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"Engaging Pluriversal Futures": Lecture by Giulia Torino


The sixth and final lecture for the CRITICAL URBANISMS: CURRENT DEBATES Lecture Series will be given by Giulia Torino, entitled "Engaging pluriversal futures: The politics of emplacement and relationality at Bogotá’s borderlands".

While in Latin America the borders that mark the urban space have long been racial apparatuses of control, inequality, and necropower, they have also been devices of tactical operability that recall decolonial politics of making place, such as that of the Maroons’ palenques. In locating these considerations within the “urban”, the lecture explores the politics of emplacement operated by Afro-Colombian dwellers in contemporary Bogotá. Drawing on two years of longitudinal fieldwork across the city’s border geographies (Mignolo 2000), I examine complex entanglements of collective life at the conjuncture of racial-colonial and spatial formations, internal displacement, neoliberal governance, and the urbanization of ethnicity. Inspired by Katherine McKittrick’s (2011) proposal to re-imagine “how we are intimately tied to broader conceptions of human and planetary life [that] demonstrate our common and difficult histories of encounter”, I resort to a storytelling format fuelled by short- and long-term ethnographic encounters with Afro-Colombian youth groups, activists, informal street vendors, graffiti artists, social organisations, barbers, cooks, housemaids, and other dwellers who inhabit, for the greatest majority, Bogotá’s epistemic, spatial, and socio-economic borders. In doing so, I would like to show how the operationalisation of Afro-Colombian spatial praxis from the interstices of the white-mestizo city suggests the emergence of new forms of relational urbanism that foreshadow pluriversal (Escobar 2008, 2018) futures for the Latin American city, overcoming its mestizo normativity.

This will be held on Monday December 7, 18:00.

Please note that this will be a virtual lecture via Zoom. Please register for the event/Zoom link by sending an email to (Students enrolled in the Critical Urbanisms: Current Debates course need not register)