This practice-oriented research project seeks to support civil-society movements in their struggle for profound transformation towards more just societies and cities. It believes that real change requires reshuffling existing power relations and sees Critical Mapping as an ‘act of power’. The ongoing democratisation of mapping through new technologies is deconstructing it as an elitist instrument for the ‘few’ and making it available to the ‘many’ as a possible tool for (self-)empowerment.
With this in mind, the project will analyze and test the transformative potential of CM in relation to the growing phenomenon of socio-political mobilisation in urban areas and what in Europe is coming to be known as the New Municipalist Movement; whereby it will interrogate the emancipatory claims, methods, and impacts. Through workshops and on-field research in three comparative case studies in Berlin, Barcelona, and Belgrade, the project will build transdisciplinary and transnational spaces for alliances among decentralized and fragmented mapping activities with the mission to find connections and loopholes.
More specifically, it investigates how maps contest and re-shape urban resource flows and the unjust distribution of services, access and opportunities, and it tests the ability of maps to give rise to coalition strategies for urban mobilisers across geographies.