City Portraits: Johannesburg

23 > 26 June 2015, Palazzo Badoer, San Polo 2468, Venice (>> to get there)

PROGRAMMA_ICOThe conference aims to explore possible trends of contemporary urban transformations, from the “city-into-being” par excellence.

What was supposed to be one of the beating hearts of the post-apartheid “rainbow nation”, appears today as a “divided city”, hit by a substantial neoliberal urban development that poses major challenges to old and new issues: on one hand, the fight against xenophobia, urban violence, crime, poverty, socio-spatial segregation, abandonment and illegal reuse of large parts of the urban structure; on the other hand, the challenges that emerge from the inhabitants who claim their ‘right to the city’, collecting, channelling and harnessing the evident vitality and creativity expressed by different sectors of a multi-ethnic society.

For all of this and though not ignoring the characters of uniqueness present in this specific urban context, Johannesburg represents an exciting terms for comparison as well as an important occasion to reformulate traditional categories of analysis and understanding of the social and urban space and to direct them towards possible operational dimensions for policies, plans and projects.

PROGRAMME (download pdf)

Thursday June 25 > SharingSpace: The Intercultural City and Collective Space in Johannesburg

coordinated by SSIIM UNESCO Chair, University Iuav of Venice

Discussant: Marcello Balbo, Director of the SSIIM Unesco Chair,University Iuav of Venice

15.00       Giovanna Marconi, SSIIM,University Iuav of Venice, ‘SharingSpace: the Project’ >>

15.10       Loren Landau, University of the Witwatersrand, ‘Johannesburg: city of migrations’ >>

15.40       Bibi Burger, Stellenbosch University, ‘From Kleinbegin to Maboneng: fantastical spaces in the film Ballade vir’nenkeling (2015)’ >>

16.00       Simona Morini, University Iuav of Venice, ‘Visibile and Invisibile Boundaries in the City Space’ >>

16.20       Elena Ostanel, SSIIM,University Iuav of Venice, ‘Practices of Invisibilization and Migration’ >>

16.40       Laura Burocco, Escola de Comunicação da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro ECO/UFRJ, ‘People’s place in “Braamopoly” an urban regeneration project in the inner city of Joburg’ >>

17.00       Paola Piscitelli, University Iuav of Venice, ‘Unveiling Transactional Spaces in the City. Routes, Territories and Places Shaped by Mozambican Cross-Border Traders in Johannesburg’ >>

17.20       Debate


Friday June 26 > Johannesburg City Portraits. A Mosaic of Extremes

coordinated by Leonardo Ciacci and Paola Piscitelli

8.45         Coffee welcome

9.15          Greetings, Alberto Ferlenga, Director Iuav School of Doctorate Studies

9.25         Introduction

Leonardo Ciacci,University IUAV of Venice, ‘Johannesburg in the narrative of Nelson Mandela, André Brink and Wilburn Smith’ >>

Paola Piscitelli,University IUAV of Venic)Introduction to the panels and presentations

#1 > Re-representing Johannesburg. City visioning processes, urban development and governancein the “City of Gold”

9.50         Jennifer Robinson, UCL-University College of London, ‘Johannesburg: a city in a world of cities’ >>

10.10       Philip Harrison, University of Witwatersrand, ‘In the “belly of the beast”: An experiential reflection on urban governance in the City of Johannesburg’ >>

10.30       Svea Josephy, University of Cape Town, ‘Ponte City: city portrait’ >>

10.50       Roelof Petrus van Wyk, University of the Witwatersrand, ‘Johannesburg as a lively and hungry creative and cultural urban metropolis’ >>

11.10>11.30 Coffee Break

#2> Johannesburg, a“city on the move”

11.30        Loren Landau, University of the Witwatersrand,’Governing Mobility and Difference in Johannesburg’s Urban Estuaries’ >>

11.50        Federica Duca, University of the Witwatersrand, ‘A response to the obsession with splintering.  Johannesburg spaces under review-relationally’ >>

12.10        Alexandra Parker, University of the Witwatersrand, ‘The Masculine City: Johannesburg and mobility represented in film’ >>

12.30>13.00 Discussion

13.00>14.30 Lunch

#3> Informality in the “City of Extremes”

14.30        Tanya Zack, Urban Planner, ‘Wake Up This is Joburg’ >>

14.50        Antonio Pezzano, L’Orientale University of Naples, ‘The Modes of Governance in Informal Trading Management in the Inner City of Johannesburg’ >>

15.10        Costanza La Mantia,University of the Witwatersrand, ‘Informality and the Rainbow City: spontaneous practices and socio-environmental rights in Greater Johannesburg’ >>

15.30        Marlene Wagner, Architect, “Aplace under the sun for everyone” – Basis for planning through the analysis of formal and non-formalspacepractice, Cosmo City Johannesburg >>

#4> Architecture and Built Environment in the “City-Into-Being”

16.00       Giovanni Vio, University Iuav of Venice, ‘The second life of architecture between apartheid and democracy’ >>

16.20        Andrew Makin, Architect, South Africa – urb’an & rural : [re]constituting a dismantled society’ >>

16.50        Hannah Le Roux, University of Witwatersrand, ‘Portrait with coffee: incipient architectures in the frame of Jeppe’ >>

17.10>17.30 Discussion

Reading di poesia e musica

17.30        Marco Fazzini, Università di Ca’ Foscari, Venezia, Poetic Johannesburg >>



the 22, 23 and 24 of June during the evenings the conference will be complemented by a series of video, films and documentaries projections providing insights on the various aspects of the present, past and future of this multifaceted city:

film_1_2_ico   film_3_ico






(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-56927033-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview');