Urba05
The everyday makeshifts of life at the urban margins

Convenors:
Martina Klausner (Humboldt-University)
Michele Lancione (Cardiff University)
Discussant:
Ignacio Farias
Stream:
Urban
Location:
VG 4.103
Start time:
29 March, 2017 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

In this panel we elaborate on a nuanced approach to life at the urban margins and examine the makeshifts of dwelling in the city by different urban groups. Our specific interest is on the assemblage of everyday life in the city at the intersection of public infrastructures and more mundane matters.

Long abstract:

Cities with their specific density and intensity offer a variety of resources but at the same time also pose specific impositions for their inhabitants (cf. Schillmeier 2010; MacFarlane 2011). Dwelling in the city - understood as a non-linear way of place making and learning (McFarlane 2011) - demands dealing with those specific urban affordances in creative ways. This is specifically true for people "at the margins", who assemble their everyday life at the intersection of public infrastructures - from welfare institutions, health care services, sheltered housing, sanitation, transportation - and more mundane matters. A focus on the makeshifts of life at the margin then highlights how bodies, infrastructures, and broader urban processes are being brought together in diverse ways. In our respective works we have approached these makeshifts as processes of assemblage (McFarlane, 2011; Lancione, 2014), infra-making (Lancione and McFarlane, 2016) and of niching (Niewöhner et al. 2016). Drawing from our own research (which focused on people with mental illness in Berlin, homeless people in Turin and drug users in Bucharest) we want to elaborate on a nuanced approach to the makeshifts of life at the margins and specifically encourage contributions that help to identify convergences and divergences across different marginalized urban groups. Ideally, paper will critically address questions of lived experience and their entanglement with broader urban processes, such as urban policies, state regulation, or infrastructural developments.