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.

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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 2021-2022

Easter Term 2022

In War's Wake
In War’s Wake: closed workshop
11 May 2022 - 12 May 2022 12:00 - 19:00, Hybrid event

Close workshop, by invitation only.

Lent Term 2022

In War's Wake
The city as stage and system: comparing the dynamics of post-conflict reconstruction and criminal justice reform in Juba and Oakland
27 Jan 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Academic conversation: Naseem Badiey (California, Monterey Bay), Christian Doll (North Carolina)

Surveillance, violence, and spectres of the state: urban violence and resistance in Mathare
3 Feb 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Roundtable: Rachel Sittoni (Cambridge), Lucy Wambui (Mathare), Francis Mutunge (Ruaraka), Patrick Mutahi (Edinburgh), Naomi Van Stapele (Hague)

Weaving place amidst violent geographies: afro-descendant women and the embodied politics of war in Colombia
3 Mar 2022 17:00 – 19:00, Online

Talk and Q&A. Virgelina Chará (Human Rights defender and social activist)

Contesting fortress Europe: liquid violence and invisible war in the Mediterranean
8 Mar 2022 16:00 - 18:00, Online

Roundtable: Gianluca Gatta (Archive of Migrant Memories), Irene Peano (Lisbon), Lorenzo Pezzani (Forensic Oceanography), Timothy Raeymaekers (Bologna), AbdouMaliq Simone (Sheffield)

Design after destruction: nostalgia, memory, and futurities of design in the Somali territories and diaspora
17 Mar 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Art exhibition: Yusuf Shegow (Somali Architecture), Abira Hussein (UCL)

Michaelmas Term 2021

In War's Wake
In War’s Wake: launch event and roundtable
7 Oct 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Online

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

Keynote lecture with Hiba Bou Akar
21 Oct 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Online

Hiba Bou Akar (Columbia)

City-making in uncertainty: identity, infrastructure and ideology in Juba, Khartoum and Ahmedabad
4 Nov 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Online

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

Urban affectivities: The afterlives of urban conflict between state and sensoria in Amed and the West Bank
18 Nov 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Online

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

Between mourning and re-making: scales of urban reconstruction after war in Quibdo, Oakland and Juba
2 Dec 2021 17:00 - 19:00, Online

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


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk