Cycle of Lectures "Cities in shock"

[by invitation only]


About cities in shock

Cities in shock is a cycle of lectures with the aim to start a dialogue and an exchange of experiences between universities. The aggressions we have witnessed recently were not only directed towards groups or populations, they targeted cities and what is at their core: the liberal public space and urbanity as a way of life. Today, these tragic events require dialogical interpretations and explanations, involving specialists from urban research, sociology of terrorism and criminology. The series of conferences Cities in shock is an attempt to start such a dialogue between scholars of large range of European and international universities.


Mathieu Berger (CriDIS Metrolab)

Joan Stavo-Debauge (CEMS-EHESS, Paris)

Konstantin Kastrissianakis (Associé Metrolab.Brussels)

Patrick Kipasa Mayifulu (UCLouvain and Metrolab)


6. Atmospherics of urban (in)security

(14/12/2018, 14:00 at Metrolab Studio)

By exploring the question of urban (in)security through atmosphere, this session aims to uncover the volumetric and affective dimensions of cities in the context of past, latent, anticipated or ongoing violence. It will be an opportunity to discuss security engineering through atmosphere building in European cities and the Middle East, but also to consider how users of cities absorb, embody and challenge security dispositifs through their own articulations of everyday urban orders.


Damien Masson (Cergy-Pontoise) & Simon Runkel (Université de Heidelberg) "Atmospherisation of Security" - EN

Konstantin Kastrissianakis (Metrolab/CriDIS) "Contested Territories and atmosphere building in Beirut" - EN


5. Violence and Public Life in Kinshasa

(7/12/2018, 14:00 at Metrolab Studio)

As the third most populated African city, Kinshasa is a city brimming with vitality and animation. But the urban spaces of the Congolese capital are also the scene of extremely violent criminal acts, committed by young offenders who spread terror and jeopardize civil peace. This Cities in shock session aims at evaluating the impact of youth violence on urban life in Kinshasa.


Filip De Boeck (KU Leuven) Proximities and promiscuities: generating publics and public space in Kinshasa - EN

Patrick Kipasa Mayifulu (UCLouvain and Metrolab) Kinshasa : Quand la violence Kuluna produit l’espace public - FR


To know more about previous sessions, please scroll down

4.Urban underworlds and afterworlds

Thinking through the social order of the mafia, urban gangs and the post-war city (22/11/2017, 14:00 at Metrolab Studio)

This session will explore the urban and social orders that are produced at the threshold. What are the norms, temporalities, solidarities and spaces that articulate these multiple and often contested orders? Matteo Santarelli will describe the mode of expansion of ‘Ndragheta or the Calabrian mafia in cities of Northern Italy; Martin Lamotte will trace the role of gangs in the “pacification” of the Bronx in the 1990s; and Chloé Buire will explore what it means for Luanda to be a post-boom city after having been a post-war city.


Matteo Santarelli (Université de Molise) Interests and protection. Some remarks on the expansion of 'Ndrangheta

Martin Lamotte (CITERES - CNRS - Tours) Who owns the night? De la faillite à la pacification de New York City

Chloé Buire (LAM - CNRS - IEP Bordeaux) Luanda, la ville d’après. Pour une étymologie des lieux de l’après

To know more, watch the video (in French)

3. Etats d'alerte (23/11/2016)

  • "Pragmatique de la vigilance et politique sécuritaire. Ce que le terrorisme fait à la sociologie des alertes" par Francis Chateauraynaud (EHESS Paris)
  • "Ségrégation urbaine et visibilité migratoire" par Karim Bouhout (Coordinateur de la Cohésion sociale, Ville de Bruxelles)

To know more, watch the video (in French)

2. The urban traces of terrorist attacks (29/06/2016)

The second session « The urban traces of terrorist attacks »on June 29, tackled the issue of the material, symbolic and mnesic traces of terrorist attacks in NYC, Paris, Brussels and Madrid. Here the program and the keynote speakers invited:

  • “From Madrid to Brussels: patterns of reaction to terrorist attacks in European cities” by Gérôme Truc (Ecole Normale Supérieure – Cachan)
  • “A memory neighborhood? Chronicles of the République – Bataclan area since Nov 13” by Sarah Gensburger (CNRS, Institut des sciences sociales du politique)
  • “9/11: Lower Manhattan as an event space” by Robin Wagner-Pacifici (The New School for Social Research, NYC). Read the interview to Robin Wagner-Pacifici here

To learn more, watch the video of the whole session

1. The ecologies of violence (23/06/2016)

The first session, «Ecologies of violence» on June 23, addressed the spatial and ecological dimensions of extreme violence in various urban places and situations with the intervention of three keynote speakers and a debate:

  • “Parenthèse morale et espace d’impunité. Le cas des casseurs” by Kamel Boukir (CEMS-EHESS, Paris).
  • “La ville comme théâtre d’opérations. Du sniper au djihadiste” by Joan Stavo-Debauge (CEMS-EHESS, Paris). Read the Joan Stavo-Debauge speech here
  • “Explaining random shootings in schools, shopping malls and workplaces” by Jack Katz (University of California, Los Angeles). Read the interview to Jack Katz here

To learn more, watch the video of the whole session

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