The Shadow Citizenry and Planetary Urbanisation


“In 1989, Henri Lefebvre said that the right to the city is nothing more than a “revolutionary conception of citizenship.” This ideal of citizenship lies inside and beyond any passport rubber-stamped by an institution of a nation-state. It’s a citizenship involving a more spectral and clandestine passport, expressive of a citizenry yet to assert itself, yet to fly its flag. I will call this passport a SHADOW PASSPORT, the identity documents and travel papers of a SHADOW CITIZENRY. Shadow citizens are a minority that is increasingly a majority, a new majority: if anything, shadows citizens are the new norm, the new global default position. They’re the periphery in the core, the core of the periphery. So many people have been pushed off-limits that it’s extended the limit of limits, created an even larger social space for the concept of citizenship, for a new citizenship yet to be made sovereign.”

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