26 Oct 2020


Maren Larsen

Guest lecture / Talk


The third lecture for the CRITICAL URBANISMS: CURRENT DEBATES Lecture Series will be given by Michele Lancione, entitled "Dwelling in liminalities: The otherwise care of Bucharest underground".


The lecture explores the politics of life underground in Bucharest, Romania, and its capacity to invent a home within an infrastructure, and overall socio-technical conditions, which for the many are a matter of uninhabitability (Amin, 2014; Simone, 2016). The lecture focuses on a tunnel passing under Bucharest’s central train station, where a community of drug users and homeless people established its home for years. Relying on extensive ethnographic observations, visual work, and interviews undertaken within the premises of one of Bucharest’s underground canals, the paper traces and illustrates the socio-material entanglements characterizing life underground. This is an assemblage of bodies, veins, syringes, substances, and various relationships of power and affect, which speaks of drug addiction and extreme marginalization but also of a sense of belonging, reciprocal trustiness, and care (Lancione, 2019a). The goal of this work is to trace the emergence of the infrastructure of ‘home’ in the abnormal conditions of life in the tunnels of Gara de Nord and to highlight what that meant in terms of urban politics in Bucharest (Chelcea and Druţǎ, 2016) and beyond (Butler, 2011). The paper contributes to debates around homing practices at the margins of the urban (Veness, 1993; Vasudevan, 2015; Lancione, 2019b), and it promotes a deeper understanding of the peculiar politics emerging from the assemblage of life underground in Bucharest.

This will be held on Monday October 26, 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 maren.larsen@unibas.ch. (Students enrolled in the Critical Urbanisms: Current Debates course need not register)

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