4 Nov 2021 17:00 - 19:00 Online


An event organised by In War’s Wake: Mobility, Belonging, and Becoming in the Aftermath of Urban Conflict research network.


Nicki Kindersley (Cardiff University)
Ipsita Chatterjee (University of North Texas)


In contexts of urban uncertainty, how do violent geographies become inscribed into urban space and how do denizens navigate these contexts? In this seminar, we bring together compelling insights about the construction of urban remakings after war through the prisms of identity, infrastructure, and ideology in the context of violent geographies.

About the Speakers

Dr Nicki Kindersley
‘Travelling military court systems in the Khartoum-Juba suburbs, 1990s-present’

In Sudan and South Sudan, cycles of military recruitment and encampment, urban displacement and post-war resettlement have built and rebuilt city suburbs. This paper explores how people have built networks of neighbourhood governance systems that stretch between Khartoum and Juba’s suburbs. Since the 1990s in particular, men and women have built local arbitration systems over water points, domestic incidents, thefts and teen pregnancies, negotiating with distant family members, and moving as neighbourhoods moved. These systems have often involved military or militia leadership as a source of enforcing authority and a means of holding armed residents to account. This paper will trace a few examples of these systems over time and urban space and try to draw out some implications for how we understand safety and order in insecure suburban communities.

Dr Ipsita Chatterjee
‘City as macrocosm of violence: Globalization, violence and displacement in Ahmedabad city, India’

With the rise of Trump populism in the US and Modi’s rise to power in India, with the wave of anti-immigrant xenophobia sweeping all over Europe and the U.S., an intellectual introspection of identity-based othering and its extreme manifestation as urban violence is urgent. The onus is on the left to understand why despite the prevalence of hunger, exploitation, poverty and inequality that should have been the fuel for a left political revolution, there is actually the opposite, the rise of extreme right fascism manifested as religious bigotry, racism, sexism, anti-immigrant, anti-minority xenophobia. I hope to contribute to conversations on identity-oriented explanations of violence by explicating how identity construction has an overt socio-spatial dimension. Using research carried out after the 2002 Hindu–Muslim conflict in Ahmedabad city and the subsequent restructuring of the city into an ethno-phobic exclusionary neoliberal space, I hope to reminisce how city space serve as an ideological-material cite for actualizing violent geographies. City, I argue is not merely a micro-space, a unique stage for scripting discontinuous chaotic, random acts of violence, but rather, a macrocosm, a universal template for materializing ideologies that systemically erase histories and geographies of the poor, the religious minority, and other marginal groups by chalking new morphologies of borders, ghettoes, and displacement through elitist urban renewal. In that context, the city provides a global template for ‘ordering’ chaos.

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