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Youth on the Move: Performing Urban Space in the Global South

an interdisciplinary dialogue on Urban Africa and Asia

A Virtual Lecture Series

from October 2023 - January 2024

‘Youth on the Move: Performing Urban Space in the Global South’ observes emerging socio-spatial practices of youth in African and Asian contexts, and examines their modes of moving and meaning-making through an embodied politics of performance. While ‘youth’ indexes a range of people across spectrums of class, gender, caste, including from (im)migrants, labour, women, early career researchers or students; practices of movement are oriented towards livelihoods, home making, political action or trans-local migration or even artistic expression. How, why, and what are the multiple meanings of youth performing in Southern urban space? How do these different or shared practices of (im)mobility on the move inter-relate with or cross-refer each other? The project gathers urban scholars, architects, artists, curators and local youth groups from Asia and Africa for a collective contemplation through in-depth dialogues on unpeeling the multi-layered, mobile ‘Southern urbanity’.


The two-part virtual lecture series brings a range of urban and cultural practitioners to discuss and lay the theoretical base for the project. These are:



The Time and Space of Youth: Situating Youth in Southern Cities 


This series examines the multi-layered conceptions of youth in a Southern context, and argues for alternative frameworks of understanding youth beyond terms like ‘boredom’ and ‘precarity’. We invite scholars of urban studies, anthropology, sociology and culture studies to share their research and reflect on how these approaches enrich the understanding of youth living in the South. 



Life on the Move: (Im)mobility and Daily Practices of the Youth 


This series approaches the translocal movements of youth from the perspective of everyday life. We invite scholars whose research projects examine the life of ordinary people, for instance, street vendors, matatu (mini-bus) drivers, women, and translocal migrant workers to map the different trajectories of moving within and between the Southern cities. 


Register with the Asia-Africa network mailing list for regular updates on the upcoming lectures. All the sessions are free and open to the public.

Join 'Youth on the Move' Mailing List to receive regular updates about our programme.

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19 / 10 / 2023 Lecture 01

Screening of the documentary “Eat-Bitter” and post-screening discussion with 
Ningyi Sun (Director of the documentary),
Eileen Julien (Indiana University Bloomington)
Dawei Ding (Beijing International Short Film Festival)

Online participants can view the film online after registering and subsequently join the discussion via Zoom Link below at 8:00 pm (Beijing Time)

25 / 10 / 2023 Lecture 02

Adeline Masquelier (Tulane University)
Waiting for Thieves: Youth, Tea, and the Labor of Sitting in Niger

0930 Germany / 0930 Lagos / 1400 India / 1630 Beijing

7 / 11 / 2023 Lecture 03
Biao Xiang (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
The Personal Self and Worldviews: Chinese Youths’ Changing Perceptions about the World

0930 Germany / 0930 Lagos / 1400 India / 1630 Beijing

16 / 11 / 2023 Lecture 04
Gautam Bhan (Indian Institute for Human Settlements) 
Notes Theorising Inequality in/from Place

0700 Washington DC / 1300 Lagos / 1730 India  / 2000 Beijing

23 / 11 / 2023  Lecture 05
Nomusa Makhubu (University of Cape Town)
Sizophum' Elokishini - Traversing the Anticity

1030 South Africa / 0930 Lagos / 1400 Mumbai / 1630 Beijing

30 / 11 / 2023 Lecture 06
Laure Assaf (NYU Abu Dhabi)
Becoming subjects in and through the city: The Arab youth of Abu Dhabi

1500 Abu Dhabi / 1200 Lagos / 1630 India / 1900 Beijing

07 / 12 / 2023  Lecture 07
Ka-Kin Cheuk (University of Southampton)
Diasporic Valuations of being ‘Young’ among the Indian traders in southeast China

1100 Southampton UK / 1200 Lagos / 1630 India  / 1900 Beijing

08 / 12 / 2023 Lecture 08  RESCHEDULED
Shilpa Phadke (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) 

1700 India / 1230 Lagos / 1930 Beijing

11/ 01 / 2024 Lecture 09
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen (University of Bergen)
Urbanism from above and below: Youth, politics and enclaving in Maputo

0930 Norway / 0930 Lagos / 1400 India / 1630 Beijing

25 / 01 / 2024 Lecture 10
Tatiana Thieme (UCL Geography)
Multisituated and Multimeaning: Dancing with the Opacity and Unknowability of Hustling, Jugaad, la Debrouille and la Brega

1100 UK / 0930 Lagos / 1630 India / 1900 Beijing

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Session Abstracts (use arrow keys to slide)

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