P007
Aftermaths: urban displacement and the poisoned promise of resettlement

Convenors:
Amanda Hammar (Copenhagen University)
Gediminas Lesutis (The University of Manchester)
Chair:
Amanda Hammar
Format:
Panels
Location:
BS004
Start time:
1 July, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel invites a range of empirical cases through which to explore and theorise the inter-play of urban displacement and resettlement as a dynamic arena within which both ordinary urban life and modes of urban governance and citizenship get asserted, contested and/or re-shaped.

Long abstract:

African urban centres of different scales, in both colonial and postcolonial periods, have been sites of significant physical and symbolic displacements, the dimensions of which are marked by context-specific inter-weavings of temporal, spatial, political, economic, social and cultural elements. These displacements include state-generated evictions linked to so-called urban renewal or infrastructural expansion projects, peri-urban removals generated by encroaching natural resource investment projects such as mining, mass labour displacements due to major economic crises, party-political influenced dislocation campaigns, or the consequences of violent conflicts. Such urban displacements - often with rural entanglements - are sometimes accompanied by the promise of formal resettlement projects associated with either a local or central state authority or multilateral body, often backed by various external institutional resources be these international agencies, local churches or NGOs, or corporations. Oftentimes, however, the promise of official resettlement (also including repatriation), rather than delivering anticipated positive changes, results in poisoned or least paradoxical dynamics within the new resettlement sites, particularly with respect to dislocated livelihoods and lives. In other words, while creating some new opportunities, the resettlement 'site' (in its various manifestations) may also re-produce pre-existing power relations as well as generate new forms of socio-economic differentiation and spatial marginalization. This panel invites a range of empirical cases through which to explore and theorise the inter-play of urban displacement and resettlement as a dynamic arena within which both ordinary urban life and modes of urban governance and citizenship get asserted, contested and/or re-shaped.