This summer the 8th edition of Antwerp Summer University takes place at University of Antwerp. During the summer months, students, researchers and professionals gather to take intensive, short-term courses within the areas of excellence of the University of Antwerp and its partners. The summer schools CityLAB VI: City Aesthetics and Citizenship and Europe: Diversity and Migration have the pleasure of jointly welcoming Prof Saskia Sassen (Columbia University) at our university on Wednesday 4 July 2018.
When We All Become Urban Subjects
Cultural City Imprints of the Powerless
“We are here!”
“This is also our city.”
To a large extent, it is in cities that the powerless have left their imprint—cultural, economic, social—even if mostly in their neighborhoods. Eventually, each one of these imprints can spread to a vaster urban zone as “ethnic” food, music, therapies, and more. None of this can happen in an office complex, no matter its density: these are privately controlled spaces where low-wage workers can work but not make. Nor can they do so in our
increasingly militarized plantations
and mines—which in the past were
spaces where workers were able to
organize and set up unions that enabled them to make claims and to succeed. In this process, workers could gain that complexity in their powerlessness by the sheer concentration of their numbers. Today it is in cities, our large, messy, and somewhat anarchic cities, where that possibility of gaining complexity in one’s powerlessness and leaving a historic trace can happen.
Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair of The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Author of The Global City and Cities in a World Economy.
Sassen in The Guardian (19 March 2018): "China's radical plan to limit the populations of Beijing and Shanghai"