Permeability and Protest in Lane 49: Entangling Materialities of Place with Housing Activism in Shanghai

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Abstract

Since China’s implementation of a neo-liberal housing regime, housing activism has boomed. Whilst activism is ultimately in place, as increasingly recognised within protest work, there is limited reflection upon how permeable material histories are entangled with the throwntogetherness of place as a site for protest. Employing ethnography over three months, this article follows the emergence, organisation and implementation of housing activism in Lane 49, a public housing community in downtown Shanghai. Utilising feminist geography and feminist political theorisations of material permeability this article contributes to Chinese geographies of protest, providing a local epistemology of housing activism which demonstrates the importance of drawing materiality into understandings of activist tactics. The article also contributes to radical geographies of protest by deconstructing the idea of public protest in a public place and thus offering opportunities to demonstrate how, through blurring public-private binaries, protest can emerge and survive in authoritative governance regimes.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAntipode
Early online date29 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sep 2020