The spatiality and temporality of urban violence

Histories, rhythms and ruptures

Mara Albrecht
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Alke Jenss
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This edited volume discusses the topic of urban violence from a new spatiotemporal perspective. It is built on the idea that spatial and temporal theoretical perspectives must be combined to truly understand the particular urban quality of violence in cities. By looking at the different ways in which the spatial and temporal configurations of cities produce and shape violence, it offers important insights into the dynamics of urban violence and how it affects everyday urban spatial practices and rhythms. In this book, violence itself is characterised as a spatiotemporal practice with destructive, transformative and generative potential. Some chapters focus on how violence reconfigures spatialities and temporalities in cities in the long term, changing the physical and social space as well the rhythms of a city. Others concentrate on memories and imaginations of violence that are imbued in the city-space, often in several temporal layers, and can lead to new violence by politicised practices of commemoration. The novel spatiotemporal perspective is applied by authors from different academic disciplines in nine case studies based on original material generated by ethnographic field research and the study of archival sources. The chapters cover cities in different world regions and historical phases, also offering translocal and transregional perspectives. With this approach, the book challenges assumed binaries of cities in the global north and south and contests the alleged difference between violence in the past and in the present.

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