This essay discuss the everyday life processes in the occupied City Plaza Hotel, inhabited by almost four hundred migrants and solidarity activists. As a member of the reception group since day one, I attempt to discuss the challenges of the project, rather than try to praise and show off its achievements. In contrast to the romanticization of migrants or of similar projects in scholarly discourses, this paper reflects on the difficulties of self-organization, the challenges of participatory processes, and the power relations that arise. Despite these contradictions, or probably because of them, City Plaza is a peculiar home where, under difficult and ambiguous circumstances, coexistence, cooperation, and solidarity are manufactured from day to day.
Homeplace Plaza: Challenging the Border between Host and Hosted
Olga Lafazani is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography in Harokopion University, Athens. She currently holds a scholarship from State’s Scholarship Foundation (IKY). Her research interests revolve around issues of borders, migration, urban space, and everyday life. She has published in several academic journals and collective volumes. She has been an active member of antiracist collectives for more than fifteen years.
Olga Lafazani; Homeplace Plaza: Challenging the Border between Host and Hosted. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2018; 117 (4): 896–904. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-7166043
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