Criminalization of the housing movement in Brazil

25/07/2019 admin 0

Last June 24th four activists for housing were arrested in São Paulo, Brasil, while seventeen others linked to the movement for squatting were put under arrest; fifteen more are threatened of detention. The arbitrariousness of the operation is another signal of the steady drift towards fascism of the state of Brazil, that is, the complete subjugation of public institutions to the interest of big landowners and investors.

The activists were members of housing movements that squatted and returned to the common huge buildings in central São Paulo; they were accused of  criminal association and extortion, something that was also employed in other countries to criminalize squatting, but not yet in Brazil. For their defense, a new organization was created: the “Popular committee in defense of political prisoners and  popular movements“, whose members are activists, worker union members, artists, journalists, lawyers and other people concerned by the criminalization of social struggles.

Given the  previous cases of extreme repression perpetrated by Brazilian authorities against social movements, that include extrajudiciary killings such as Marielle Franco‘s death in March 2018, it is extremely important that all people concerned to the right to housing and to the city in all the world mobilize to denounce these arrests, to claim liberty for the prisoners, and the end of arbitrary persecutions against activists.

War and gentrification in Kurdistan

17/10/2016 admin 0
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.

City Life Vida Urbana: How evicted turn into activists

23/03/2016 admin 0
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.

Life in the ruins of old Nanjing

30/10/2015 admin 0
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.

El Haouma, that is, the neighborhood

09/06/2015 admin 0
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.

Sydney, a (post)colonial city

22/11/2014 admin 0
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.

Root shock: how the destruction of black communities hurt the US

01/04/2014 admin 0
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.

Unlearning the colonial roots of planning

28/12/2013 admin 0
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.

Where there be dragons: Multiple modernities in Kathmandu

10/11/2013 admin 0
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".

The protector of Phnom Penh

21/09/2013 admin 0
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.

Wastelands: Weizman on military urbanism

03/05/2013 admin 0
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.

Tijuana’s Flowers of the Rancho

24/10/2012 admin 0
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.
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Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution

27/04/2012 admin 0
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".
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Memory of Reclaimed Urban Space in New York

22/03/2012 admin 0
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.
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