How to re-desing the Latin American city?

PhD student Sara Escalante (SCARP) recently gave a remarkable talk about the needs of marginalized constituencies in the Latin American production of urban space. Her presentation, part of a larger collective project with Col·lectiu Punt 6, walked the audience through an urban audit commissioned by the city of Cali, Colombia. In explaining the specificities of place as an object always transversed by conflict, antagonistic interests and the hetero brilliantly analyzed by Michel Foucault, Sara produced a comprehensive reading of a city that poses every challenge for the planner; specially, for those who like Sara, are mindful of a multiplicity of microevents as experienced by groups -about whom designers usually give little thought: sexual minorities, sexual workers, slum dwellers, women, afro-colombians.

Sara’s voice in the context of a highly and thoroughly masculinized (and bureaucratized) profession such as Architecture and Urban Planning, was truly refreshing and stimulating in that it makes us uncomfortably aware of the dynamics of power (micro and otherwise) that still determine and oppress certain bodies in the urban space. In this sense, to approach a subject, a social problem, an issue from the methodological feminism exposed and espoused by Sara is to discover how the former can address not only explicit women’s concerns but those of the whole social fabric improving the city for all.

We look forward to hear about the city’s adoption of Sara and Col·lectiu’s recommendations.

Thank you all for attending.

And thank you Sara!

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