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'New Post-Migrant Socialities: Rethinking Urban Leisure Publics in the Context of Diversity and Dominance', 24 - 26 January 2013, Goethe-University Frankfurt

The final conference of the project explored post-migrant socialites in urban contexts by bringing together scholars from different disciplinary perspectives. It aimed at contributing further to the discussions about theoretical approaches to sexuality, race, ethnicity and urban space.
While cities have for some time been hailed and studied as laboratories of human diversity and intercultural encounter in public urban space, the ways in which ethnic and racialized minorities participate in, subvert, negotiate and thus contribute to public urban settings have received surprisingly little attention. Even though encountering strangers, people unknown to one another, forms a central part of the (idealtypical) urban experience of public space, the contributions of ethnic and/or racialized minorities to urban space have hardly been addressed with regard to the formation and transformations of urban publics. The terminology of ghettos, ethnic or ‘mixed’ neighbourhoods, communities and enclaves prevails when it comes to describing their presence and participation in urban space. The ‘strangeness’ they represent is almost always considered in terms of social and cultural distance, as Simmel once defined it, and not in terms of stranger relationality as it pertains to urban publics. Yet, seeking deliberate encounters with strangers as unknown others in urban space is a central appeal of ‘going out’ leisure activities in cities. We challenge that this holds also and maybe even particularly true for those urban residents who form part of ethnic, racialized but also sexual minorities. How and under what conditions do they contribute to and participate in urban publics? This conference centred around addressing forms and conditions of deliberate stranger relationality among ethnic and racialized minorities in urban space, focusing on but also branching out from postmigrant and ethnic leisure contexts in urban Europe. We thereby sought to intervene in different (inter)disciplinary fields concerned with migration, racism and ethnic diversity, youth cultures, contemporary urban development and what Richard Sennett once termed the ‘Fall of Public Man’.




The conference programme can be downloaded as pdf.

The poster is available here.


Thursday, January 24

18.00 - 20.00

Keynote Speech

Les Back (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Moving Sounds, Controlled Borders: Asylum and the Cultural Politics of Music

Friday, January 25

10.00 - 12.00


Harpreet Cholia (Goethe University Frankfurt)
“Our Money is Just as Good as Theirs!”British Asian Clubbing. Staking new claims and (re-) shaping urban public spaces in London

Sabina Rossignoli (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Geographies of Caribbean Clubbers in Paris

Meltem Acartürk (Goethe University Frankfurt)
German Turkish Club Scenes in Berlin


13.30 - 16.30

Session 1:

Marginal publics: migration, diversity and contestations of public urban space

Chair: Kira Kosnick (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Making/Taking Space

Beatrice Akua Sakyiwah (York University)
Somali Women's Negotiated Access to City Space:
Redefining Migrants Women's Identity

Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam)
Mapping Musical Subjectivities: Performance, Publics and Urban Space in the Dutch Reggae and Dancehall Scene

Discussant: Les Back (Goldsmiths, University of London)

17.00 - 19.30

Session 2:

Nighttime economies, exclusivity and exclusion in the neoliberal city

Chair: Peter Lindner (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Anamik Saha (University of Leeds)
The Commodification of Asian Dance Music: from the Asian Underground to the Desi Scene

Ilse van Liempt (Utrecht University)
Surveillance and Social Exclusion in Nighttime Economies

Phil Hadfield (University of Leeds)
'Social and Cultural Fragmentation, Exclusion, and Elite Formation in the Night-time Economy: A View from the UK

Jan-Michael Kühn (Technische Universität Berlin)
Taking 'Underground' Seriously - The Scene Economy of the Berlin Techno Scene


Saturday, January 26

10.00 - 12.30

Session 3:

Popular music and post-migrant clubbing

Chair: Angela McRobbie (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Sanjay Sharma (Brunel University)
Das Racist - Diaspora Space and Online Networked Racism

Luis-Manuel Garcia (Freie Universität Berlin)
Embedded Diversity: Discrimination, Door Policies, and the Management of Difference at Berlin Nightclubs

Clara Jo & James Gregory Atkinson (Banjee Boi)
Banjee Boi: Performance, Hip-Hop & Linguistic Tactics


13.00 - 15.30

Parallel sessions:

Session 4:

Subcultures and urban transformation

Chair: Sabina Rossignoli (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Piero Vereni (Rome Tor Vergata and Trinity College Rome)
Self-defined "Multi-Ethnic" Squatters and the Construction of Neighborhood in Rome

Britta Lesniak (University of Göttingen)
Sound and the City: Drum'n'Bass in Mannheim

Anissa All (Ghent University)
The City as an Inspiration: Defining Urban Youth

Discussant: Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam)

16.00 - 18.00

Session 5:

Queer post-migrant/Black/of Color club cultures and urban space

Chair: Heidi Hoefinger (NDRI New York) and Vanessa Thompson (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Heidi Hoefinger (National Development and Research Institutes New York)
'It's All Ours': Space and Place in the British-Asian LGBT Club Scene in London

Ofer Nur (Tel Aviv University)
The Pinkwashing Debate. International Radical Queer Politics and LGBTQ life in Israel

Nicole Shephard (London School of Economics)
Towards the Queer Intersectional Study of Transnational Social Spaces: British South Asians in London

DJ Ritu (London) & Ipek Ipekcioglu (Berlin)
Pioneer Perspectives

Discussant: Angela McRobbie (Goldsmiths, University of London)


Club event at the Orange Peel Club
with DJ Ritu, DJ Ipek, DJ Janeck, Banjee Boi Performance Group