Outstanding Discussion on The Overlooked Cities: Power, Politics, and Knowledge Beyond the Urban South
In recent years, urban debates and interventions have increasingly focused on power dynamics within urban theory and practical implementation. These contributions encompass theories and viewpoints emerging from the Global South, post-colonialism, decolonization, rogue urbanism, subaltern urbanism, ordinary cities, secondary cities, small cities, and post-abyssal thinking, among others. Within these ongoing discussions, the concept of "overlooked cities" has emerged to recognize and engage with critical dialogues, shedding light on the existence of cities that remain unnoticed, even within these established frameworks.
A recently published collection of essays, titled "Overlooked Cities: Power, Politics, and Knowledge beyond the Urban South," contends that "to overlook" goes beyond mere ignorance. Overlooking involves a process replete with presuppositions, biases, prioritizations, and expectations.
In this context, RDI was delighted to host a Book Dialogue: Authors Meet Readers event on March 17, 2022. This event served as a convergence point for the book's authors, namely Dr. Erwin Nugraha, Dr. Hanna A Ruszczyk, Dr. Isolde de Villiers, and Dr. Julia Wesely. It also provided readers with an opportunity to reexamine and refocus their attention on the urban majority of overlooked cities while reimagining our collective urban futures.
The event was skillfully moderated by Dhimas Bayu Anindito, S.T., M.Sc. from Universitas Gadjah Mada. It featured three readers, including Prof. Dr. Delik Hudalah, S.T, M.T, M.Sc. from Institut Teknologi Bandung, Elisa Sutanudjaja, M.Arch. from Rujak Center for Urban Studies, and Dr. Saut Sagala from RDI. Each reader shared their perspectives and reflections on the book, drawing from their expertise and research, and explored how the book resonated with their experiences. This was followed by responses from each author and an engaging Q&A session with the audience.
In sum, the event provided an invaluable platform for dialogue between the authors and readers, fostering discussions on applying knowledge beyond the urban south in practical contexts. The conversation on this topic is expected to continue and be further explored in the future. We eagerly anticipate similar events to come.
Written by Martha Verena