrs. Herstory is the version that even revolution enthusiasts try to keep silent: because the existence of rebel arab women is too big a contradiction for the standard version of history.