Antipode: Institute for the Geographies of Justice

Antipode’s 5th Institute for the Geographies of Justice

21st-27th June 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa

‘Occupying Radical Geography’

Antipode’s 5th Institute for the Geographies of Justice (IGJ) will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 21st to 27th June 2015.

The 2015 IGJ poses the question ‘how do we occupy radical geography today?’. We pose occupation’ as a meta-theme or framework for praxis as we organize engagements across a wide array of debates and concerns inside/outside radical geography. We pose the question to ask how we might occupy and transform radical geography as an occupation, vocation or critical stance.

As radical-geographic practitioners in various ways, the organizing group in Johannesburg will present a platform for transformations with participants, to enable and renew a set of debates pertinent to ‘occupying radical geography’. In doing so, we pose a number of related questions: How do we define radical/critical geographies? How should we be engaging other communities of activists in our research and teaching? How might we draw across disciplines to transgress disciplinarity in radical geography? How do we think across art, activism, and social science in radical and geographic praxis? How do we map or otherwise envision the futures of radical/critical geographies? Finally, how might thinking of these questions from Johannesburg, from South Africa, from the South, and from a set of globally interconnected experiments in radical geography (broadly conceived) shape the discipline we would rather occupy?

Antipode’s 5th IGJ will provide an exciting opportunity to engage critically with theoretical, methodological, and activist issues in the fields of radical geography and social justice, along with a range of associated professional, practical, and career-development matters. This international gathering will be specifically designed to meet the needs of new researchers, taking the form of an intensive, interactive workshop for approximately 25 participants.

We will meet in the City of Johannesburg, a city built on gold, labor, power, struggle, and a cosmopolitan energy that points to a variety of futures for the continent and the world. Johannesburg is a rich site of excavation of geographies of injustice as well as of intellectual, political, and artistic creativity. The 2015 IGJ will be framed around engagements that might include: dis/possession and occupation; difference/differentiation; desire, affect, materiality; value, values, waste; space, territoriality and nature; urban formations and spatial justice; knowledge, discourse and power, and the praxis of radical geography. It will include facilitated discussions, public panels and lectures, as well as space for participants to shape collective discussion, writing and collaborative exchanges, walks, art and music performances, and engagements with all aspects of our praxis as radical educators, activists, thinkers, and writers. The program will attempt to make space for engagements with musicians, artists, and activists in the city, as well as guided explorations of the City of Johannesburg and Soweto.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a five-page piece of writing (a short paper, a provocation or statement, an artistic work, or a work in progress) that engages in some way with ‘occupying radical geography’. These will be circulated to all participants before the Institute and will inform its schedule and structure, and can also be the basis of discussion, debate, reworking, or future collaborations.

In addition, we will invite participants who are accepted and who would like to connect with or engage activists or organizers to provide a short rationale for their interests in meeting particular groups or activists, what they offer and hope to gain from the engagement, etc. More detailed thoughts on this will be shared with successful applicants.

Please note that the IGJ 2015 is an experiment in departing from the structure of previous Institutes. There will be more public engagement for the ‘plenary’ contributions, as well as in the themes, discussions, sessions on geographical praxis or craft, breakaway sessions on teaching and writing, etc. and there will be space for work on writing or art, much of it generated with participants themselves and rooted in their political and theoretical commitments and interests. The organizers are committed to ensuring that participants have ample space to inform and transform the platform they provide for engagements with each other and with others in Johannesburg.

Featured ‘plenary’ contributors at the 2015 IGJ: Vinay Gidwani, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Edgar Pieterse, Ananya Roy, and Nik Theodore.

The organizers of the Johannesburg IGJ are Sharad Chari, Danai Mupotsa Prishani Naidoo, Melanie Samson, and Alex Wafer, with support from Nik Heynen, Wendy Larner, Nik Theodore, and Andy Kent at the Antipode Foundation.

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The 2015 Institute for the Geographies of Justice is open both to PhD students and to postdoctoral scholars and faculty (within five years of receiving their PhDs) with a wide variety of interests pertinent to ‘radical geography’. There will be consideration of diversity in all senses possible in determining the composition of the Institute.

The participation fee will be US$200 for PhD students and US$250 for faculty and postdoctoral researchers. This will include B&B lodging for the week and a collective dinner, but not daily food and transport.

Limited travel bursaries will be available for some thanks to the Antipode Foundation; these will be distributed as equitably as possible (see the application form for more details). Financial support for the 2015 IGJ is being provided by the Antipode Foundation.

Application forms are available online – antipodefoundation.org/institute-for-the-geographies-of-justice/apply – or from Andy Kent (antipode@live.co.uk). All those wishing to attend the IGJ must submit an application form by 31st January 2015.

For information about past Institutes (with the caveat that the 2015 IGJ has taken considerable licence to change focus and format from years past), see
antipodefoundation.org/institute-for-the-geographies-of-justice/past-institutes

Further information about Antipode’s 5th Institute for the Geographies of Justice can be obtained from Sharad Chari (sharad.chari@wits.ac.za) or Nik Heynen (nheynen@uga.edu).

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