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Extensions within and beyond home

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Institute in Paris

As part of the Banister Fletcher Global Fellowship, join the Institute in Paris and delve into Professor AbdouMaliq Simone's 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. 

About this event

The 'house' and its mattering is taken as intersection. With its walls and its infrastructure of provisions; with its cements and its architectural and engineering calculations; with its caresses, the bags with groceries, runaways and hidings; with its being a nodal point in networks where resources are rendered marketable after their ecological extraction, and, in doing so, they are turned to function as channels for further user-extraction and value-generation; with its mirrors made of sand; its crackers and pillows, its modes of reproduction, metabolic functions an distribution of emotional and material labor, gendered economies. The 'house' and the 'homing' taking place through it are here taken not as the expression of these intricate ongoing assemblages, but as the ongoing itself, as the constant permutation, the ritornello, with the maintenance, repair and shifts needed to keep it going. 

In such a view, the notion of how to acquire knowledge on the functioning of this machine of machines becomes a matter of epistemic stances: it is, first of all, a problem of epistemology and then of methodology. It is a problem of how the question is asked more than the kind of question one asks. Because again, one can enquire about electricity as the finite point where offer and demand meets, or about electricity as a strata where human-nature relationships comes to be defined as collective subjects, or arrangements, within the rule-book of contemporary capitalism and its geopolitical needs. One can enquire about household violence as the effect of intimate deranged geometries of behaviours, or it can be read as the access point to long-term cultural formations - the ways in which the triad sex, gender, sexuality is made to work within the house to serve a wider economy of societal needs. The house can be asked - as an epistemic question - as form or as processes. The question of the house, to say it otherwise, can be posed as a problem in need of a fix - or as one of inhabitation. 

We will provide a reflection in two acts. The first will focus on the underlying grammars of violence underpinning contemporary ideas and praxis of home, with cases taken from Palestine (Kotef) and Italy (Lancione). In the second act we will focus on a number of specific cases unpacking the inherent relational spaces of the ontology of being at 'home', including intersections with race (Rosa), notion of uninhabitability (Trossat), urbanity and memory (Osborne), questions of habitability and sex work (Morpurgo), the aftermath of displacement (Cacciotti) and the politics of demolition (Shankland).



Home as violence 

Home as intersection 

Followed by welcome drinks at the University of London Institute in Paris

About the Series

In the context of the University of London Institute in Paris's Banister Fletcher Global Fellowship, this event is part of Professor AbdouMaliq Simone's research project entitled 'Urban Life at the Extensions', a 5-day series of dialogue in Paris. Centred around five working themes, this programme brings together scholars, activists and urbanists to draw from their respective domains and locations.

Construction site with several plant boxes around
Photo credit: Marion Poussier, 2023