Joining Loughborough

September 15, 2016 — Leave a comment

I am excited to have joined Loughborough’s Geography Department as Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow as of last week – one of the five that have been recruited across the entire University. The fantastic post comes with fully-funded, nationality/residence-free PhD studentship – do consider applying if you want to join a great cohort of critical geographers in the East Midlands!

The last 2,5 years at Durham have been absolutely wonderful. I will of course still be working with Joe Painter, Sue Lewis, Paul Langley and Colin McFarlane on the PUrSI project – and looking forward to the projects to come!


via OpenDemocracy

Nice’s promenade follows on a long string of attacks against the dense and the banal: against the overlooked ordinary that comprises our daily existence.

Once again there will be an influx of notes of sorrow, by now customary calls for unity in face of the terror gripping our cities, our streets: the spaces of our public, convivial existence.

But there is already something not-quite-right about the prime sentiment that grips some of us this morning as we skim through the endless videos of Nice’s howling urban beach-front stampede. The feeling that the city’s screaming agony is on the verge of becoming as commonplace as the street lights and the wide avenues on which it unfolds: an inseparable, however unwelcome, by-product of urban life.

One commonplace feature replacing another: for all their diversity in tactics the recent string of attacks in France all locked on one very specific target, urban density.

Bataclan, Stade de France, the Nice Promenade: all spaces of public gathering, of the get-together that has made life in our cities stimulating and even enjoyable in face of and despite the adversity that plays out in the international political arena. Everyday spaces where we can come meet and shelter one another underneath the dark clouds looming over a Europe that is becoming more reactionary and inward by the day.

Back in November I reflected on November’s attacks in Paris fearing for a three-fold attack on the urban spirit across European soil: EU-wide introversion, the deployment of the army in urban terrain, and our own – largely voluntary – abstaining from the joy of the unexpected that comes with letting go of control, and opening up to the possibility of encounter. Continue Reading…

via versobooks

With contributions from Étienne Balibar, William Davies, Akwugo Emejulu, John R. Gillingham, Peter Hallward, Laleh Khalili, Stathis Kouvelakis, Sam Kriss, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Lara Pawson, Salvage Editors, Wail Qasim, Wolfgang Streeck, Antonis Vradis


The Brexit Crisis: A Verso Report

Verso blog

Pretty much exactly one year ago, me and a group of friends found ourselves in a remote village in the countryside of the Peloponnese, watching with awe and some admitted excitement as Alexis Tsipras was announcing a surprise referendum on something whose wording didn’t quite help one understand what it was about. Yet most of us took this as a veiled suggestion, a hint at questioning Greece’s place in the euro (and potentially the EU), and voted accordingly. This is where the similarities with Britain’s turbulent moment lie: the majority of the Greek population, just like the British one yesterday, did bite the bullet and voted against both what the status quo had paternally asked for, against what was perceived to be its own self-interest.

But this is also pretty much where the similarities end. The Brexit vote was led by nationalism and racism, as we saw: the fictitious “migrant influx” into the UK elevated to a major national calamity that has to be avoided by any cost. We chilled as we watched the Nazi-reminiscent propaganda and gasped at the frivolous way in which the dominant discourse sank into a vile anti-foreigner rant. In this sense there is, of course, nothing to immediately celebrate about yesterday’s vote. The most reactionary side has won. But what was the other side ever about? Why did the progressive voices of Britain―and much of Europe as a whole―largely uncritically align themselves with the likes of David Cameron, Martin Schulz and all those Heroes of the People? Continue Reading…

Via Monday Morning Meetings on Migration (4M)

May 16, 2016 – Antonis Vradis & Anna Papoutsi.

After delivering her verdict on Pope Francis’ move to rescue asylum seekers on Lesbos, Anja Karlsson Franck asked us to seek out a rejoinder from Antonis Vradis and Anna Papoutsi at the Transcapes project in Durham. This week, they seek to answer Anja’s question about whether we can help refugees without exploiting them. They suggest that while high-level diplomatic moves by the Pope and others should be regarded with caution, the grassroots efforts to establish meaningful solidarity with migrants and refugees might indeed change the way Europeans see themselves and others.

Listen to the podcast here.

red hanoi
hanoi beer
eat away
rain talk II
rain talk
rain glare