Conflict and Mobility in the City
“Conflict and Mobility: Urban Space, Youth and Social Transformations” is the theme of the International Summer Academy which the Forum Transregionale Studien is conducting currently within the framework of the research program “Europe in the Middle East—the Middle East in Europe” (EUME) at the École de Gouvernance et d’Économie (EGE) in Rabat from August 25-September 05, 2014.
The Summer Academy is presented on the blog eume-city. You can find the public program, the list of participants as well as posts of ongoing project presentations here.
Conflict and Mobility: Urban Space, Youth and Social Transformations
The uprisings in the Arab World both challenge traditional paradigms for understanding culture and politics and raise new sets of questions. While some urban spaces such as Tahrir Square, Taksim Gezi Park, and Pearl Roundabout have acquired almost global iconic status, how might we understand that it was self-immolation in a public space and graffiti on walls in provincial towns that marked the beginnings of the Tunisian and Syrian uprisings respectively? In what ways do cultural forms inflect the political imaginary in these contested urban spaces? Is it possible to trace echoes of this political vocabulary in novels, art, poetry, songs and films of the last decades? How might we understand public space not solely as stages of protest and politics, but also of everyday life? The city serves as a site of negotiation between cosmopolitan consumerism and local traditions, but what is its role as a site for experimental living and utopias? The city is an urban and social structure that facilitates the imagination and proliferation of citizenship and social mobility. Its gated communities, stalled avenues of mobility, the dreams and nightmares of migration are just as prevalent as alternative forms of solidarity and mechanisms of control and survival.
The Summer Academy explores these questions across time and place with attention to the differing contours and uses of urban space. It draws together scholars who consider cities in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in neighbouring regions or countries (such as Spain, Greece, Turkey and Iran) and benefits from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives that shed light on the different dynamics of urbanism and protest:
Specialists in Architecture, Urban Planning and Human Geography contribute to a clearer view of how the different forms of cities, questions of access and physical mobility impact forms of protest in these sites. How have developments in urban design influenced or facilitated forms of protest in the 21st century?
The Summer Academy is chaired by a group of scholars that includes Michael Allan (University of Oregon), Baudoin Dupret and Zakaria Rhani (both Centre Jacques Berque, Rabat), Nora Lafi (Zentrum Moderner Orient/ZMO, Berlin; member of EUME), Rachid Ouaissa and Friederike Pannewick (both from the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies/CNMS, Philipps-Universität Marburg, and members of EUME), Martin Baumeister (Deutsches Historisches Institut Rom). It is held in cooperation with the Centre Jacques Berque in Rabat, the Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique in Benguerir, the CNMS, and the research network “Re-Configurations: History, Memory and Transformation Processes” of Philipps University Marburg. The Summer Academy and the blog “eume city” are hosted by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Foundation – German Humanities Institutes Abroad.