Urban Creativity through Displacement and Spatial Disruption
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The 21st century’s conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan have led to an unprecedented rise in the numbers of displaced people: the United Nations Refugee Agency (2015) records that approximately 34,000 people were forcibly displaced each day in 2015. This figure has driven the largest forced migration crisis in Europe since the Second World War. Spatial disruption to mobility has become the main concern of more than a million people who have embarked on arduous journeys, ‘drifting’ to Europe by land and sea. As they make multiple attempts to traverse the borders, what ‘right to drift’ have they? Can protracted urban displacement generate what Lefebvre terms the ‘blind field’? This Chapter explores the creative potential for spatial navigation that emerges from denial of the right to drift and obstructed mobility. The links between frustration and creativity, particularly in art and science, have long been acknowledged, but their connection in terms of their impact on spatial mobility has rarely been examined. This Chapter offers a theoretical exploration of the potential of the Lefebvrian concepts of the ‘right to the city’ and the ‘blind field’ to act as catalysts for creative drifting and navigation of the urban in space and time.
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