Visualising the fight for home and security: Revealing injustice and making change

Visual methods offer vital resources for scholars, residents, activists and artists to fight for secure homes, and reveal the underlying causes and contexts. The current phase of urban restructuring and mass migration means that displacement, dislocation and dispossession are increasingly experienced by a widening range of people across the Global North and Global South. This includes new migrants searching for home and belonging, settled populations whose housing security is threatened by recent legislation, and upcoming generations increasingly reliant on insecure short-term housing. A neoliberal political-corporate agenda committed to the financialisation of housing and the extraction of land value is driving policy, legislation and welfare “reforms”, producing unsettled populations, within and across borders. As state policies shift from protecting the right to home towards profiting from investment in housing, vulnerable, lower-income and even middle-income groups are increasingly consigned to complex and ongoing experiences of mobility, instability and spatial churn. This in turn impacts on the stability of communities, neighbourhoods and solidarities, as well as on life chances, life choices, health and wellbeing. Visual methods enable granular attention to the texture of these different experiences.

 This session will show visual and audio-visual work that seeks to understand, reveal and contest the multiple instabilities associated with the search for a secure home and sense of belonging. We welcome contributions in the mediums of film, photography, digital story-telling, critical cartography, art and documentary that visualize such spatial injustice. Each presentation will present visual work combined with a traditional paper presentation.

Dr. Debbie Humphry, University of East London

Dr Ben Gidley, Birkbeck University of London