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This academic year, the Centre for Urban Studies launched – in addition to the regular Seed Grants – a special round of Seed Grants XL.

CUS Grant 1
CUS grant XL team, actors in the living labs and students in Binckhorst, the Hague

The Seed Grant XL call serves to support and facilitate bigger and innovative research initiatives of CUS’ research staff, both permanent and temporary (PhDs, Post Docs) which cannot be realized within the budget of a regular Seed Grant (2.500 EURO).  A maximum of up to 10.000 EURO per Seed Grant XL has been awarded to the following projects:

1. Parallel Art Residencies on Queering the Urban: Kingston/Montego Bay, Nairobi, Amsterdam and beyond

Submitted by Francesco Colona & Tracian Meikle

This artist in residency serves to bridge the gap between academia and art, by articulating them in a non-hierarchical trans-disciplinary process that will also serve as a vehicle for CUS academics to engage with artistic practices. The main aim is to deepen the mutual understanding between the two categories, that of artists and that of scholars, when approaching important societal issues such as those posed by different forms of urbanity, from Kingston and Montego Bay to Nairobi to Amsterdam and beyond. An attempt at co-crafting a mutual form of knowledge production will be paramount, with particular analytical and reflective relevance given to the different sensitivities that are mobilized in these processes. Such effort will find an outcome in a collective art/academic installation/performance at the end of the two parallel art residencies. At the end of the art residency, the artist will be given a space at Pakhuis de Zwijger for their own artwork to be exhibited or performed. Furthermore, the outcomes of these art residencies will “fold back” in Kingston and Nairobi which will be a valuable opportunity for the CUS to forge trans-disciplinary and transnational connections.

CUS Grant 2
CUS grant XL team, actors in the living labs and students in Binckhorst, the Hague

2. Co-creation: Sharing knowledge between Living Labs in Brownfield Transformation areas

Submitted by Michaela Hordijk

This seed grant XL project serves to foster experiential learning between actors in the living labs like Buiksloterham and other brown field transformation areas (eg. Cruquius, Amsterdam, Binckhorst, Den Haag). The learning draws on the principles of Reflexive Interactive Design, developed to enhance concrete action by the actors involved, yet simultaneously identifying where changes in the wider system in which their experiment is embedded are needed.  Next to collecting data, a series of workshops and (public) meetings on the Circular City are organized at different locations – namely the Binckhorst in the Hague and Pakhuis de Zwijger - to further knowledge exchange on urban experiments in brownfield transformation areas. A special masterclass for CUS students, PhD’s, junior researchers is organized to present the results to the involved partners from Buiksloterham. Furthermore, the tentative results are presented on an international conference Practicing the commons: Self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change. The end results are presented in a paper to be submitted to a journal and will be used to write a SURF grant proposal.


3. “Cities and Mobilities”

Submitted by: Anna Nikolaeva

“Cities and Mobilities” is a series of seminars in which (inter)national researchers with a background in sociology, geography, urban planning, anthropology, history and cultural studies are engaged to investigate how mobility shapes cities. Each seminar consists of a lecture by a leading mobility scholar, a discussion and a couple of presentations by PhDs and Postdocs, followed by feedback and a public debate. The seminar series will run from October 2017 until May 2018, closed by a final event that will bring together scholars and Amsterdam policy-makers in a roundtable on mobility in Amsterdam.


4. “Mortgaged Lives: the Biopolitics of Debt and Home-Ownership”

Submitted by Maria Kaika

This project aims to develop methods that link political-economic processes that drive the financialisation of housing to the socio-spatial experience of living with mortgage debt and home repossessions.

With Barcelona (300,000 Spanish homes repossessed) and Athens (300,000 Greek households pending evictions) as laboratories, the project pilots an innovative research method for data sourcing by organizing a community theatre and making a documentary together with Hans Busstra, Independent documentary filmmaker (EO, KRO, VPRO Tegenlicht). The documentary will be screened during a public event autumn 2017.