From Singapore to New York, via New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Glasgow and Buenos Aires, “Cities in Flux” registers some of the most profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities around the world. Narrated in different styles, the individual pieces draw on theories of global cities in neoliberal times as well as on the phenomenological truths of inhabiting these disparate places bound together by a global crisis. The pieces make use of a plethora of urban signs—flashing images, sounds of silence and emergency vehicles, Whatsapp chatter, billboards, found objects, and media noise—to reflect on experiences that are both deeply personal and embodied as well as reflective of a common urban predicament. Even as the pandemic exacerbated problems of housing, transport, health, schooling, employment, environment, and food supply, it also created feelings of waste, loss, and loneliness. All the pieces draw inspiration from a range of urban projects such as the Hot City Collective in New York, the Workers’ Stories Project in Glasgow, the Black Lives Matter movement in London, the Feminist Assembly in Buenos Aires, the C-19 People's Coalition in Johannesburg, and the anti–citizenship law protests and the farmers’ movement in Indian cities. Against the multiplying crises of cities during the time of the pandemic, the different pieces in this pod come together to hope for an urban commons that is based on justice and freedom.

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