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Title: Diasporic urbanism : concepts, agencies & 'mapping otherwise'
Author: Awan, Nishat
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 5437
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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The term ‘diasporic urbanism’ addresses the difficulties of operating with diasporic space and of accommodating the material complexities of migrant lives. It proposes displacement and reterritorialisations as methodologies and ‘mapping otherwise’ as a tool for representing and working with migrant spatialities. Diasporic space is theorised as a relational space, whilst diasporic subjectivity is described as ‘nomadic consciousness’. The politics of the diaspora are addressed through the need to accommodate conflict (Mouffe) and through introducing ‘things’ and ‘matters of concern’ (Latour) into the democratic relationship. These concepts were tested in practice through my research which focuses examples of diasporic agencies in the everyday. From the Turkish and Kurdish kahve to a street whose physicality forces a certain visibility on to those who traverse it, to a park in East London that through being claimed by one diasporic group has come to symbolise wider notions of political representation. The mapping of these particular spaces has addressed the question: within the networked, global condition of the migrant, what objects, subjects and processes can play the role of mediation and translation that is required between ‘here and there’, or between the layers of this multiple subject? The need for such approaches is apparent in the increasing diversity of European cities. The everyday geographies of people’s lives can easily lose themselves in the enormity of the questions and the complexities of the issues surrounding migration. Yet, it is exactly the specificity of individual lives, the way that geo-political borders and territories inscribe themselves onto the intimate topology of migrant and diasporic bodies, half-here and half-there, that is so difficult to account for. This then is the challenge set down for ‘diasporic urbanism’—how to make the conditions necessary for those other than the privileged to participate in the imagining of our cities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available