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City of Segregation: the role of community struggle in the material and ideological formation of Los Angeles

Venue: Online

This event has ended.

This talk will tell the story of ongoing struggle over space and housing in central Los Angeles and how struggle has both shaped its physical form and driven ongoing efforts to drive to create and maintain privileged white space that has shaped the wider movements of capital and driven privatisation. To do so it explores the civil rights struggle to integrate LA’s suburbs in the 1960s and more recent organizing work taking place in Skid Row, examining continuity and change in these civil rights and community movements fighting for justice within the city.

As the recent election made so obvious, the material and ideological impacts of this struggle continue to shape US identity and politics today. Tracing these connections opens up wider discussions of how violent understandings of ‘us’ and ‘them’ are constructed across time and in space, a phenomenon visible in the rise of the right across the world, and an examination of what ‘all power to the people’ might look like to ensure a policy and praxis resulting in social justice.

The talk is based upon Andrea's recent book, City of Segregation: 100 Years of Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles (Verso, 2018)

Contact name:

  • Dr Andrea Gibbons -

    Andrea Gibbons is an urban geographer in the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit with a focus on homelessness, housing and sustainability. She is particularly interested in the co-constitutive relationships between people and the cities in which they live. With a background in community organising around health and housing, she brings together political economy and cultural theory to look at race, gender, culture and social movement with cities through archival research, literature, mapping and ethnography. She is currently co-lead for the Salford Anti-Poverty Task Force, a member of the Social Prescribing Hub, and a researcher on the project 'Welfare at a Social Distance: Accessing social security and employment support during the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath' ( Her book Segregated City: 100 Years of Struggle for Just Housing in Los Angeles is available from Verso.