This lecture draws our attention to a new (geo)politics of visibility that is profoundly reshaping European cities and our understanding of who, and what, can appear where. Taking as its starting point a series of recent events, the talk examines the imagined geographies of Islamic presence in today’s Europe. It looks at contestations regarding not just the right to places of worship and religious presence, but more broadly the very right to appear in urban spaces. Thinking through these specific instances, the lecture points to how such imagined geographies are re-shaping the terms of contemporary political discourse in highly problematic ways.
Luiza Bialasiewicz is a political geographer and Jean Monnet Professor of EU External Relations in the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Before moving to the Netherlands in 2011, she was Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and previously at Durham University in the UK. She has been a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Natolin since 2013, where she teaches an annual short course on European geopolitics. Her work focuses on the political geographies of European integration and EU geopolitics, with a particular focus on European borders and migration. Currently she is a Bronislaw Geremek Visiting Fellow at the IWM.