Call for Abstracts, Writingplace #11


(Hidden) Narratives of Spatial Resistance

Call for abstracts, Writingplace #11, Journal for architecture & literature

Keywords: resistance, spatiality, insurgent, narrative, poetry, literature, architecture


Have you ever felt the streets whispering tales of defiance, participated in acts of collective protests reverberating through the alleys, or witnessed the subtle resistances etched into the very fabric of our everyday spatialities? Have you experienced a place becoming a monument of counteraction, or are there texts that capture spatial resistance in an outstanding way? Amidst the uncertainties of current times, when facing realities of conflicts amidst fears of current wars, impacts of climate change, and fragile stability, there is a pressing need to examine the role of spatial resistance. We wonder what the role of space is in coping with asymmetric exercises of powers at different scales and with unequal consequences?

For this edition of the Writingplace series, we are looking for contributions that address how stories of resistance emerge from the quiet or tumultuous landscapes of our urbanities and beyond, both on the level of communities and of architectural space and its materiality. For instance, we’d like to address local communities' roles, explore how they grapple with destruction, displacement, gentrification, and environmental degradation, and how they assert their agency through spatial practices. On the level of architecture, we are interested in the role of space's materiality in participating in these resistances. Acknowledging the role of narratives as a medium to express such resistances, this issue hopes to show how these spatial resistances are present in prose and verse, in stories and poems.

We hope this issue can confront the complexities of our modern world, where resistance challenges the lines between material and human, power and space, nature and culture, centralities and margins, within diverse worlds. We welcome contributions from the most evident forms of resistance to more subtle ways that might easily go unnoticed. Sometimes, the most radical resistance can be about building peace and collaboration over conflicted frontiers, and sometimes, bold stances are needed to shake deafening silence. 

Together we want to explore the intersections of spatialities of resistance, starting from our own (gendered, colonized, racialized, classicized) body as our primal site of dwelling. We hope this issue can become a joint exploration of the intersections of spatialities of resistance, creating relations of subjective individualities and multitudes, particles and soils, materials and space, recognizing that the struggles for spatial justice, liberation and self-determination are intertwined across cultures of resistance.

These resistances manifest in diverse spatial scales, spanning from the global to the domestic. Within their narratives lie insights into alternative futures, dreams made true, solutions, agency, and authentic hope. They help us critically look at what is happening in our cities and empathize with struggles occurring elsewhere. Here, urbanity can be seen as something beyond cities, referring to processes of urbanization affecting the countryside with its villages and agriculture, turning environments that humans had hardly touched upon into landscapes of production and linking locations far apart. 

Join our endeavor to uncover the hidden stories of spatial resistance, from the intimate chit-chat of the home to the tumultuous occupations of the public square, from the whispered conversations in neighborhood cafes to the bold statements painted on city walls, from rap lyrics to sci-fi novels and revolutionary speeches, to the acts of building squats, making restorations and so on.

We wish to shed light on the way injustices are produced and sustained, the inherent exploitative character of systemic oppressions and dominations (towards people and environment), and human-centrism that exacerbates the climate emergency, and the role of space in producing and sustaining such injustices. In order to learn from the frictions these resistances point out, we want to hear what is currently resisted in our cities, why, by whom, where, and how.  

We invite contributions from any relevant field to submit an abstract of 500 words maximum (excl. keywords and references) by May 31, 2024. We are interested in research papers as well as entries with creative writing, artistic expression, and forms of communication that go beyond text (such as visual, audio, or video) that can sensitively grasp the situatedness, subjectivity, and experiential aspects of narratives.

Accepted contributions will be invited to submit a full paper of 3000-5000 words (excl. keywords and references) subject to a blind peer-review process. For authors' guidelines and submission procedure, please visit: 


Editors of this issue: 

Elina Alatalo,

Architect, PhD researcher in Environmental Policy

Insurgent Spatial Practices Research Collective

Tampere University, Finland


Dalia Milián Bernal

Architect, PhD researcher in Architecture

Insurgent Spatial Practices Research Collective

Tampere University, Finland


Dorina Pllumbi

Architect, PhD researcher in Architecture 

Methods of Analysis and Imagination 

Delft University of Technology