The Leibnitz Institüt will be hosting Oren Yiftachel from Beerscheba, Israel as a part of its Difference+Integration series.
The lecture analyzes the impact of structural economic, identity and governance tensions on urban regimes. It draws attention to the pervasive emergence of 'gray spaces'; that is, informal, temporary or illegal developments, transactions and populations. 'Gray-spacing' has become a central strategy to manage the unwanted/irremovable, putting in train a process of 'creeping urban apartheid'. These tensions and trends will be illustrated by highlighting research findings from cities around Europe, Africa and Asia, with special focus on the 'ethnocratic' cities of Israel/Palestine.
For more information please see the link below containing a useful PDF.
Workshops series on Identity, Politics and Place in relation to indigenous peoples in Leipzig.
Friday 22 June 2012 I participated to a workshop in Leipzig, at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, on the theme: “Identity, Politics, Place and Representation”.
The workshop had been preceded the day before (21.06.2012) by a public lecture given by Oren Yiftachel, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, with the title of – Urban Regimes and ‘Gray Spacing’: Between Privatizing Democracy and ‘Creeping Apartheid’.
Professor Oren Yiftachel during the public lecture.
An interesting lecture that touched upon “the impact of structural economic, identity and governance tensions on urban regimes. It draws attention to the pervasive emergence of ‘gray spaces’; that is, informal, temporary or illegal developments, transactions and populations. ‘Gray-spacing’ has become a central strategy to manage the unwanted/irremovable, putting in train a process of ‘creeping urban apartheid’” (Lecture abstract -2012, Yiftachel). This issues were analysed by referring to research findings related to various cities around Europe, Africa and Asia, and “with special focus on the ‘ethnocratic’ cities of Israel/Palestine”(Lecture abstract -2012, Yiftachel). Some of these aspects were also highlighted in his introductory lecture to the workshop, “Mapping the homeland”, but with an emphasis upon crucial issues of mapping and in particular on the effects that these can have on the lives of people who chose live or are forced to live on the margins of society. Maps, through the marking or unmarking borders as well as highlighting or ignoring them, become an effective tool of social and political control in any given territory.
Urban Revolutions - Jakarta March 16-20-2012.
Gray spacing and the transformation of urban regimes
Middle Eastern cities have recently experienced unprecedented waves of demonstrations, coupled by the mushrooming of tent cities, and the articulation of mass demands for political, social and economic change. At the same time, a quieter transformation has spawned a process of 'gray spacing', during which informalities have shaped anew urban spaces and regimes. The paper analyzes and conceptualizes these transformations with a focus on Israel/Palestine, in order to ask: do these transformation herald a new democratic age and the dawn of urban citizenship? Or are there the pangs of a 'creeping apartheid' process, during which ethnocratic and neo-liberal forces co-opt, colonize and entrap the growing class of 'unwanted/irremovable? In the spirit of global urbanism, the paper compares events in Israel/Palestine's main cities to urban transformations in other world regions, and theorize the connection between gray spacing, the current revolutionary pulse and the emergence of new urban regimes.