Mara Albrecht
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Alke Jenss
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Sites of violence, entangled in space and time
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Cities have been more than simply ‘places’ of conflict. The intrinsic connection between space, time and violence in cities is the main theme of this volume. This introduction develops the notion of space-time, which, we argue, helps us analyse violence in ways that make prominent the intertwinement of spatial and temporal aspects in the urban context. (Re-)shaping or even fundamentally transforming space, violence can produce urban segregations or create frontiers, but it can also trigger accelerations of movement and simultaneously slow down daily rhythms of life, causing immobility or containment. The spatial configuration of a city and its rhythms also produce and shape violence in distinct ways. A spatiotemporal perspective makes visible the translocal networks and global dynamics that may link urban violence to a faraway ‘elsewhere’, and the temporal connections that foreground both the (disrupted) rhythms of everyday practices, and the longer-term processes violence is embedded in (i.e. in memories of violence). Discussing and revising literatures from different academic disciplines on space, time, violence and the city, the introduction argues for a processual understanding of the urban, rather than seeing ‘the city’ simply as the backdrop to or environment of violent practices or an imaginary of contemporary ‘violent cities’.

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The spatiality and temporality of urban violence

Histories, rhythms and ruptures

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