Atatürk Enstitüsü Seminerleri

21/02/2020 14:00

Earthquake Risk-Driven Urban Transformation in Istanbul: A Relational Work Analysis of Changing Economic and Community Relations

21 Şubat Cuma günü 14.00'de Atatürk Enstitüsü Seminer Salonu'nda Boston Üniversitesi'nden Ladin Bayurgil “Earthquake Risk-Driven Urban Transformation in Istanbul: A Relational Work Analysis of Changing Economic and Community Relations” başlıklı bir konuşma yapacaktır. 

Kadıköy is the main opposition party CHP’s stronghold and residents raise loud political opposition to the government’s economic growth model through urban rent, yet Bağdat Avenue neighborhoods in Kadıköy are also among the main centers of earthquake-risk driven urban transformation with more than 2000 buildings demolished and reconstructed since 2012. This project is set out to understand the socio-spatial dynamics of risk-driven urban transformation. Particularly, this ethnographic research studies the changing labor relationship between homeowner employers and doorkeeper employees (kapıcı), who are minimum-wage workers responsible of providing daily services to homeowners, while living rent-free in basements apartments. This research in dialogue with the relational work literature by examining the processes through which labor relations between homeowners and doorkeepers are defined, mediated and interrupted when they overlap with intimate community ties. Intersections of employment and intimacy become even more crucial in times of urban change--in Bağdat Avenue neighborhoods, while homeowners jointly benefit from the urban transformation that increases the value of their homes, doorkeepers are increasingly replaced with informal laborers and outsourced services. Hence, for doorkeepers, the urban transformation generates the risk of unemployment and involuntary displacement, which I describe as “double precarity”. Considering contemporary urban contexts, where housing precarity is an eminent problem for the urban working poor, this research asks how intimate ties inform the ways in which precarious workers navigate everyday experiences of double precarity. The analysis is built on an ethnographic study that includes 108 interviews with homeowners and doorkeepers in Bağdat Avenue neighborhoods of Kadıköy, and volunteer work at doorkeepers’ labor union.