Gray Space and Creeping Urban Apartheid

By 2030, 2 billion people will live in unrecognized conditions or “gray spaces.” This proliferation of slums and informal settlements are part of a growing trend across the world, but particularly in the Global South in cities like Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta, and even Israel-Palestine. Oren Yiftachel is a Geography and Urban Studies professor at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. His lecture at the Hagop Kevorkian Center at NYU on February 16th entitled “Gray Space and Creeping Urban Apartheid: Learning from Israel-Palestine” offers an intimate look at the premise of his new book, which analyzes the neocolonialism of modern unrecognized settlements in Israel-Palestine as well as how they mirror larger trends of displacement across the globe. Yiftachel’s call for a more flexible definition of citizenship is put into practice by Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, an Israeli architect who designs urban plans for the two-state solution. Her work provides an urban planner’s take on what these changes can look like. Continue reading “Gray Space and Creeping Urban Apartheid”


Interview with Fees Must Fall, a student-led movement in South Africa

South Africa’s student-led Fees Must Fall movement has begun the New Year with a reinvigorated push for economic and racial equality. At the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, activists occupied the Solomon House during the early January registration period. They are protesting in order to force the university to fulfill their unmet demands from 2015 which includes the elimination of the practice of requiring all fees at the time of registration. The Student Representative Council (SRC) and Fees Must Fall achieved a zero percent fee increase last year, however, FMF continues to fight for further objectives. Activists were forcibly removed from the Solomon House on the morning of January 12th by a third party security team and tensions have continued to rise with ensuing altercations. The university has become a more militarized zone as police and protesters clash on campus. A court order has been issued by the university against some FMF activists and they are expected to make appearances on February 1st. UDL Blog Editor Kai Bauer spoke to Thato Magano from the FMF media team about the movement’s demands, struggles, and future goals:

Continue reading “Interview with Fees Must Fall, a student-led movement in South Africa”