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Friday, January 7, 2011

Subtopia: The City in the Crosshairs: A Conversation with Human Geographer Stephen Graham (Pt. 1)


"The investigations of geographer and writer Stephen Graham show us a city not only caught in the crosshairs of a perpetual war between international military coalitions and their swarming counterparts, but a city that’s been reframed, re-imaged, as a strategic site in a larger geo-economic scheme for engineering the urban machinations of control that are necessary to secure the triumph of neoliberal capitalism across the globe.
Absolutely critical research, as far as I am concerned.
Back in April, just a few months after Subtopia launched and began to pick up steam, Steve and I quickly made contact at which time he told me he was working on a new book titled Cities Under Siege: the “new” military urbanism.
Needless to say, I was sold on the title alone, but as a prelude, I read a brilliant book he edited a couple of years ago – Cities, War, and Terrorism – and was blown away by its framework for observing modern conflict in the context of urbanization, and how frictions in global politics are turning cities into stages for warfare and geopolitical struggle – towards an urban geopolitics as he aptly subtitled the book. It’s a seminal read for anyone interested in conflict as a kind of spatial system.
Of a handful of people we might consider to be the true thinkers around a military urbanism Steve is certainly one of the most important. With a dual background in urban technology and city planning his range of research is diverse and daring, utterly contemporary, and he has a fierce list of publications deconstructing the hyper-landscape of this subject – a great inspiration for our endeavors here, to be sure.
So, continuing my conversation with bad-ass geographers and picking up perhaps where Neil Smith and I left off, Steve and I shared this exchange over the last few weeks. This is the first of two parts that explores a spectrum of militarization and the nature of urban space as a product of war and political violence. He also traces for us some of the evolution of this “new” military urbanism that he's developing further in his book Cities Under Siege due out sometime next year.
I have to say I am really psyched about this and want to thank Steve again for having taken such time and for all his continued support of Subtopia...."

read the long full post & Part 2 on

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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