Representations of power and resistance in the cities of the Global South

tiistai 12.5.2015, 13.30 – 15:00

Chairs: Katri Gadd & Eveliina Lyytinen, University of Turku


This workshop (held in English) is grounded on the idea of the city as a stage that both represents power and provides a platform for various forms of urban activism and resistance. Geographically the workshop is focused on the urban areas of the Global South.

Cities in the South have been characterized by the informality of their economies, politics and social relations alike. Additionally, cities in this geographical context are impacted by various consequences of urbanization. The increasing pressure on infrastructure and social services in cities has been targeted by various neo-liberal structural adjustment policies. Most of the large cities of the South also share a critical demographic feature: the extraordinarily rapid population growth. As cities in the South have become increasingly ethnically mixed due to urban immigration, new forms of urban segregation and tensions have emerged.

All these abovementioned aspects of cities are related to questions of power and resistance. Urban environments have been characterized by distinct political organization and action, and influential politics and forms of resistance by various social groups, elites and the non-elites alike have been utilized in cities. Consequently, marginalized social groups have struggled to attain their right to the city, but they have been by no means passive victims of these power struggles.

This workshop welcomes papers from researchers, organizations and NGOs working in and coming from the Global South. Given the wide-ranging theoretical and empirical approach to the core issue at hand, topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to study power and resistance in the Global South
  • Refugees/migrants and their everyday forms of urban resistance
  • Urban youth/street children
  • Urban communities and their different forms of activism
  • Social and spatial justice in the cities


Pelotas as seen through the eyes of its street children
Katri Gadd, University of Turku

Describing Favelas through the Political Struggles of Dwellers
Leonardo Custódio, University of Tampere

Refugees’ Conceptualizations of “Protection Space”: Geographical Scales of Urban Protection and Host–Refugee Relations
Eveliina Lyytinen, University of Turku