Utskrift från Malmö universitets webbplats www.mah.se

Insurgent Cities and the Promises of the Political in the Post-Democratic City

Tid: 2018-10-18 15:00 -- 2018-10-18 16:30
Plats: Malmö University, Niagara: auditorium C
Målgrupp: All interested

Welcome to an open honorary doctorate lecture with Erik Swyngedouw. Erik Swyngedouw is professor of geography at the University of Manchester in the School of Environment, Education and Development and a member of the Manchester Urban Institute and will be awarded an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Culture and Society.

The city seems to be in crisis. Homelessness, house evictions, the enduring doldrums of neoliberal austerity urbanism, millions of refugees roaming through Europe’s cities in search of dignity, shelter, and a decent life, spiralling violence from both ultra right-wing nationalists and a variety of terrorists mark the choreographies of contemporary urban life in the Global North. In the face of these tumultuous urban processes, urban insurgencies and rebellions cut through the often cosy consensual order in which many of the urban elites dwell and question the existing urban order in search of a more democratic and inclusive urban order.

Indeed, since 2011, an never ending proliferation of urban rebellions have choreographed urban life in European cities and beyond. Sparked off by a variety of crisis conditions and unfolding against the backdrop of very different historical and geographical contexts, they disturbed the apparently cosy neoliberal status quo and disquieted various economic and political elites. There is indeed an uncanny choreographic affinity between the eruptions of discontent in cities as heterogeneous as Athens, Madrid, Lyon, Lisbon, Rome, London, Berlin, Thessaloniki, Paris, Bucharest, and Barcelona, among many others. The end of history proved to be remarkably short-lived as incipient political movements staged, albeit in often contradictory and confusing manners, a profound discontent with the state of the situation and choreographed new urban modes of being-in-common.

A wave of deeply political protest is rolling through Europe’s cities, whereby those who do not count demand a new constituent process for producing space politically. The era of urban social movements as the horizon of progressive urban struggles, celebrated ever since Manuel Castells’ seminal 1980s book The City and the Grassroots (Castells 1993), seems to be over. A much more politicized if not radical mobilization, animated by insurgent urban architects, is increasingly choreographing the contemporary theatre of European urban politicized struggle and conflict.

Senast uppdaterad av Johanna Svensson