Course at the Institute of Latin American Studies on the 19th of May: Creative Spaces: Urban Culture and Marginality in Latin America
19th May 2016
Marginal urban spaces in Latin America have drawn considerable artistic, political and scholarly attention since the mid-twentieth century, when the unprecedented growth of cities led to the massive expansion of informal housing constructed on occupied land. While Latin American cities have always included marginal spaces (due, for example, to the segregation of indigenous groups), marginality in its contemporary manifestation is inherently linked to urban informality. Moreover, this spatial difference continues to be linked to issues of class, politics, and race, ensuring that marginal spaces remain inherently ‘other’. Two contending views of the urban margins can, however, be distinguished: one considers them as spaces of deprivation, violence and dangerous alterity; while the other considers them to be spaces of opportunity, creativity and popular empowerment.
While conscious of the problems and needs still faced by those living in conditions of marginality in Latin America, this conference will focus on the production of the ‘new’ within marginal spaces themselves, on creative interventions and solutions to the problems encountered in them, and on creative representations of their inhabitants.
The conference will create dialogue between academics working in fields such as cultural and urban studies, architecture, geography, sociology, and anthropology.