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Mellon Forum | Inscribing Home in the City in Mexico and Colombia

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Inscribing Home in the City in Mexico and Colombia
Sebastian Ramirez (Anthropology) and Pablo Landa (Anthropology)

Thursday, December 3
12:00pm / School of Architecture, Betts Auditorium

The Mellon Forum for Research on the Urban Environment welcomes Sebastian Ramirez (Anthropology) and Pablo Landa (Anthropology) for a discussion titled, Inscribing Home in the City in Mexico and Colombia.

With growing populations and rapid urbanization, Colombia and Mexico's governments have fallen short of their goals to build sufficient housing. These two talks will explore housing shortages as moments of inflection in the formation of communities and the articulation of individual hopes.

In Soacha, Colombia, people imagine being housed as the main form of redress after the war. However, few--if any--obtain this benefit. The hope for housing, unrealized by constraints in state capacity, becomes a site for state interventions into the lives of former agricultural workers and slum dwellers. Ramirez's talk will consider limits and openings associated with these interventions.

In Mexico City, thousands have been expelled from central areas by gentrification and the construction of public works. State authorities, unable to house the displaced, have both ceded responsibilities to para-state institutions and collaborated with architects and planners to put self-building and self-management systems in place. Landa's talk will consider how these systems intersect with family and community histories.

Discussant: Joao Biehl (Anthropology)