Urban Walls. Political and Cultural Meanings of Vertical Structures and Surfaces

An edited Volume by Andrea Mubi Brighenti & Mattias Kärrholm. Contracted by Routledge. Forthcoming in 2018.

Post no dreams

Artwork Courtesy of John Fekner ©1978

In recent years, an increasing number of separation walls has been built around the world. Walls built in urban areas are particularly striking in that they have exacted a heavy toll in terms of human suffering. At the same time, however, homeless and displaced people, unprotected by any walls, often terrorised by irregular militias or evicted by the state police, have likewise endured terrible ordeals. From time to time, walls are invoked, promised, contested, challenged, struggled over. They can be protective, but the protection they grant is always selective to a significant degree. Not only does the fundamental ambivalence of walls seems intrinsic, but the spatial functioning cannot be reduced to a black-and-white picture – walls as either simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This collection invites to inquiry into the complexities of the social life of walls. Urban and urbanised spaces are here observed as veritable laboratories of wall-making, places where their consequences become most visible. In perspective, the essays collected here also invite to consider how urban walls today extend into media spaces, drawing a complex geography of separation, connection, control and resistance.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction. Andrea Mubi Brighenti & Mattias Kärrholm, The Life of Walls – In Urban, Spatial And Political Theory

Part I. The Politics of Urban Walls

Alison Young, On Walls in the Open City

Florine Ballif, Dismantling Belfast Peacelines. New physical arrangements in amidst conflict

Pete Chambers, Walling Through Seas. The Indian Ocean, Australian border security, and the political present

Claudio Minca & Alexandra Rijke, Walls, walling and the immunitarian imperative

Pedro Victor Brandão & Andrea Pavoni, Screening Brazil: Footnotes on a Wall

Part II. Cultures of Walls

Ella Chmielewska, Afterimages of Warsaw. Of Walls and Memories

Emma Nilsson, Wall Terrains. Architecture, body culture and parkour

Karin Grundström, Gating housing in Sweden: Walling in the privileged, walling out the public

Sabina Andron, The Right to the City Is the Right to the Surface: A Case for a Surface Commons

Jérôme Denis & David Pontille, The Multiple Walls of Graffiti Removal. Maintenance and Urban Assemblage in Paris

Lachlan MacDowall, Walls as Fleeting Surfaces. From Bricks to Pixels, Trains to Instagram

 

 

 

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