Creative Spaces

Urban Culture and Marginality in Latin America
Edited by Niall Geraghty and Adriana Laura Massidda
10 May 2019
229 × 152 mm
280 pp
Paperback: 978-1-908857-48-4
PDF: 978-1-908857-69-9

Creative Spaces: Urban Culture and Marginality is an interdisciplinary exploration of the different ways in which marginal urban spaces have become privileged locations for creativity in Latin America. The essays within the collection reassess dominant theoretical notions of ‘marginality’ in the region and argue that, in contemporary society, it invariably allows for (if not leads to) the production of the new.

While Latin American cities have, since their foundation, always included marginal spaces (due, for example, to the segregation of indigenous groups), the massive expansion of informal housing constructed on occupied land in the second half of the twentieth century have brought them into the collective imaginary like never before. Originally viewed as spaces of deprivation, violence, and dangerous alterity, the urban margins were later romanticized as spaces of opportunity and popular empowerment. Instead, this volume analyses the production of new art forms, political organizations and subjectivities emerging from the urban margins in Latin America, neither condemning nor idealizing the effects they produce.

To account for the complex nature of contemporary urban marginality, the volume draws on research from a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from cultural and urban studies to architecture and sociology. Thus the collection analyzes how these different conceptions of marginal spaces work together and contribute to the imagined and material reality of the wider city.

Table of contents: 
I. Where are the margins?
1. The politics of the in-between: the negotiation of urban space in Juan Rulfo’s photographs of Mexico City
Lucy O’Sullivan

2. The interstitial spaces of urban sprawl: unpacking the marginal suburban geography of Santiago de Chile
Cristian Silva

3. Cynicism and the denial of marginality in contemporary Chile: Mitómana (José Luis Sepúlveda and Carolina Adriazola, 2009)
Paul Merchant

II. The struggle for the streets
4. Community action, the informal city and popular politics in Cartagena (Colombia) during the National Front,1958–1974
Orlando Deavila Pertuz

5. On ‘real revolution’ and ‘killing the lion’: challenges for creative marginality in Brazilian labour struggles 
Lucy McMahon

6. Urban policies, innovation and inclusion: Comuna 8 of the city of Buenos Aires
Anabella Roitman

III. Marginal art as spatial praxis
7. Exhibitions in a ‘divided’ city: socio-spatial inequality and the display of contemporary art in Rio de Janeiro
Simone Kalkman

8. The spatiality of desire in MartKín Oesterheld’s La multitud (2012) and Luis Ortega’s Dromómanos (2012)
Niall H.D. Geraghty and Adriana Laura Massidda

9. Afterword
Creative spaces: uninhabiting the urban
Geoffrey Kantaris