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Comparative work on life at the extensions

Event information>


In person

As part of the Banister Fletcher Global Fellowship, join the Institute in Paris and delve into Professor AbdouMaliq Simone's research project, 'Urban Life at the Extensions'. Over 5 days of dialogue in Paris, this programme brings together scholars, activists and urbanists to draw from their respective domains and locations. 


Gare des Mines, Paris, France

About this event

The grounds for comparison are not only a matter of geography, but the ways in which different manifestations of extensionality intersect, and what dispositions ensue from such intersections. For extensions are:

 Spatial, corporeal, temporal and existential:

They are spatial in so far as sites, contexts and institutions overstep their boundaries and extend themselves out in the world. Dimensions are added on to houses, streets or neighbourhoods, but then take on a life of their own, often emerging out of multiple overlapping tenure regimes or regulatory frameworks.

Extensions are corporeal, in the sense of how particular kinds of bodies extend themselves into the earth to preclude exhaustive extractions, and how bodies may be renewed beyond discernible modalities of social reproduction.

Extensions are a temporal matter, when time is extended or suspended during crisis or transition, through slow and fast forms of policy and governance, through waiting it out and anticipating better futures - when the city is haunted by all that might have taken place or by spectral propositions that interrupt any linear line of development.

Extensions are existential, both the terms of recomposing the intersections of life and death, the way each is concretised, and the way the powers of life and death are extended into each other through technicities in even more brazen, expanded displays.

With these multifaceted considerations in mind, how do extensions becomes a conceptual vehicle to exceed the bifurcations of urban space, its residual anchorage in divisions between the material and immaterial, the built and social environments, official and popular economies. It is a means of constituting a different sense of things. 

As such the extension of the urban is not the recursivity of some essential logic but a process of continuous inventiveness beyond the terms of whatever passes for a normative epistemology of the urban - where the same orientations to accumulation, rent extraction, affordability, domestication, and predation might take place, might assume different forms, but at the same time, in its provisional unsettling and extending opens up an interstice of new possibilities, often only actualised as compensations, but nevertheless brought into play.  The Urban Extensions collective plus guest will discuss these issues in the week’s final session.


The Urban Extensions Collective:

As well as:

Dinner and fundraising party for the Coucou crew with the artists Heimat (live), Bernardino Femminielli (Live), Winter Family (live) and more to be announced, 18.00-00.00. More information on the Station-Gare des Mines’ event page.


About the Series

This event is part of the Urban Life at the Extensions Programme which draws together five thematic working strands in an intensive 5-day series of ‘dialogues’ convened in Paris, at the Institute and locations within travelling distance from central Paris, and led by scholars, activists and urbanists drawing from their respective domains and locations.

Cobble road leading to a tall building with construction site around
Photo credit: Marion Poussier, 2023