Make The City • How do undocumented immigrant activists challenge the status quo ?

posté le 15/06/21
lieu : Sur le WEB
Mots-clés  antiracisme  histoire / archive  luttes sociales  répression / contrôle social  sans-papiers  solidarité  réflexion / analyse 

Stadsform x Antwerp Urban Studies Institute : Make The City

The city is not only ’thought out’ at the drawing board, but also ’made’ in various ways by an increasing number of different actors. In this series, ’thinkers’ and ’makers’ enter into dialogue with each other and the audience about central urban challenges. In this way, we discover new ways to rethink and remake the city.
🔧 #5 Make The City • How do undocumented immigrant activists challenge the status quo ?
🗓️ Thu 17 june, 8PM CET

🎟️ Free registration :

📺 Watch live and participate in dialogue on the Facebookpage of Stadsform !
The intensification of global migration and the roll-out of deportation regimes has created shadow populations that reach well into the millions across the world. These populations are de facto citizens in their cities of residence, yet they lack the de jure recognition needed to guarantee their right to stay.
Pushed into the urban margins, undocumented migrants have long been regarded as vulnerable, voiceless subjects who avoid public life and retreat into the shadows. However, in recent years, undocumented immigrants have mounted highly visible and contentious public campaigns in European and North American cities to contest their illegality, assert rights and express their belonging.
In the United States, undocumented immigrants have fought for the partial legalization of youth, putting an end to Trump’s mass deportation machine and create Sanctuary Cities. In Europe, activists have struggled to demand collective regularization, protest against the deadly consequences of Fortress Europe’s border policies and foreground Solidarity in the wake of the ‘migration crisis’.
Without a doubt, there are many important lessons to be learned from comparing how undocumented immigrant struggles play out across the world. To this end, we bring together both scholars and activists to share insights around the following questions : How can the political activism of undocumented immigrants - potentially - disrupt or challenge the status quo ? And how do conditions in cities support or hamper the emergence of radical, free and safe spaces where undocumented immigrants can become politicized ?
These questions are central to the Antipode Symposium edited by Thomas Swerts and Walter Nicholls that will serve as a the basis for our discussion.
→ Gaby Hernandez (US)
Gaby serves as the Executive Director for the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition. Gaby was born and lived in Mexico City until she was twelve years old and moved to Oceanside, CA where she grew up before moving to Long Beach five years ago. Her life experiences as an undocumented woman have fueled her passion and commitment for social justice and immigrant rights. She’s an abolitionist who believes in the importance of people power and grassroots organizing in order to make real systemic change. Gaby received her Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in International Studies from California State University, Long Beach.

→ Marlies Casier (BE)
Marlies is policy advisor at Sensoa and Visiting Professor at Ghent University. She is teaching international migration, migration policies and politics in the Master of Science in Conflict and Development at the Dep. of Conflict and Development Studies, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the Ghent University. Next to that, she is linked to the organisation Gent Zoner Grenzen / Ghent Without Borders ; a citizens’ movement for a humane and solidarity-based asylum and migration policy

→ Walter J. Nicholls (US)
Walter is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. His primary research interests are urban policy and planning, social movements, and immigration. He has published in Antipode, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Planning Theory, Social Problems, Theory and Society, Urban Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Urban Geography, among others. He is the author of The Immigrant Rights Movement (2019), Cities and Social Movements (with Justus Uitermark) (2016), and The DREAMers (2013).

→ Thomas Swerts (BE)
Thomas is an Assistant Professor in Urban Sociology at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He previously received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago. His mostly ethnographic research focuses on undocumented immigrant activism in Europe and the US, the migration-citizenship nexus and urban social movements. He has published in academic journals like Global Networks, Mobilization, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Antipode and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. He has also contributed to edited volumes on citizenship studies, immigrant rights mobilization, research ethics and relational poverty politics.

→ Stijn Oosterlynck (BE / Moderator)
Stijn is professor of Urban Sociology at the University of Antwerp, Department of Sociology. He is chairman of the Centre for Research on Environment and Social Change (CRESC, formerly OASeS) and the Urban Studies Institute Antwerp. His research focuses on local social innovation and the restructuring of the welfare state, the political sociology of urban development, urban regeneration and community building, new forms of solidarity in diversity and urban diversity policy.
Watch the livestream on the Facebookpage of Stadsform, with or without a Facebook account.

Previous events
🔧 #1 ’What does a city for and by women look like ?’ (EN)
📺 Rewatch :
🔧 #2 ’What is our actual right to the city ?’
📺 Rewatch :
🔧 #3 ‘Welke plaats krijgt zingeving in de stad van morgen ?’
📺 Rewatch :
• Urban Studies Institute Antwerp
The Urban Studies Institute is a platform and laboratory for the development of interdisciplinary research and education on cities, urban development and urban challenges. More info on
• Stadsform
Stadsform is a centre for dialogue about the city of tomorrow, based in Antwerp. More info on

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