UCL Urban Laboratory


Black Urbanisms podcast series

This four-part podcast series from UCL Urban Laboratory explores what the term ‘Black Urbanisms’ can offer us as we think about cities and urban experience.

Black Urbanisms podcast series

1 October 2021

New episodes available weekly from Friday 1 October.

Using the influential work of Prof AbdouMaliq Simone on Blackness and the Urban as a starting point, throughout this podcast series we source different perspectives articulated by researchers from across Europe and Africa, including Dr Lioba Hirsch, Prof Ola Uduku, Dr Hélène Neveu-Kringelbach, Victoria Okoye, Dr Evance Mwathunga, and Prof Wilbard Kombé. 

Scripted and hosted by Dr Alana Osbourne (Université Libre de Bruxelles), the podcasts emerge from two sessions hosted by the Urban Lab and curated by Prof Jennifer Robinson (UCL) in 2019, as part of an international conference exploring emerging themes and critical methodologies at the frontiers of urban theory and practice.

The podcast series was co-ordinated by Dr Clare Melhuish (UCL), produced by Deborah Shorindé for Whistledown Productions, and supported by Dr Kamna Patel, former Bartlett Vice-Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The podcast artwork is by Jahnavi Inniss. With thanks to the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains at ULB. 

To hear more audio from the ‘At the frontiers of the urban’ conference, visit UCL Urban Laboratory’s SoundCloud page.

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast | SoundCloud

Series Playlist

Listen and subscribe on SoundCloud

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Catch up on the series

Episode 1: Blackness and the urban

Published: 1 October 2021

In this first episode we revisit excerpts of Prof AbdouMaliq Simone’s 2019 talk from the conference ‘At the frontiers of the urban’ that considered the multiplicities of Black Urbanisms as a series of refrains, calls and responses, parallel but complicit investigations and makings. Our aim here is to interpret some of his insights and transpose them to urban research in various cities.

Prof. AbdouMaliq Simone is Senior Professorial Fellow at the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield, a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, and Visiting Professor at the African Centre for Cities and Goldsmiths, University of London.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/uclsound/black-urbanisms-episode-1-blackness-and-...Access the transcript

Episode 2: Black Urbanisms meet the Black City

Published: 8 October 2021

In this episode we address Prof Simone’s notion of the “hallucination of Whiteness”, revisit Dr Lioba Hirsch’s response on the coloniality and antiblack entanglements of Western global health, and are joined by Prof Ola Uduku who helps us consider these recordings in relation to her own research as Professor of Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture.

Dr Lioba Hirsch is a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Prof Ola Uduku is Professor of Architecture at the Manchester School of Architecture.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/uclsound/black-urbanisms-episode-2-black-urbanism...Access the transcript

Episode 3: Black Urbanisms, Unsettling and Collectives on the Run

Published: 15 October 2021

Previously in this podcast we examined Prof AbdouMaliq Simone’s talk on ‘Blackness and the Urban’, and used it to think through the racialised city. In this episode, we unpack another key aspect of Simone’s talk: his articulation of Blackness as a form of unsettling. We are joined by the social anthropologist Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, whose work takes us to Francophone West Africa.

Dr. Hélène Neveu Kringelbach is Associate Professor of African Anthropology at UCL.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/uclsound/black-urbanisms-episode-3-black-urbanism...Access the transcript

Episode 4: Black Urbanisms and Theorising from Africa

Episode 4: Black Urbanisms and Theorising from Africa

Published: 22 October 2021

In this final episode of UCL Urban Laboratory’s podcast series, we continue to put Prof AbdouMaliq Simone’s work on ‘Blackness and the Urban’ in conversation with scholars who also presented during the ‘At the frontiers of the urban’ conference. Here we probe the relationship between Black urbanisms and land governance in African cities with Dr Evance Mwathanga, alongside excerpts from Prof Wilbard Kombe’s talk on the urban transformations being driven by an inadequately regulated market/real estate sector.

Dr Wilbard Kombe is Professor of Urban Land Management and Director of the Institute of Human Settlements Studies at Ardhi University.

Dr Evance Mwathunga is the Head of Geography and Earth Sciences Department at Chancellor College, University of Malawi.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/uclsound/black-urbanisms-episode-4-black-urbanism...Access the transcript