What does Black Lisbon look like? Urban Online Imagery and the Place of Race
Keywords:racialization, urban places, blackness, resistance, Black Lisbon
The aim of this paper is to explore the materiality of race as a process that emerges in specific urban places. Using the publicly accessible Google Maps and Google Street View imagery, I conduct a fine-grained analysis of the urban and architectural forms of some sites in Lisbon: a central public square, a few peripheral social housings and the informal urban gardens around them. Inscribed in the wider Black European framework, Black Lisbon is here intended as a provocation more than a label, and the concept of blackness is adopted as a visible tracker of micro-scale mechanisms of racialization as well as resistance to them. Considering the complex spatial dynamic that results and that encompasses different forms of omissions, displacements, replacements and place-makings, I argue that certain buildings, settings, bodies presence, urban spots and gardens arise as critical elements of the (still disregarded) compilation of European non-white architectures.
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