We are very pleased to spread the word: one of our maps got selected to be shown in one of the “stills” rooms in Madrid during the Contested Cities conference from 4th -7th of July.
In December we came together for the event share our different visions on Nijmegen and Heumensoord. In May the maps were part of an exhibition together with pictures and mind maps from the US/ Mexican border.
Back then when we sat down together for some tea and some free drawing, Heumensoord had existed for about three months. It was in the middle of the winter and people were insolated in a camp in the forest. We all rememeber how hard it was to even get there without a bike (an hour and a half walking from the city center).
The inhumane living conditions in the camp were later confirmed by the Nationale Ombudsman. The camp was closed earlier. However, does this mean that people will not be sent again to mass camps into isolation?
Jungles, borders, exclusion
Distances are so easily created and borders are so easily set up. Our map shows that a division takes place: On the one hand there is the city center and on the other hand, as if behind a wall, there is the jungle. The question arises of who actually has access to the city then?
All over Europe, currently there are camps popping up. Mass camps with disastrous living conditions. These “jungles” challenge our vision of the cities, they are a symbol of the excluded.
Exhibitions and discussion
CONTESTED_CITIES is an international interdisciplinary network of researchers from Europe and Latin America (Madrid, Leeds, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Quito and Rio de Janeiro). They research processes, consequences and resistance to neoliberal urban politics in Europe and Latin America. (via)
The conference opens up dialogue and discussion and has a special focus on visual material that will be presented alongside the talks.
The CONTESTED_CITIES CONFERENCE will be a forum of radical academics, practitioners and activists from different theoretical, disciplinary and geographical backgrounds coming together to probe the multiple forms of urban injustice that shape cities across the world. Cities have always been contested spaces in which struggles over different political visions of urban development, planning and life take place; yet urban contestation is increasing.
In recent years this has been manifested through austerity urbanism, crisis politics and processes of financialisation. Millions of urban citizens are experiencing dispossession, displacement and expulsion on a daily basis; their ‘right to the city’ has been denied by diverse forms of neoliberal and authoritarian urban governance.
At the same time there is growing global resistance and counter-strategies to these injustices, varying in form, scale and approach. The conference will develop counter-dialogues and perspectives, fighting against these injustices, in an attempt to think beyond neoliberalism. (via)
It is great that the Heumensoord-struggles find a place in this debate. Whoever goes to Madrid next Monday: Wouldn’t it be great to visit the conference and give us a shout out about it? We would like that!