The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Stories of Spatial Violence in Asian Cities

10 June 2022, 9:30 am–10:30 am

Yangon by night with construction and distant temple

Event Information

Open to



Shoko Sakuma


Virtual event

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAN9b7IZmuo


Displaceability is a concept which can broaden the understanding of displacement from an action to a systemic condition (Yiftachel, 2019). The condition of displaceability can be constructed and reproduced through policy, legal systems, planning practices under ideologies with power, often with legacy dating back to colonial period. Addressing the spatial sphere of violence helps us to understand structural injustices in the current urban systems and hopefully frame strategies to further spatial justice. 

Yangon Stories is a research project documents and bears testimony of all forms of spatial violence exerted by state actors on Yangon communities since the colonial period and how these various forms have shaped the city's urban development and everyday life in Yangon. The project is launching its website - a digital platform to document modalities of spatial violence from interactive mapping, timeline, repositories, and stories since the colonial period. This platform is an attempt to mobilise action to prevent further violence. 

This event shares an overview of the project, key findings and website, presentations by guest speakers from Missing Basti Project and Make Break on initiatives document evictions, human rights violations, and other territorial erasures in other cities,  followed by discussions on theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches around displaceability and spatial violence emerging in the region.

Since the February 2021 coup, spatial violence in Yangon has entered a new phase characterised by unprecedented, widescale, raw brutality exerted by the junta. We believe this is a particularly important moment to share the understanding of systemic violence with a wider audience, and in the longer term, we hope it helps to reconfigure the other trajectories of urban planning, practises or just everyday interaction with urban residents in Yangon and elsewhere. 

Funding: The project is funded by British Academy through its Heritage, Dignity and Violence programme

Project website: https://www.yangonstories.com/

Previous outputs: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/development/research-projects/2022/feb/living-heritage


Chair: Catalina Ortiz


Discussant: Prof. Hyun Bang Shin (LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre