Our codirector Carmen Mendoza Arroyo will participate as a speaker at the XXVI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, which will take place next week in Barcelona from the 23-26 of May. Under the theme “Latin American Studies in a Globalized World”, the LASA 2018 congress will explore both how people in other regions study and perceive Latin America and how Latin American studies contributes to the understanding of comparable processes and issues around the globe.

Having already participated in LASA 2016, this year Carmen will present here research paper “Resilience to gentrification? The cases of Barcelona and Medellin”, coauthored by our program coordinator Raquel Colacios and faculty member Lorenzo Chelleri, founder of the Urban Resilience Research Network.

From the abstract:

In informal settlements in Latin America as well as neighborhoods with a need of social and physical betterments, unpredictable patterns of development emerge from communities’ self-organization, based on residents’ networks’ continuous adaptations to external and internal changes. These adaptive capacities can be related to the emerging concept of community resilience. Resilience in this context emphasizes system changes over time associated with community learning and the willingness to take responsibility and control of the development pathways. While the concept of community resilience is gaining prominence, it poses critical issues to be addressed, such as tensions between continuity and change, resistance and transformation, and inclusion and exclusion. Community resilience has to be related to a dynamic structure in which social and spatial boundaries can be created and changed because of evictions and socio-spatial conflicts.

Therefore, the concept of community resilience poses the issue of framing what a community is, who is part of it or excluded, and when. With this in mind, we analyse the concept of community resilience in relation to community gentrification through the cases of the urban betterment model of Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella, initially led by the community’s neighborhood associations, and Medellin’s Comunas, with high community involvement. We examine how the changes in the spatial conditions have generated, on the one hand, gentrification, and on the other, transitions in the kinds of resilience their original communities have faced. Hence, the concept of community resilience acquires a new dimension from the concept of positive adaptations, towards one of adapting to gentrification.

Other members of our faculty, including Clara Irazabal, Isabelle Anguelovski and Apen Ruiz will also be participating in the congress.

Watch the livestream of LASA 2018 or visit the website for more info.


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