‘Volviendo a Vivir’ (coming back to life): urban trauma, activism and building emancipatory futures

Marzi, S. and Pain, R. (2023) ‘Volviendo a Vivir’ (coming back to life): urban trauma, activism and building emancipatory futures. Urban Studies, (doi: 10.1177/00420980231213730) (Early Online Publication)

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This paper engages recent writing on urban trauma, exploring its connection with the gendered forms of activism that displaced women practise as they seek to rebuild more emancipatory urban futures. Their activisms are situated in the context of multiple, ongoing and intersecting forms of violence from intimates, armed groups and the state, including institutional neglect (in and of the city) that is racialised and gendered. We draw on participatory action research undertaken with women in the Colombian cities of Bogotá and Medellín. Using creative audio-visual methods over several months, women co-researchers produced a documentary in which they chart the ways that they claim spaces of the city inside and outside their homes. We draw particular attention here to the temporal dimension of urban trauma as it intersects with migrant women’s spatial biographies; this has consequences for their activisms which also transcend the sites and scales of public and private spheres, national and global crises and individual and community responses. We argue that it is the gradually accruing and multiplying character of violence and trauma which in turn necessitates the gradual and multiscalar development of these activisms. The women used ecological metaphors of rooting and growth to explain how, through these activisms and directly informed by past traumatic events, they ‘come back to life’. Together, they build solidarity networks and alliances, and imagine and practise alternative feminist urban futures and modes of recovery in their new urban homes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marzi, Dr Sonja
Authors: Marzi, S., and Pain, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Urban Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1360-063X
Published Online:15 December 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Urban Studies Journal Limited 2023
First Published:First published in Urban Studies 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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