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Cities Lived:  Movements, Exchanges, Memories and Histories of the Present      

This sub-theme will explore the city not simply as triangulated space of local authority, urban planning and spatial design, but as a place where people make sense of what living in the city means to them. This process of giving meaning to the city as lived space relates to interactions and exchanges between urban citizens that are shaped by history, social structures and cultural practice. These interactions and exchanges take place between memory and history, as well as between private and public spaces. How we understand this process of giving meaning to city life is influenced by the interplay between what is forgotten and what is preserved in the archives, as well as what is hidden in the private domain or celebrated in public. This renders interactions and exchanges absent or present, as well as hidden or visible. They encompass the traces of comings and goings, movements and removals, location and mobility, departures from and arrivals in the city, and form striated spaces in memory, perception, and experience. These find their visualisation and expression in distinctive markings, choices and styles reaching towards a sphere of the common. They variously mark the meanings of the cityscape as home and the everyday acts that instantiate alienation. Taking account of these traces as lines of inclusion and extrusion, this subtheme provides a spectrum of possibilities for studying and crafting active citizenship. It engages the agencies, practices, and policies shaping the built environment and, with it, social interactions in the city, both historical and current. 

Among others, the research projects shaping this research theme will include a study of particular socialities around life choices and orientations, in relation to a differentially drawn normativity; a study of the dynamics of the diversity of language uses, and the respective challenges and possibilities; a study of public spaces; an exploration of urban agriculture and permaculture; an ethnographic study of urban subcultures and the gendered negotiation of mobility and of leisure spaces by young women, gays and lesbians within townships and across the township-city divide. 

Principal researchers

Dr Detlev Krige, Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, UP
Dr Karina Landman, Department of Town and Regional Planning, Faculty of Engineering, UP
Prof Lize Kriel, Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Humanities, UP
Dr Beth le Loux, Department of Information Science, Faculty of Engineering, UP
Dr Mary Lawhon, Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, UP
Prof Elaine Salo, Director Institute for Women and Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities, UP
Prof Stephan Muehr, Department of Modern European Language, Faculty of Humanities, UP
Mrs Nerhene Davis, Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, UP
Mr Jimmy Pieterse, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, UP 

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