Interrogating Urban Crisis Representation and Response in ‘Disorderly’ Southern Cities

Drawing on multilingual comparative storytelling, this project explores local experiences of crisis representation and response in ‘disorderly’ cities in the Global South.
Project status

What is the relationship between representations of crisis and crisis response in ‘disorderly’ urban contexts?

We are apparently living in an era of global crisis. Urban dwellers are unevenly impacted by financial, climate, health and political disruption, yet top-down responses are often flawed, lacking contextual sensitivity. Crisis response as ‘urgent and corrective action’ may compound exclusionary or repressive interventions (e.g. curfews, militarisation), particularly affecting low-income populations in ‘disorderly’ urban areas with predominantly informal housing, services and economies. Yet crises are socially constructed, as power relations determine how crises are framed, and whose framings dominate.

The link between how crises are represented and ensuing responses therefore requires critical problematisation. This research explores local experiences of crisis representation and response in ‘disorderly’ Southern cities via a multilingual comparative storytelling methodology, interrogating the relationship between crisis framings and responses, alongside the notion of crisis itself, to support improving outcomes.

Principal Investigator: Dr Melanie Lombard, University of Sheffield

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