Afra Dekie holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (University of Leiden) and an MA in Film Studies and Visual Culture (University of Antwerp). In Leiden, Afra also studied visual ethnography and her first ethnographic film, Art of Exile (2010, supervised by Drs. Postma), has been screened at various festivals and events. Currently, Afra works as an independent scholar to prepare her PhD project. Her research focuses on irregular migrants’ lived experiences of the everyday city, including urban exclusion, but also and particularly the ways urban exclusion is contested by irregular migrants through urban protest and spatial claims for urban belonging and citizenship.
Agata Lisiak is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the TRANFORmIG project based at Humboldt University’s Institute of Social Sciences, and Visiting Faculty at Bard College Berlin. Her scholarly interests include visual cultures, everyday urban cultures, and spatialities and visualities of migration. In her current research project, “Immigrant Mothers as Agents of Change”, she inquires into migrants’ everyday gendered, classed, and ethnicized practices and encounters with diversity. She has been a visiting academic at the National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, the University of Birmingham, and the Open University. In 2013-2014, she was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. She is the author of Urban Cultures in (Post)Colonial Central Europe (Purdue UP 2010), as well as articles and book chapters on, among other topics, media representations of the city, gender and migration, and gendered representations of revolution.
Andreea Racles is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) and associated at the department of Sociology and Cultural Studies within Justus Liebig University (Giessen). Her current research consists of an anthropological study among Ursari Roma in North-Eastern Romania, with a main focus on aspects of ethnicity, material culture, domestic and olfactory dimension of domestic and urban space. As speaker of the Research Area “Global Studies and Politics of Space” (GCSC), she co-organized the workshop “Sensorial Encounters and Visualizations and Space” (May 29-30, 2015) which had as a main guest professor Maggie O’Neill from Durham University.
Caroline Knowles is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work focuses on migration and the circulation of material objects – some of the social forces constituting globalization. She is particularly interested in cities, having done research in London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Fuzhou, Addis Ababa, Kuwait City and Seoul. Author of many books and papers, she specializes in visual, spatial and biographical methods, often working with photographers and artists, most recently with Michael Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), and Douglas Harper (Duquesne University, Pittsburg). She is co-author, with Douglas Harper of Hong Kong: Migrant Lives, Landscapes and Journeys, published (2009) by the University of Chicago Press. Her most recent book, Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation’s Backroads, was published by Pluto Press in 2014 in connection with a website that displays the flip-flop trail from an oil well to a garbage dump through the photography of artist Michael Tan.
Cynthia Browne is currently a PhD Candidate in the field of Social/Cultural Anthropology at Harvard University with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice (CMP). There, in addition to individual thesis tutorial advising, she has taught coursework in Popular Culture and Globalization, Women and the Body, and Silent Cinema and is a graduate affiliate of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab. She is currently completing her on-site fieldwork on the role of art and design in the urban transformation of Germany’s Ruhr Valley in the wake of its de-industrialization. Previously published articles address the role of participatory action research methods in Uganda, questions of spectatorship in contemporary artistic production (i.e. the “open work” (Eco)), and participatory art practices in the Ruhr. For further information, please visit http://cmp.gsas.harvard.edu/project/cynthia-browne/).
Dawn Mannay is a Lecturer in Social Science (Psychology) at Cardiff University. She previously held the posts of Associate Lecturer at the Open University and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Newport, as well as acted as a Trustee for the Women Making a Difference Program. Her research interests revolve around class, education, gender, geography, generation, national identity, violence and inequality; and she employs participatory, visual, creative and narrative methods in her work with communities. Dawn is currently the Principal Investigator on a Welsh Government funded project exploring the educational experiences and aspirations of looked-after children in Wales. She is also the co-convener of the British Sociological Association’s Visual Sociology Study Group, and she has facilitated a number of international workshops on the use of visual and creative methods. Dawn has recently edited a new collection for the University of Wales Press, Our changing land: revisiting gender, class and identity in contemporary Wales; and written a sole authored text for Routledge, Visual, narrative and creative research methods: application, reflection and ethics. Her publications also include scholarly reflections on participatory techniques of visual data production and the importance of the “waiting field” in ethnographic research.
Katalin Halász is currently working on a practice-led PhD in visual sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests include race and whiteness, affect and emotion, feminist and queer theories, and visual and artistic methods. As part of her ongoing artistic research on the affective performances of white femininities she has staged a number of participatory and multimedia performances (I Love Black Men, UK, 2011; Freeing Up Shame, Brazil, 2012; The Blush Machine, Bolivia, 2013; The Chamber of White, Denmark, 2014) and curated the exhibitions Visualising Affect (UK, 2013) and The Future of Art is Urban-Artistic Research Practices and Methods in Social Sciences (UK, 2014).
Kathrin Wildner is an urban anthropologist. She has done ethnographic fieldwork in New York City, Mexico City, Istanbul, Bogotá and new urban periferies. As an urban researcher, she teaches, publishes and participates in transdisciplinary projects and international exhibitions. She is a founding member of metroZones – Center for Urban Affairs and was the coordinator of arts and sciences within the interdisciplinary research and art project The Global Prayers Congress: Faith in the City (2010-2014). Between 2013-2015 she was Visiting Profesor at the Masters Program „Spatial Strategies “ (Raumstrategien) at the Art Academy Weißensee, Berlin. Since 2012, she has held the position of professor of Cultural Theory and Practice at HafenCity University, Hamburg.
Some of her recent publications include: Global Prayers. Contemporary Manifestations of the Religious in the City, Zürich 2014 (with J. Becker, K. Klingan, S. Lanz), Stadtforschung aus Lateinamerika. Neue urbane Szenarien: Öffentlichkeit – Territorialität – Imaginarios, Bielfeld 2013 (with A. Huffschmid), Transnationalism and Urbanism, New York 2012 (with S. Krätke and S. Lanz), Urban Prayers, Berlin 2011 (with metroZones), Public Istanbul – Spheres and Spaces of the Urban, Bielefeld 2008 (with F. Eckhardt).
Melissa Butcher is Reader in Social and Cultural Geography at Birkbeck College (University of London). Her research examines the intersections between globalization and contested urban space, youth and urban cultures, questions of identity and belonging, and the deployment of intercultural competencies to manage cultural change. Melissa is currently leading two research projects, Hackney as Home (ESRC), and Creating the ‘New’ Asian Woman (EU HERA), exploring respectively young people’s experience of urban change in London, and gender and public space in Delhi. Her recent publications include: New Perspectives in International Development (ed. with T. Papaioannou, Bloomsbury 2013); Managing Cultural Change: Reclaiming Synchronicity in a Mobile World (Ashgate 2011), and Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia’s Cities (ed. with S. Velayutham, Routledge 2009). Melissa presents and writes regularly on issues relating to gentrification, urban and youth cultures, globalization and cultural change.
Migrantas is an artist collective that uses pictograms to provide visibility to the thoughts and feelings of people who have left their own country and now live in a new one. Their work focuses on the issues of migration, identity and intercultural dialogue. The collective’s numerous projects incorporate tools from the visual arts, graphic design and social sciences. The members are united by their experience as migrant women to Germany. They develop workshops together with other migrant women, translate drawings into pictograms and distribute them throughout the urban landscape. Through Migrantas’ urban actions the pedestrians are provoked into thinking and, by doing so, to complete the work. Founded in the early 2000s by Marula Di Como (graphic artist) and Florencia Young (graphic designer), the group has since then been joined by Irma Leinauer (urban planner), Alejandra López (journalist) and Francesca La Vigna (MA Political Science). In 2011, Migrantas has been awarded with the “Hauptstadtpreis für Toleranz und Integration” (Capital City Award for Tolerance and Integration) by Initiative Hauptstadt Berlin e.V.
Miodrag Kuč is an interdisciplinary artist and urban theorist trained as architect / urban planner in various cultural settings. His work explores the role of ephemeral structures in uncertain urban conditions and spatial appropriations of marginal social groups. He is founder of the studio ParaArtFormations which moves at the intersection of urban studies, performative-planning, artistic interventions and micropolitics. Currently he is developing diverse cultural formats under the umbrella of ZK/U (Center for Art and Urbanistics, Berlin), exploring new ways of knowledge production through the lenses of critical urban pedagogy. His educational engagements also include praxis-oriented courses at the Laboratory of Critical Urbanism (Vilnius) and CANactions School of Urban Studies (Kiev), with particular focus on critical cartography, art in context and involvement of youth in urban planning processes. He has published numerous articles on urban planning.
The Anxious Prop
Oliver O’Brien is a Senior Research Associate and software developer in the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) at UCL’s Department of Geography, where he investigates and implements new ways to visualize spatial data, including mapping of open demographic and socioeconomic datasets, particularly of London. Previous work has included analyzing educational geodemographics, UK census data and London travel flows, creating a number of popular visualizations such as DataShine, CityDashboard, the Bike Share Map and the London Tube Stats Map. He has written on interactive mapping for large, demographic data sets and bike-sharing systems. Formerly a financial software programer, he studied for an MSc in GIS at City University London, and joined UCL in 2008, working at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and in Geography. In his leisure time he contributes to the OpenStreetMap project, which aims to create a free Wikipedia-style map of the whole world, as well as competes in and organizes urban orienteering races. He blogs at oobrien.com and co-edits mappinglondon.co.uk.
The British artists Sophia New and Daniel Belasco Rogers have been based in Berlin since 2001 and working together under the name plan b since 2002. Their work crosses the boundaries between visual art, new media, performance, installation and socially engaged practice. It has been shown in festivals, exhibitions, theaters and on the streets of many different cities. They consider their work to be site specific and relationship specific. Alongside participatory and performative projects, they also have developed strategies to share their practice in educational contexts, through a number of different courses in Germany and abroad.
Website Performances Vimeo
Siarhei Liubimau is a Lecturer at the Media Department and co-founder of the Laboratory of Critical Urbanism at the European Humanities University in Vilnius. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw (2010). His dissertation was focused on relations between state border regimes, space uses and meaning-making in the areas adjacent to Polish borders after the EU enlargement in 2004. He was developing his angle on these issues as a Bauhaus Kolleg participant in Dessau, as a Visiting Research Fellow at the CEU in Budapest, and as a Paul Celan Fellow at the IWM in Vienna. His recent publications are ‘Urbanizing Sovereignty. State Borders and Space Uses’, ‘Popular Urbanism and the Issue of Egalitarianism’. Currently he is co-curating a lecture series ‘Powers of Excursions’ for the Vilnius based Architecture Fund.
Stijn Deklerck finished law studies in Belgium, and studied Chinese language and Chinese law at Beijing Language and Culture University, Sun Yat-Sen University and Peking University. He obtained his PhD at the University of Leuven (Department of Sinology) in 2015 with the thesis “Queer Comrades – A Visual Ethnographic Study of Activism in China’s Contemporary LGBT Movement”. He currently teaches several classes on Chinese law and politics at the universities of Leuven and Liège (Belgium), and continues to expand his visual activist research activities on human rights and social justice issues in China and beyond. Throughout his research activities, Stijn increasingly engaged himself as an activist and a producer of socially engaging films.