Global imaginaries of urban dispossession

Authored by: Uli Linke

The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138058880
eBook ISBN: 9781315163956
Adobe ISBN:


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In pursuit of a critical geography of globality, this chapter examines how racial hegemonies are sustained and perpetuated by the ways in which urban spaces inhabited by peoples on the margins of the world economy are imagined, represented, and brought to public visibility. Central to my inquiry is how iconic representations of “slum” worlds are harnessed for a white consumer public. Propelled by fantasies of racial essence, primal bodies, and exotic naturalism, the iconicities of “shantytowns” and the “black ghetto” are circulated as popular commodity forms throughout Europe’s metropolitan centers. In analyzing this process, I uncover competing representational codes or iconic logics that govern how sites of urban dispossession are racially mapped and consumed.

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