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Infrastreet in the Making: Diasporic Everyday Urbanism in Norra Grängersbergsgatan (NGBG), Malmö

This PhD project focuses on everyday spatio-temporal practices ‘from below’ derived from the subjectivity and spatial agency of immigrants. Such practices so far have been ‘off the map’; discursively as well as materially invisible in planning and design policies and practices. NGBG is concomitantly the stage for and subject to process and practices of negotiations of ‘everyday urbanism’.

Negotiations take place in various forms: bodily inhabitation, material object arrangement, emerging sign-scapes and a new architecture of transgression. Moreover, through the lens of ‘social infrastructure’, the power or limitation of such possibilities in the street is also negotiated and mediated. Such infrastructure holds marginalized people together and makes other imaginaries possible. I argue that through everyday resilience tactics migrants negotiate their right to the city and their unrecognized ‘urban citizenship’, encroaching on socio-political processes of integration and co-habitance.

By reflecting on challenges and struggles of doing fieldwork in the margins and the precarious ‘field’, I have applied ethnographic architecture and urban methods, in combination with observations, walk/talk along followed by in-depth interviews, as well as archive studies. The fieldwork is conducted during 2017-2020 in different rhythms and episodes in Sofielund area of Malmö with the main focus on Norra Grängersbergsgatan where the footprint of displacement is materialized, practiced and disciplined the most.

Method: architecture and urban ethnography

Theory: everyday urbanism/architecture; social infrastructure; translocality; the right to the city, right to difference; and urban citizenship

Objectives:

  • Exploring how migrants, produce new meanings between the home country they have left behind and the new country, in the broader socio-political and economic context of globalization and neoliberal tendencies.
  • Exploring how cities are constituted in migratory experiences of spatio-temporal and socio-spatial practices through everyday life.
  • What is the role of place and its politics in providing opportunities as well as obstacles in the making of new geographies?

Research Team

Laleh Foroughanfar, Doctoral Student at CMES and the Department of Architecture and Built Environment (Lund University)

laleh [dot] foroughanfar [at] abm [dot] lth [dot] se