Setup for the Slum Party, Lagos, 2023
Youth on the Move is a research project initiated by Chinese scholars Ying Cheng and Min Tang, and Mumbai based architect-curator Anuj Daga, that has received the Urban Seminar Series 2023 Award granted to the most promising urban studies proposals across the world annually by the Urban Studies Foundation, UK. The project seeks to investigate an urbanity that youth produce on the move - through short- and long term mobilities. Over the next nine months, the project will focus on observing emerging socio-spatial practices of youth in African and Asian contexts, and examine their modes of moving and meaning-making through an embodied politics of performance.
This round table session shares the first part of the year-long research project Youth on the Move with scholars at the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP). Youth on the Move was initiated by scholars Ying Cheng (African culture studies) and Min Tang (Southern urbanism), and Anuj Daga (Mumbai based architect-curator). It received the Urban Seminar Series 2023 Award, the second leg of which shall be co-hosted by the IFP. The project seeks to investigate forms of urbanity that youth produce on the move - focusing on emerging socio-spatial practices of young people in African and Asian contexts, and examines their modes of moving and meaning-making through an embodied politics of performance. It aims to offer alternative understanding of practices, and imagination of public, urban space, youth to highlight the complex nature of contestations and negotiations of southern cities, in turn, decolonizing knowledge production.
Over June-July 2023, the researchers conducted the African workshop “Performing the City: Youth, Popular Arts and Social Movements in Urban Africa” in Lagos, Nigeria. The workshop was conceived as a collaborative exchange between Lagos based art groups with young artists from Kenya and India. It brought the above artists in dialogue with interdisciplinary scholars over a performance tour across spaces of different communities in Lagos. This session will reflectively summarise the experiences of the African workshop, while taking the opportunity to introduce and launch the upcoming second part of the research programme that includes: 1. The two-part virtual lecture series that focuses on a conceptualisation panel “The Time and Space of Youth: Situating Youth in Southern Cities”, along with a more practice oriented panel “Life on the Move: (Im)mobility and Daily Practices of the Youth”; and 2. The early career scholars’ workshop in Asia titled “Doing Mobile Ethnography – Learning from the Other ‘Other’”, invites Southern scholars whose ethnographic research and practices are in another Southern context. This sub-programme will be organized in collaboration with the Social Sciences Department of the French Institute of Pondicherry.