CfP RGS-IBG 2022: Housing and inhabitation: situated geographies of intersectional struggles (abstract by 22/03)

Housing and inhabitation: situated geographies of intersectional struggles

Organised by: Abdoumaliq Simone, Oluwafemi Olajide, Daniela Morpurgo, Michele Lancione, and Chiara Cacciotti

Three interlocking processes are redefining what it means to inhabit the planet and its cities: Rising and expansive urbanisation (+2.8 billion people living in cities by 2050); widespread unequal access to decent and secure dwellings (1.6 billion people currently living in inadequate housing, and millions violently evicted every year globally); and responses by local communities in the face of these processes (in struggles that often include intersecting racial and gender injustices, violent bordering practices, problems of climate change and its management, and other paradigmatic challenges of our time). In this session, we are interested in hosting cutting-edge contributions confronting these processes and questioning the intersection of ‘housing’ and ‘inhabitation’. How are urbanites re-doing inhabitation through mundane struggles against historical and contemporary forms of dispossession?

We are particularly keen to hear from scholars who transcend the remit of conventional ‘comparative’ urban approaches, and those who go beyond the rubric of Western literatures and approaches for registering and understanding ‘housing struggles’ (Lancione, 2020; Simone, 2018; Oswin, 2020). To discuss and appreciate the propositional politics of struggles tackling housing as a gateway for wider forms of liberation, a situated understanding of history, power-geometries and longitudinal forms of dispossession is required (Massey, 1994; Roy, 2017; Rolnik, 2019). We welcome contributors who propose works that are both grounded empirically and historically/geographically, and we will give prominence to those writing from the margins of Anglophone academia. Particular attention will be paid to works grounded in decolonial, critical race, feminist and queer approaches to urban and housing struggles.

Key themes of this session include:

I. Empirically grounded conceptualisation of the contemporary struggle for inhabitation

II. Historical reconstructions of intersectional urban housing struggles

III. Ethnographic account of forms of racialised dispossession and related politics of resistance

Session organisers will work toward the preparation of a special issue on these themes for a leading international journal in urban geography. To this end, and to facilitate meaningful conversation among participants, contributors commit to sending us full draft papers at least two weeks in advance of the conference. We offer help to non-native English speakers for production of their full papers.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words, along with the title, author names and whether you plan to attend in person or virtually by March 22, 2022 to Professor Michele Lancione (michele.lancione@polito.it) and Dr Daniela Morpurgo (daniela.morpurgo@polito.it). We welcome any questions or requests for assistance.

Sources cited.
Lancione M (2020) Radical housing: on the politics of dwelling as difference. International Journal of Housing Policy 20(2):1–17
Massey D (1994) A global sense of place. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
Oswin N (2020) An other geography. Dialogues in Human Geography 10(1):9–18
Rolnik R (2019) Urban Warfare. Housing Under the Empire of Finance. New York: Verso
Roy A (2017) Dis/possessive collectivism: Property & personhood at city’s end. Geoforum 80:A1-11
Simone A (2018) Improvised Lives: Rhythms of Endurance in an Urban South. Cambridge: Polity press

 

 

Paper session at EASA 2022, Belfast, on ‘Inhabiting Liminality’ with Cacciotti and Simone

With Chiara Cacciotti and AbdouMaliq Simone we are organising a paper session at the forthcoming EASA conference, Belfast, 26-29 July 2022.

Inhabiting liminality. Housing precarity in its spatial, political and social dimensions

Abstracts by 21 March: https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/easa2022/p/11428

Short Abstract

This panel will discuss the condition of liminality related to housing precarity by questioning its conventional definition as a temporary in-betweenness, together with how it can become an example of social depotentiation or transform itself into collective political stances.

Long Abstract

Conventionally, anthropological understandings of ‘liminality’ define it as a condition of temporary in-betweenness, in which a transition to a differential state is assumed. In other disciplines – such as urban studies – the same notion is related for the most to describe so-called ‘marginal’ contexts. In this panel, we are interested in exploring differential and more nuanced ways of understanding ‘liminality’ beyond current readings. We are doing so, inspired by research that has looked at conditions of housing precarity in a processual and situated way (Baxter and Brickell 2014; Vasudevan 2015), where the ‘liminal’ and the ‘marginal’ cannot be simply defined by ‘transitionary processes’ and/or social exclusion (Thomassen 2014; Cacciotti 2020). With this we mean to explore those situations in which experiences of ‘housing precarity’ show that the ‘liminal’ is both a space of potential annihilation and dispossession, as well as a space that can be inhabited against prevailing forces (Lancione 2020; Simone 2016).

We are interested in contributions that situated experiences of precarious housing and their politics of liminality at the intersection of everyday experiences and longitudinal and structural processes of economic, cultural, societal and racial dispossession.

Through conceptual and empirical work (involving, for example, squats and other informal occupations, evictions, homeless centers, reception centers), this panel will shed light on how a localized liminal and precarious housing condition can become an example of social and economic depotentiation or transform itself into collective political stances.

Against all imperialism. Europe must open its borders

Much of what I think around Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is contained is this powerful text from a group of Russian anarchists, appeared on CrimeThink.

I would only like to add two points. First, Western sanctions to Putin are a joke. The only one that could have meant something (on SWIFT) is too damaging to our financial extractivism, so it becomes a no-no.

Second, Europe left Ukraine alone, since 8 years already. Now the only priority must be toward Ukrainian refugees. No more camps. No more damming bureaucracy. No more unsafe routes and violence.

All borders opened, and full asylum, now!

 

Dwelling in Liminalities: Thinking Beyond Inhabitation. New special issue in EPD with A Simone

Late in December last year, EPD: Society & Space published a special issue I curated with my dear friend AbdouMaliq Simone. This is a project that took years in the making. We are thankful to Natalie Oswin for steering it, for colleagues at the Urban Institute in Sheffield to grant us space for it (thanks to Beth Perry in particular) and of course, we thank all our authors.

The issue includes wonderful contributions by Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, Ammara Maqsood and Fizzah Sajjad, Yaffa Truelove, Sharad Chari, Asha Best and Margaret M Ramírez, Jaime Alves, Nadia Gaber, Tatiana Thieme, Neferti XM Tadiar.

In our intro – ‘Dwelling in Liminalities: Thinking Beyond Inhabitation’ we discuss the driving question of our exploration with this special issue—and of the workshops that preceded it, which we run at the Urban Institute in Sheffield from 2019 to 2021, and the Lab that will follow it at DIST in Turin. The question is around the politics of inhabitation in what that is made uninhabitable. In light of the relegation of the marginalised, impoverished and racialised to both objects of extraction and purveyors of liminality, what constitute viable performances of generativity beyond production? What goes beyond the crisis, if not staying close to interstices through which one has perhaps the only chance to prefigure inhabitation beyond itself? What kind of urban geographical narration—in the literal sense of writing form and style—can convey the tensioned politics of dwelling in, across and through liminalities?

You can find an overview of each contribution here: https://www.societyandspace.org/journal-issues/volume-39-issue-6

Last position on my ERC project now available – RTDA

The last position available on my ERC ‘Inhabiting Radical Housing’ project has been advertised yesterday.
 
3- year research contract (RTDA) to work in Turin with a fantastic team of international researchers at DIST – Dip. Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio
 
The advert is here and it is self-explanatory: https://careers.polito.it/default.aspx?id=43/21/F/A (ENG at the top of the page)
 
I am on leave now, so I won’t reply to any email. If you have questions, get back to me after the 10th of Jan.
 
Deadline: 31st Jan 2022.
 
Peace!

Ciao, bell hooks

ciao bell hooks

when I did my PhD this book allowed me not to feel ashamed about my working-class self-made ‘culture’
and it allowed me to see the power of feminist thinking
and of black culture and power at large
in ways I never had experienced before.

reading your writing on the margins as a site of resistance
on the power of love
on your liberatory envisioning of a differential kind of home,
had been foundational.

thank you for that, and for all you have taught. peace!

The Polytechnic keeps the agreement with Frontex – I will work for another way of doing research

The Polytechnic has decided to continue the agreement of service between DIST-Ithaca-Polito and Frontex (back story, here). After a meeting of the academic Senate on the 14th of December, the newspaper La Stampa reports that

At the end of the debate it was decided by a large majority to proceed with the signing of the Consortium Agreement with Frontex. At the same time it was decided to introduce a binding clause, which specifies the commitment of both the research staff involved and the client, to act in compliance with respect for human rights and fundamental human rights, as well as the principles of integrity of research.

I wonder how my colleagues in the Senate imagine the possibility of asking Frontex to comply with human rights. There is so much evidence indicating the agency is systematically involved in pushback, which means they are not allowing asylum seekers to enter Europe, therefore impeding them to exercise their right to request asylum. There is evidence indicating the agency is passing information to the so-called Lybian Coastal guard, which ten fire against the boats of migrants in the Mediterranean sea. There is evidence of the agency misusing funds, of agency personnel harassing migrants along the Balkan route, of the agency avoiding interventions when they should be needed, and much, much more. What does “integrity of research” mean in collaborating with such an Agency?

At a personal level, fighting this deal initiated in July (as I explain here). It continued with my public letter to Altrecomia (following the article of the journalist Luca Rondi on the same magazine), and then escalated in a greater number of interviews, articles, interventions (a full list with links at the end of this post). Despite the negative result, the collective that coalesced around this struggle is not lost, and will not be lost.

I want to thank all the ones that believed in this fight. Some of them are within the academy, including within the Politecnico. There are members of the Polytechnic Senate (thank, to some of you, for your courage and intellectual honesty, in particular Daniele Marchisio and Bruno Codispoti); of the administrative services; and of several unions, who have taken a clear position against the deal (thanks in particular to Paolo Barisone). There are some colleagues who did the same – above all, I want to thank Dr. Silvia Aru, a colleague in DIST, who has been always, very clearly, against the whole affair; and I also want to thank a number of Italian and international academics, who signed public petitions making their names visible (thanks to all of you!), who organised their own texts (thanks Paola Minoia), or took time to provide concrete help and advice (thanks Chiara Rabbiosi, Chiara Giubilaro, Simone Tulumello, Maurizio Memoli and Filippo Celata, among many). Thanks, above all, to Gennaro Avallone, Margherita Grazioli, Enrico Gargiulo, and Elena Giacomelli, who help to organise, to share, and to expand the fight; to the Coordinamento Unito and the Coordinamento Polito for their support to the cause; and to Francesca Governa, Marco Santangelo, Camillo Boano, Francesco Chiodelli and Isabella Consolati at DIST, who always discussed this with me, with open minds and hearts. Thanks to my international colleagues: my comrades in FCDL and in the Radical Housing Journal, my friends at the Unequal Cities Network at UCLA, in the Journal City, and those writing supportive statements from so many other corners around the globe, including an amazing one by 30+ colleagues at my old institution, The University of Sheffield, which really helped. There are some Ph.D. students in the DIST who took clear positions too, as well as some of my own students in the MA in Geography, and my own Ph.D. students in Sheffield and Turin (particular thanks to Francesca Guarino and Saanchi Saxena), to whom I am thankful for the support and for believing in the long-term goal of this fight.

However, this has been a fight involving Academia… fought for the most by non-academics or academics without permanent jobs. I have found strength and scope in people writing to me from Palermo to Trieste, and beyond Italy, too. Workers, students, mid-school teachers, retired people, kids. I am thankful to the students that organized in Turin, including the PhDs of ADI Turin, the geography students at Unito, the Gruppo Palestina, Cambiare Rotta and the communist group at Polito. I am thankful for the autonomous realities that hosted public debates on the story,  including Neruda in Turin, and to the journalists who wrote about this case and made it available to broader audiences. Above all, I want to thank Luca Rondi (Altreconomia), Francesca Spinelli (Internazionale), Teresa Paoli (Presadiretta), Giansandro Merli (Manifesto), Peter Yeung (Guardian), Frabrizio Maffioletti (Pressenzia), Marco Siragusa (EastJournal), Nicolò Arpinati (Dinamo Press), the Melitea group, and the comrades Margherita, Francesco e Maria at Radio BlackOut.

Most importantly and relevantly, I am extremely thankful to all the ones working to construct a differential way of dealing with migrations in Italy and Europe. Your care and attention to this story and to my persona have been heartfelt, and it only reaffirmed my conviction (shared with my comrades at FCDL and the RHJ) that only through horizontal solidarities and collective organising we can move meaningfully forward. You are too many to thank, and I will surely miss some. Thanks to the groups Sea Watch, ADIF – Associazione Diritti e Frontiere, Campagna LasciateCIEntrare, Carovane Migranti, Rete Antirazzista Catanese, Cobas Scuola Catania, Osservatorio Solidarietà, Torino per Moria, Borderline Sicilia, Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak, Progetto Meltingpot Europa and thanks also to ASGI. And deep thanks to a group of amazing individuals who really made this a collective endeavor, most especially thanks to Yasmine Accardo, Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, Gianluca Vitale, Yasha Maccanico, Francesca Mazzuzi, Gennaro Avallone, Stefano Bleggi, Gianfranco Crua, Alfonso Di Stefano, Claudia Mantovan, Mariafrancesca D’Agostino, Maurizio Ricciardi, Barbara Sorgoni, Valeria Ferraris, Sandro Mezzadra, Stefania Spada, Giuseppe Campesi, Silvia De Meo e tant* altr*. Thanks to Leo for having been close to me the whole time.

At this point, I am more and more convinced that continuing to fight Frontex at all levels is very necessary. From my corner, I will create a safe space for critical and radical thinking around inhabitation, migrations and asylum well within DIST and the Polytechnic of Turin, and I will continue to work with my new comrades in the city to offer harbour and to create an alternative vision of what “research integrity” and “integrity” at large means. It is not time to retreat, but time to scale up. Avanti!

  

Interventions Frontex-POLITO at 14 December 2021

ITAArticoli:

· Il comunicato di Polito di Luglio, con il quale la notizia è stata resa pubblica: https://poliflash.polito.it/in_ateneo/politecnico_e_ithaca_insieme_per_la_produzione_di_cartografia_per_l_agenzia_europea_frontex

· Il pezzo che ha aperto le scene, su Altreconomia: https://altreconomia.it/il-politecnico-di-torino-a-fianco-di-frontex-sul-rispetto-dei-diritti-umani-intanto-cade-il-silenzio/

· La mia lettera pubblica: https://altreconomia.it/non-a-fianco-di-frontex-chi-si-dissocia-dallaccordo-del-politecnico-di-torino/

· La campagna Fuori Frontex dalle nostre Università, nata dopo i pezzi di cui sopra: https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/non-a-fianco-di-frontex/

· Del caso ha parlato anche Repubblica Torino, lo screenshot del pezzo si può trovare qui: https://nextcloud.rinlab.org/index.php/s/xg6WNspZkD5a28N

· Il bellissimo pezzo uscito su Internazionale (in cui si parla del caso a fine testo,e contiene molti riferimenti utili per capire il problema): https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/francesca-spinelli/2021/11/04/frontex-campagna-abolizione

· Una lettera pubblica firmata dai più importanti studiosi sulle migrazioni in Italia, che è uscita sul Manifesto: https://ilmanifesto.it/lettere/fuori-frontex-dalle-nostre-universita/

· Una intervista a Luca Rondi, il giornalista di Altreconomia, che è molto utile per spiegare a chi non vede il problema perchè il tutto è problematico: https://www.meltingpot.org/Il-Politecnico-di-Torino-e-l-accordo-con-Frontex.html#.YYP6n7vTUd2

· Mia intervista al gruppo Melitea, ripresa da Mediterranea Saving Humans: https://gruppomelitea.wordpress.com/2021/11/07/la-mia-universita-lavora-con-frontex-non-in-mio-nome-intervista-al-professor-michele-lancione/#more-2597

· Lettera pubblica indirizzata ai reggenti di Politecnico, da NGO italiane, per rescindere l’accordo: https://altreconomia.it/rescindere-il-contratto-con-frontex-lettera-aperta-al-politecnico-di-torino/

· Articolo su La Stampa: https://www.lastampa.it/torino/2021/11/17/news/protesta_al_politecnico_stop_al_contratto_da_4_milioni_con_frontex_-414438/

· Lettera di supporto dal Coordinamento UniTo: https://coordinamentounito.wordpress.com/2021/11/23/e-questa-la-ricerca-di-frontiera/

· Lettera di supporto dal Coordinamento Polito: https://coordinamentopolito.wordpress.com/2021/11/20/lettera-aperta-al-politecnico-di-torino-riguardo-la-collaborazione-con-frontex/

· Articolo su Internazionale KIDS, che spiega la questione ai ragazzi. Si trova in cartaceo, o scannerizzato, qui: https://nextcloud.rinlab.org/index.php/s/5CW9CSQo6XXAodK

· Articolo di approfondimento su EaST Journal: https://www.eastjournal.net/archives/122096

· Articolo di Pressenza sull’incontro al Politecnico del 1/1/21: https://www.pressenza.com/it/2021/12/torino-fuori-frontex-dal-politecnico/

· Comunicato Lasciateci Entrare su riunione Senato per accordo: https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/frontex-e-ricerca-universitaria-qual-e-il-problema/

· Articolo de La Stampa su assemblea al Politecnico: https://www.lastampa.it/torino/2021/12/02/news/rescindete_quel_contratto_assemblea_pubblica_al_politecnico_contro_l_accordo_con_frontex-991542/

· Dossier di Cambiare Rotta: Il Progetto dell’Unione Europea sui suoi Confini: https://cambiare-rotta.org/2021/12/06/dossier-frontex-il-progetto-dellunione-europea-sui-suoi-confini/

· Altro articolo di Luca Rondi su Altreconomia: https://altreconomia.it/il-politecnico-di-torino-e-a-un-bivio-con-frontex-o-con-i-diritti-umani/

· Presa di posizione del Coordinamento Migranti: https://www.coordinamentomigranti.org/2021/12/06/fare-fronte-contro-frontex-i-migranti-e-la-lotta-sui-confini/

· Dossier del collettivo Metamorfosi: https://www.academia.edu/63947546/Analisi_di_una_committenza_Politecnico_Frontex_un_caso_di_Academic_Washing

· Lettera aperta RSU Polito sul caso Frontex, disponibile qui: https://nextcloud.rinlab.org/index.php/s/tLtzQrzdJcfp8sn

· L’Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione (ASGI) riporta la nostra lettera: https://www.asgi.it/notizie/rescindere-il-contratto-con-frontex-lettera-aperta-al-politecnico-di-torino/

 

ITARadio, videos and public meetings:

· Intervista con Radio Blackout: https://radioblackout.org/2021/10/accordo-politecnico-frontex-dissenso-in-accademia-intervista-con-michele-lancione/

· Video di incontro con student* a Palazzo Nuovo Torino. Da min 13 a 39 Lancione spiega l’accordo. Da notare anche intervento dei compagn* di Sea Watch: https://www.facebook.com/CambiareRottaTorino/videos/403610054642077/

· Seminario a Salerno, “Non a fianco di Frontex, non in nostro nome”: https://www.disps.unisa.it/unisa-rescue-page/dettaglio/id/2547/module/488/row/17071

· Prima occasione pubblica di incontro dentro al Politecnico sul tema, con studenti, giornalisti, attivisti, avvocati: https://www.facebook.com/events/593243081942483?ref=newsfeed

· Video intervista per Pressenza: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-kx5hW8FEU&t=245s

· Incontro allo spazio popolare Neruda, Che cos’è Frontex? https://www.facebook.com/events/s/che-cose-frontex/451037489924340/

 

ENG:

· Lancione’s letter to Altreconomia, translated into English: https://www.michelelancione.eu/blog/2021/10/24/my-university-works-with-frontex-not-in-my-name/

· AbolishFrontex: https://abolishfrontex.org/blog/2021/10/25/my-university-works-with-frontex-not-in-my-name/ e https://abolishfrontex.org/blog/2021/11/16/open-letter-to-polytechnic-university-of-turin-about-working-for-frontex/

· Statewatch: https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/november/not-alongside-frontex-academics-speak-out-against-border-collaboration/

· Letter from the Decolonise.eu network: https://decolonise.eu/not-alongside-frontex/

· Debate on Twitter: https://twitter.com/michelelancione/status/1452507202867154946

Infrastructure, Inequality and the Neo-Apartheid City – USF seminar series @Newcastle

I am very happy to take part in the third and last event in the “Infrastructure, Inequality and the Neo-Apartheid City” series, organised by Dr Mori Ram, Dr Charlotte Lemanski, and Prof. Haim Yacobi with the support of the Urban Studies Foundation. Info about the whole series, here.

The third event, entitled “Mobility and Movement beyond Apartheid” will take place online on 09 December 2021, from 10.00am to 4.00pm (UK time). It will concentrate on the ability to connect or disconnect residents from the city by critically exploring how infrastructures of transportation and mobility determine who can move freely, to where, and in what speed and frequency. Infrastructure is crucial to any analysis of political mobility and movement. At the same time, regimes of separation solidify social and political (in)equality that hinder the ability to relocate and sets the urban conditions that reorganize human capacity to move, settle and reside.

My paper will be titled Infrastructural violence and the impossible possibility of ‘home’.

Register here for the event. Thanks!