Sutapa Chattopadhyay

Migrations, Squatting and Radical Autonomy: Personal reflections as a South Asian migrant scholar in Europe

Friday 12 February
3 to 5 pm

in Sidney Smith Hall, Room 2125 (2nd Floor)
100 St. George Street

Abstract of ‘Migrations, Squatting and Radical Autonomy’ (in press) with Routledge: Space, Place, Politics Series

Migrations, Squatting and Radical Autonomy offers a unique contribution, exploring how the intersections among migrants and radical squatter’s movements have evolved over past decades. The main argument of the book is to explicitly represent migrants outside the usual victimization, to challenge the assimilationist descriptions and to describe the complexity and importance of squatting practices. The complexity and importance of squatting practices are analyzed from a bottom-up perspective, to demonstrate how the spaces of squatting can be transformed by migrants. With contributions from scholars, scholar-activists, and activists, this book provides unique insights into how squatting has offered an alternative to dominant anti-immigrant policies, and the implications of squatting on the social acceptance of migrants. The book illustrates the different mechanisms of protest followed in solidarity by migrant squatters and Social Center activists, when discrimination comes from above or below, and explores how can different spatialities be conceived and realized by radical practices.

Contributions adopt a variety of perspectives, from critical human geography, social movement studies, political sociology, urban anthropology, autonomous Marxism, feminism, open localism, anarchism and post-structuralism, to analyze and contextualize migrants and squatters’ exclusion and social justice issues. This book is a timely and original contribution through its exploration of migrations, squatting and radical autonomy. 

Sutapa Chattopadhyay is a geoSutapaChattopadhyaygrapher and currently working at the University of Toronto. Previously she has worked as an Assistant Professor and researcher at the universities of Minnesota-Duluth, Maastricht (Faculties of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and School of Governance), United Nations. Her areas of interest are migrations, alternative development, indigeniety, anarcha-ecofeminism and radical autonomy. She is currently pursuing her own research on migrant incarceration and counter struggles in Rome, Italy and on indigenous food sovereignty in Andhra Pradesh, India. She is in the advisory board of ACME. She has published in ACME; Gender, Place and Culture; Population, Place and Space, Environment and Planning D, and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism on indigenous anti-colonial struggles, development-induced dislocation, colonial appropriation of nature, feminist research methods and border politics. She has several manuscripts in progress that focus on radical pedagogy, food sovereignty, gender-class struggles and militarization of borders. She is working on a book on wider indigenous struggles with Palgrave and on two journal special issues on academic class struggles and discourses on the migrant position for two key radical journals.

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