Author Colin McFarlane and his Critics
Podcast: Urban Political
In this episode moderated by Nitin Bathla, the author Colin McFarlane discusses his recent book Fragments of the City with the critics Theresa Enright, Tatiana Thieme, and Kevin Ward. In analyzing the main arguments of the book, Theresa discusses the role of aesthetics in imagining, sensing, and learning the urban fragments, and the ambivalence of density in how it enables and disables certain kinds of politics. She questions Colin about the distinctiveness of art as a means to engage and politicize fragments, and how can we think about the relationships between fragment urbanism, density and the urban political across varied contexts. Tatiana analyses how the book journeys across a range of temporal scales of knowing fragments from its etymology to autobiographical experiences of underserved neighborhoods and of toilet and sanitation politics. She questions Colin about methodological dilemmas of walking across different fragments and his relationality to different field sites, the worlds of work, and divergent politics of the city. Lastly, Kevin discusses about provocative ways in which the book renders cities comparable that are ontological, epistemological and profoundly political, and the uncertainty of knowing the urban. He questions Colin of about the work that needs to be done in connecting wholes and fragments and about the need for widening the repertoire of people who are involved in those conversations. In closing the episode, Colin talks about the value of pushing conventional forms of writing and embracing the experimental forms of writing in fragments in both form and content to make sense of the broken urban worlds.
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