In War’s Wake: Mobility, Belonging, and Becoming in the Aftermath of Urban Conflict

Alternate Thursdays 17.00 – 19.00 during term time, unless otherwise noted.

Online sessions until further notice (UK time)


The In War's Wake Research Network investigates the aftermath of war in cities. This is conceived heuristically as a constellation of the official and unofficial workings of urban conflict and political violence. Thinking generatively from and across South America, the Middle East, Eastern Africa, and the 'Black Mediterranean', we aim to examine how political violence reshapes contemporary urban lives, imaginations of urban futures, and experiences of movement, citizenship, and hope. How are legacies of violence inscribed into the urban space and how are they elided? How does urban violence exceed conceptions of the 'post-conflict' and disrupt naïve temporalities of a 'before' and an 'after' war? We will approach these questions through the prism of mobility, belonging, and becoming. The Research Network seeks to generate important provocations, trans-national and multi-lingual dialogues, and cross-disciplinary intersections that contribute to discussions about political violence, urban studies, and post-conflict reconstruction among academics, activists, and artists.



Administrative assistance: 



Giulia Torino (Junior Research Fellow, Peterhouse College)
Surer Mohamed (Harry F Guggenheim Research Fellow, Pembroke College)


Dr Giulia Torino is a Junior Research Fellow, Peterhouse College. As an urban theorist, ethnographer, architect, and teacher she is interested in the plural intersections between the built environment, politics, and socio-natural life. Before her current research project on the new spatial politics and urban assemblages of the 'Black Mediterranean', she completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge and as Visiting Scholar at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, carrying out a longitudinal ethnography of the racial and relational urban formations stemming from the displacement of Afro-Colombian citizens to Bogotá, in the aftermath of Colombia’s internal conflict. Giulia’s PhD research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and King’s College, with additional grants from the Cambridge Political Economy Society, the Worts Fund, Kettle’s Yard, and the Society for Latin American Studies. She currently lectures at the Department of Geography and POLIS and has previously been an invited lecturer at the Department of Architecture, the University of Basel, the University Externado of Colombia, and the University of Sheffield.

Dr Surer Mohamed is a Harry F Guggenheim Research Fellow, Pembroke College, Cambridge where she researches urban contestation over public land use in Mogadishu, Somalia. Surer completed her PhD in Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge where her doctoral research considered post-conflict urban reconstruction and conflict-related private property disputes in Mogadishu. As a PhD student, Surer was the recipient of the David and Elaine Potter Cambridge Trust Scholarshipand a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellow. Surer's research engages debates around the politics of urban belonging, the contested legacies of urban war, and the politics of knowledge production in the Horn of Africa. Alongside her sister, Surer co-created the On Things We Left Behind podcast which won the UK’s first-ever podcasting competition, which examined the afterlives of war on those who rebuild their lives.


Faculty Advisors

Dr Adam Branch (Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for African Studies, POLIS)
Dr Irit Katz (Lecturer, Department of Architecture)
Dr Alex Jeffrey (University Reader, Department of Geography)
Dr Graham Denyer Willis (Senior Lecturer, Centre for Development Studies, POLIS)

Programme 2021-22

Michaelmas Term 2021
Download the term poster here

In War Wake
In War's Wake: Launch Event and Roundtable
07 October 2021, Online event (UK time)

Alex Jeffrey, Graham Denyer Willis, Irit Katz, Giulia Torino, Surer Mohamed (Cambridge)

Keynote Lecture with Hiba Bou Akar
21 October 2021, Online event (UK time)

Hiba Bou Akar (Columbia)

City-Making in Uncertainty: Identity, Infrastructure and Ideology in Juba, Khartoum and Ahmedabad
04 November 2021, Online event (UK time)

Conversation. Nicki Kindersley (Cardiff), Ipsita Chatterjee (North Texas)

Urban Affectivities: The Afterlives of Urban Conflict
18 November 2021, Online event (UK time)

Conversation. Eray Çaylı (LSE), Silvia Pasquetti (Newcastle)

CANCELLED. Between Mourning and Re-Making: Scales of Urban Reconstruction After War
02 December 2021, Online event (UK time)

Conversation. Natalia Quiceno Toro (Antioquia), Naseem Badiey, Christian Doll (NC State)