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.
The Roma that arrived to Istanbul in the year 1000 settled here: the city still was called Costantinopolis. After a thousand years of cohabitation, the neighborhood of Sulukule was the first victim of the ferocious wave of gentrification that is at once globalizing and turkeyzing the city.
- José SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA (2011) “La revolución egipcia: jóvenes, política y sociedad“. (also in italian) Download his thesis “Juventud en sociedades árabes: ¿cómo construyen su identidad?” (2009) in PDF: 1-2-3.
- Issandr EL AMRANI "Why Tunis? Why Cairo?", London Review of Books, 4/2/2011
- Santiago ALBA RICO "Y de pronto, la revolución" Gara, 17/1/2011
- Gabriele DEL GRANDE "The dictatorship south of Lampedusa" Peacereporter, 10/11/2008
- “Insurrection in North Africa: the story so far“ Libcom, 17/1/2011 (in spanish in Indymedia Estrecho and Klinamen)
On december 8th, 2010, the Metropolitan and Federal Police attacked the 200 families who had settled in Parque Iberoamericano (Buenos Aires), as if it was an enemy army: the operation ended with two deaths and many injured. Then, the local gobernment and mass media promoted xenophobia, presenting the abandoned park as "squatted" by bolivians and paraguayans linked with drug dealing: so racist groups from the neighborhoods, together with violent hooligans - patotas de barrabravas , close and often directly hired by the local government- continued the job, killing two more of the settlers.
During 2005-2010 there have been about 1 million evictions in Istanbul. The residents of gecekondus are evicted to enormous public housing estates in the extreme periphery, where they are hit by intents to "civilize" and normalize the population - almost always Kurdish, Roma, Armenians or low-class Turkish.