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Newcomers' Right to the City
15 Feb. 2021 -
18:30 - 20:00

Newcomers' Right to the City


With increasing worldwide migrant mobilities it is not always clear who has the right to the city. What is the role of the newcomer in an urbanized world?

About the program

The moving populations which cross borders heading to Europe and North America contest and destabilize both territorial certainties and established urban policies. In public debates these displaced people are often framed as passive recipients of the State, NGO or philanthropic practices. However, newcomers themselves ­organize, struggle and generate movements of insurgent citizenship, claim the right to the (centre of the) city and enact the production of collective housing and shared common spaces based on principles of solidarity and mutual help.

During this NIAS Talk we explore commoning practices used by the newcomers as a way of self-organisation and the concept of spatial justice for an increasingly heterogeneous urban society.

About the speakers:

Michael Keith is Professor at the University of Oxford’s Center on Migration, Policy and Society, and Director of the PEAK Urban Research Programme which aims to aid decision-making on urban futures.

Maria Kaika is NIAS fellow 2019-2020 and Professor of Urban Regional and Environmental Planning at the University of Amsterdam. She was researching ‘debt as biopolitics’ at NIAS and will be discussing the newcomers right not only to the city but to the heart of the city, to have access to the political, social and cultural activities of urban life.

Charalampos Tsavdaroglou is a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam. He will be a discussant for this talk, as his research interests include critical urban theory, autonomy of migration, and intersectional, decolonial and affective geographies.

Markha Valenta is Assistant Professor at University College Utrecht, working on the intersection of politics, anthropology and history. As Urban Citizen Fellow at NIAS, Valenta explores how Amsterdam might give shape to the citizenship of non-citizens combining theories of performative citizenship and urban belonging with qualitative field research in the municipality and migrant rights organizations. How does she consider the newcomers’ right to the city?

Fenneke Wekker is a Sociologist and Head of Academic Affairs at NIAS.