The Making and Unmaking of an Urban Diaspora: the role of the physical environment and materialities in belongingness, displacement and mobilisation in Toxteth, Liverpool

ZANA VATHI, Kathy Burrell

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Abstract

Focusing on Toxteth – a distinct and ethnically diverse locality in Liverpool, UK - this paper explores the (un)making and re-making of diasporic space in different guises by urban diverse communities and the material aspects or fallouts of this for place and identity. Based on extensive ethnographic research, it shows how a series of localised developments - a history of external marginalisation, an urban trauma of rioting, a protracted experience of eviction, various programmes of regeneration, and localised responses to all these - are all inscribed in the physical, as well as cognitive, landscape of the area, both co-creating the boundaries of place, as well as periodically resisting them. The paper suggests that this focus on the physical - the material infrastructures of the area - is especially important in understanding how marginalised urban communities are affected by, and galvanise in response to, change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Early online date31 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • regeneration
  • physical environment
  • materialities
  • diaspora
  • diasporic space
  • place
  • Liverpool
  • Toxteth
  • Ethnic minorities
  • urban space
  • eviction
  • diasplacement

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