In this timely interview with Ziad Abu-Rish, VOMENA's Shahram Aghamir asks about Lebanon's economic crisis, it's worst in decades. Part 1 features discussion on the roots of the economic crisis and its connection to developmental failures. Part 2 centers on the protest movement and the implications of the coronavirus.

Direct download: ziad_interview_part_1.mp3
Category:Politics -- posted at: 8:00am EST

From Hong Kong to Chile, from Lebanon to India, from Iraq to Colombia, from Algeria to Argentina, from Iran to France, from Sudan to Haiti, from Ecuador to Guinea and beyond, “Protest is the new normal,” as Serge Halimi recently wrote in Le Monde diplomatique. Yet, we're confronted with a paradox: we are also living through another global wave - the rise of right-wing, authoritarian-populist forces, movements, and strong men around the world: Orbán in Hungary, Modi in India, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Erdoğan in Turkey, Salvini in Italy, Duterte in the Philippines, Sisi in Egypt, and lest we omit ourselves: Trump in the United States.

How do we make sense of this apparent paradox? How should we understand these momentous global developments? Are the various protest movements around the world connected somehow? If so, what are their common features or through lines? At the same time, what are specific dynamics and characteristics that make each case distinct? One can't address all of the aforementioned countries in a single panel discussion, but on January 20, 2020 (Martin Luther King Jr., Day) the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University hosted a panel discussion that examined five of them - Lebanon, Hong Kong, Chile, India, and Iran.

Direct download: Global_Protests_Panel_2020.mp3
Category:Politics -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Please Note: The City of Vancouver, where this interview was conducted, is on the unceded territories of three First Nations: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh

This interview is about Istanbul’s Tarlabaşı neighborhood, where a decade-long urban transformation project continues to shape politics of the city, impacts the lives of residents, and reveals the political economy of Turkish construction businesses. Alize Arıcan tells us about her award-winning research on how delays shift power dynamics between builders and politicians, and how communities living around the construction site make use of these delays to remain in the neighborhood. She argues that delays should be understood not as failures of urban transformation, but as generating new forms of accumulation and dispossession, as well as resistance to these processes. As plans for residential luxury buildings and business complexes displace neighborhood residents including Kurdish and Roma communities, West African immigrants, Middle Eastern refugees, and trans sex workers, those who are still living in the neighborhood come up with strategies to remain resilient. We talk about a range of issues tied to urban transformation in Turkey’s cities, including: historical landmarking and property expropriation, displacement of marginalized communities who depend on informal economies, long-term relationships between companies and the government, the pervasive practice of subcontracting, and the effects of the current economic downturn.


From Home to Real Estate: Urban Redevelopment on the Axis of Speculation in Istanbul:

Ekümenopolis and Beyond (Podcast in Turkish with English translation of transcript):

Networks of Disposession:

It is About the Park: A Struggle For Turkey’s Cities:

Bio-Istanbul: A Speculative, Segregationist, and Sustainable Urbanism:,-Segregationist,-and-Sustainable-Urbanism

Meydan Politics: Taksim in Flux After Gezi:

Direct download: Alize_Arican_Interview.mp3
Category:Politics -- posted at: 5:02pm EST