Accepted Paper:

Undocumented Christian place-making in the post-industrial European city  
Martijn Oosterbaan (Utrecht University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper takes up the call of Mary Hancock and Smriti Srinivas (2008) to explore 'the articulations of popular religiosity with the social and material restructuring of urban space' in the light of the transformations of the post-industrial European city. Whereas Dutch political discourse is hijacked by a language of insiders and outsiders - reproducing spatio-legal distinctions between citizens and marginals - most of the undocumented Brazilians who reside in Amsterdam are employed as domestic-cleaners. Their relatively open entry into what is often considered the most intimate socio-spatial sphere - the home - stands in sharp contrast to the increasing closure of the abstract spatial sphere of the nation and the denial to lawfully live in the city. This paper demonstrates that a portion of the undocumented Brazilians employs Christian-spatial ideologies and practices to oppose the boundaries between insiders and outsiders and claim a rightful place in the city.

Panel W053
Shaping urban inequalities: space and power in the city