[slumstudies] Re: Let's Brainstorm!

  • From: francesca recchia <kiccovich@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: slumstudies@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 23:01:07 -0800 (PST)

Dear Lindsey and all

Sebastian and I are still at an early stage of investigation - it seems (but 
still has to be properly confirmed) that the majority of the squatters are 
refugees who fled (possibly from Kirkuk - now in the disputed territories 
between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish Federal Government) after 
the 1991 Kurdish uprising.

The jail still preserves graffiti and (some say) blood stains from the time it 
was an actual prison - people live around those signs in what seems to be like 
a "resigned indifference" 
There is so much there yet to explore and understand!


 francesca recchia
it +39 338 166 3648
iq +964 (0) 750 7085 681

From: "Lindsey, Delario" <LINDSEYD1@xxxxxxxxx>
To: slumstudies@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wed, 11 November, 2009 10:53:55
Subject: [slumstudies] Re: Let's Brainstorm!

Thank you so much for this fascinating introduction Francesca.  I like your use 
of term 'slum-like', this may prove to be an important distinction once our 
work begins.  Who are the people (their demographics) living in the 
're-claimed' prison? I wonder what it is like for them to 'make home' in such a 
place knowing it's history. 

Delario Lindsey, Ph.D.
Department of African, African-American and Caribbean Studies
Department of Liberal Studies
William Paterson University - New Jersey


From: slumstudies-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of francesca recchia
Sent: Tue 11/10/2009 11:38 PM
To: slumstudies@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [slumstudies] Re: Let's Brainstorm!

Dear all

I would like to take the chance to thank Lindsey for starting this project and 
opening such a possibility: I find it really exciting and a further motivation 
for my research!

I am currently based in Hawler (Erbil), the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan - I 
teach Urban Sociology, but since our institution is very small I find myself 
doing whatever is needed.
I have done a bit of research in the past on slums both in Mumbai and Caracas. 
There are very few slums as such in Kurdistan - but there are several 
situations where squatting, land occupation and readaptation have created 
slum-like conditions. 
Coming from a postcolonial perspective I am also interested in the 
re-imagination of the relations between centre and periphery. 
My main focus is the connections between spatial/ territorial design and social 
control as a macro-level, which translate on the micro-level in the ways in 
which people adapt and subvert spatial models that are meant for oppression - 
one of the main slum-like situations in Kurdistan is a Saddam Hussein's jail 
that people have squatted and made into a village while keeping all the signs 
of memory of the past (I am working on this case study with photographer 
Sebastian Meyer http://sebmeyer.com/)
I also look at ways in which people "make home" or "make sense of home" in he 
context of transient/ provisional/ informal settings. I am interested in what 
Indians would call Jugad - a form of creative responsiveness that produces 
practical and creative solutions in response to situations of spatial, social 
and economical hardship.


francesca recchia
it +39 338 166 3648
iq +964 (0) 750 7085 681


From: "Oretsky, Nicole" <oretskyn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "slumstudies@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <slumstudies@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mon, 9 November, 2009 19:12:37
Subject: [slumstudies] Re: Let's Brainstorm!

Hi Everyone:

I am very interested in participating in the Slum Studies Project. My current 
research concerns the struggle for housing and environmental justice for the 
American ghetto. More specifically, I am concerned with 1) how public policy 
contributes toward the concentration of substandard housing supply and the 
severe housing cost burden in isolated, low-income neighborhoods, and 2) the 
disproportionate environmental burden that poor communities face while they 
reap very little environmental benefits. 

I am now launching our Urban Studies and Environmental Justice Project (USEJ), 
which is primarily concerned with consequent health disparities. USEJ engages 
in community outreach; designs and instructs university courses; and conducts 
applied research in environmental justice and health disparities. In the 
current initial start-up period, USEJ will focus on toxin exposure and housing, 
with a particular focus on lead exposure and health disparities. 

My take:

Environmental Injustice and Health Disparities

In American cities, environmental disparities are common across racial and 
class lines. Inner-city minority and low income communities are 
disproportionately affected by air, water and soil pollution. Inadequate 
abatement of negative externalities from historical industrial manufacturing 
activities, and lack of enforcement of building codes, has left a toxic 
environmental legacy. Older and under-maintained housing is a source of health 
disparities due to higher frequencies of exposure to lead and other industrial 
toxins, mold, and pests; lack of adequate insulation and modern heating or air 
conditioning; and health threats such as hypertension and other stress-related 
illnesses due to housing insecurity and slumlord activity. In addition, due to 
spatial and socio-economic segregation, disadvantaged communities have unequal 
access to such environmental goods as fresh, nutritious food; green parks and 
outdoor recreation facilities; health care clinics and
 quality schools, public transportation, and secure employment. 

Research Interests

·         The American ghetto and political economic theory

·         Urban policy and low income housing

·         Environmental Justice, the 'right to know,' and health disparities

Best Regards,


Dr. Nicole Oretsky

Assistant Professor of Urban Studies

Urban Studies and Planning Program

Savannah State University

3219 College Street

Savannah, Georgia 31404

(O)  912-303-1886  912-303-1886 

(C)  917-584-2465  917-584-2465 


From: slumstudies-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:slumstudies-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Prof. Delario Lindsey
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 3:40 PM
To: Slum Studies Research Group
Subject: [slumstudies] Let's Brainstorm!

Greetings All,
I was thinking, as part of the process of developing the Slum Studies project 
and getting to know one another, each of us should contribute a series of 
topics or issues about which the group can collectively brainstorm and discuss. 
 I believe this to be a necessary process as it helps us to collectively frame 
the parameters of the project in accordance with our individual scholarly 
interests.  Also, what better way of getting to know someone (particularly an 
academic) than by familiarizing yourself with their scholarly/intellectual 
priorities.  I have listed a few of my scholarly priorities regarding Slum 
Studies below.  Submit your own lists, and please share your thoughts about my 
topics and issues.  


Topics/Issues of consequence:
- Re-imagining the core/periphery relationship 
- The relationship between national development and urban development
- The relationship between the urban and the rural (push/pull forces)
- Slum, Favela, Shanty: regional interpretations of profound (urban) inequality
- Crime, Safety, and Social Control in the slum
- The Slum and the Lives of Women and Children
- Cultural Contributions of the Slum (read: the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and 

Delario Lindsey, Ph.D.
Department of African, African-American and Caribbean Studies
Department of Liberal Studies
William Paterson University - New Jersey


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