Accepted paper:

Cova da Moura: space and border in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon

Authors:

Susana Boletas (ICS - ULisboa)

Paper short abstract:

Is Cova da Moura an example of a cosmopolitan enclave? I will address the potential of this concept while observing the various political, social, economic, cultural and symbolic interactions, as well as the tensions between Cova da Moura and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon.

Paper long abstract:

Cova da Moura is an informal neighbourhood built and inhabited by a migrant and multi-ethnic population, most of African origin and decent, on the periphery of Lisbon, a city rebranded for national identity building and touristic purposes as a secular cosmopolitan and multicultural metropolis. It's a place of symbolic and spatial borders. Cova da Moura is a mediated space, and the object of hybrid discourses that stigmatize and rehabilitate it. It is regarded as an ethnic enclave and a ghetto. It is also a touristic place, where guided tours are conducted. Kola San Jon, an event held annually has recently become cultural heritage. It was a strategy to legitimize Cova da Moura and its population. The neighbourhood was recently the subject of a state initiative for socio-spatial qualification, which was subsequently suspended. Even though national and city authorities value diversity this neighbourhood remains at risk of demolition, and its population at risk of expulsion and of social exclusion, suffering frequently from police violence. Is Cova da Moura an example of a cosmopolitan enclave? I will address the potential of this concept while observing the various political, social, economic, cultural and symbolic interactions, as well as the tensions between Cova da Moura and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. Pondering the population's different integration strategies as well as the marginalization traits as they are perceived both from the inside the neighbourhood, as from the outside. For this I used participant observation, made interviews and analysed media content.

panel P092
Cosmopolitan enclaves: tensions and paradoxes