Call for Papers - Evictions and forced removals as instruments to reject the right to the city

Evictions and forced removals as instruments to reject the right to the city

Submitted by Diana Bogado
For panel Social Museology and Social Role of Museums

Urban social problems related to conflicts and segregations are one of the most pertinent issues today. The right to the city (Lefebvre 1968; Agamben, 2005; Harvey, 2008) and other derived rights, such as the right to life, set the conditions to dignity and quality of life of majority of world population. The inaccessibility to these rights, partially or totally, is the guideline to the global debate on human rights, which is increasingly necessary considering the violations committed by national states which serve private interests despite of collective interests. The debate on the right to the city and the emergence of conflicts on the agenda of world politics can not exclude the different social dimensions of segregation, considering the large population living on the edge of the city and the possibility of a dignified life - a privilege to few people. The relations of geopolitics and its social and cultural issues are related to human rights, or more precisely, to their violation. The 'scarcity' and lack of access to basic conditions of life - such as housing, public spaces and peace - present themselves as a common agenda both in local contexts and in the themes of international conflicts. This essay, therefore, intends to address the issue of the right to urban life in a broad way, both globally and locally, considering the patterns of various forms of socio-territorial exclusion as a consequence of the actions of the states themselves. Some cases of Brazilian slums – favelas – in Rio de Janeiro, such as the Evictions Museum (Museu das Remoções) will be presented as struggles for the right to the city (Bogado, 2017). Their situation - nonimmigrant individuals, but living on the margin as well as refugees or irregular immigrants, due to lack of access to basic social rights – reveal a perverse sense of marginality. This essay demonstrates that many individuals remain on the margins of State action, whether by police violence, the use of forced evictions and removals, or by any other colonial and segregating practices in the cities' territory.