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November Convivial Conversations: Garbage, Disruption, and the City

Women's & Gender Studies Graduate Program Presents:
Convivial Conversations Series

Monday, November 24, 2014

11am - 1 p.m. - Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building - Douglass Campus

A conversation between Snezana Otasevic, PhD Candidate, and Professor Ethel Brooks

Light refreshments served. Please RSVP to Suzy Kiefer (mkiefer@rci.rutgers.edu)

Across Europe, Roma occupy a very specific positionality, marked by racism, multiple forms of violence and excessive marginalization. Very often, informal waste recycling (scavenging) is one of the few sources of income and survival for Roma in European urban spaces. A large number of Roma are denied citizenship rights and basic legal documents such as birth certificates and residency cards, even though they have lived in the same territory for generations; in the current moment, Roma throughout Europe are facing forced evictions, expulsions, increased violence and segregation --with walls being built around a number of Romani communities or the communities themselves being evicted from decades- or centuries-old neighborhoods and moved to sites outside of the city, and residents denied access to education, health and employment.

In this paper, we will examine the relationship between Roma, waste, and sovereignty. We explore the modes of disruption available to and associated with Romani subjectivity through a focus on informal waste recycling and the advent of formal recycling programs in Belgrade, which has taken place alongside large-scale evictions of Belgrade's Romani residents and struggles over urban space. What can struggles over productive practices, real estate and Romani belonging tell us about the formation of the city, its relation to garbage and the politics of disruption?

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