Urban Kaleidoscope: A Journal for Shifting Perspectives on Cities
About the Journal
The urban landscape is a kaleidoscope of interconnected elements that come together to form vibrant tapestries of city life. Drawing inspiration from its captivating imagery, “Urban Kaleidoscope” by People’s Resource Centre is a quarterly journal supporting shifting perspectives on cities. By amplifying the voices of citizens, scholars, activist researchers, artists, academicians, professionals, and various community stakeholders, this journal strives to foster critical discourse and cultivate a collective space for the generation of ideas aimed at democratic, sustainable, and inclusive cities.
Through the collaboration of these diverse perspectives, “Urban Kaleidoscope” embarks on a journey of exploration and analysis, shedding light on the complex dynamics of urban existence. More than a platform for alternative visions, policies, and theories, this newsletter serves as a catalyst for knowledge creation and resource development for local communities and urban social movements. It aspires to empower individuals and groups, providing them with the tools and information needed to effect necessary change.
The editorial collective is committed to building this journal as a unique, democratic, non-academic intellectual space which can address the anxieties of our times in a language that speaks directly to those whom the current relations of power leave frustrated on an everyday basis and who share a common interest of recovering the city as a place of enriched communal life in balance with nature.
In that spirit of collective exploration, we invite contributions in the form of articles, essays, reviews, poetry, fiction and artwork from citizen writers, community organisers, researchers and artists that question the growing despotism and illuminate the collective path to breaking free. The editorial collective encourages young and new writers to share ideas on how they would want to contribute to the journal so that the collective can support them through the drafting and editing process from the beginning. We accept contributions that have not been published in any form (in print or online) elsewhere. However, Urban Kaleidoscope is a copyleft publication, and the articles we publish can be republished elsewhere with the permission of respective author-contributors. To start a conversation with the editorial collective, please drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Concept Note: Call for Contributions for the First Edition of Urban Kaleidoscope, Year 2023
Theme: Right to the City
“The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.”
Henri Lefebvre, in his essay “The Right to the City,” emphasized “the right to be part of the city as an oeuvre,” meaning the right to belong to and co-produce the urban spaces created by city dwellers. In other words, it is the right not to be alienated from the spaces of everyday life. The first edition of “Urban Kaleidoscope” aims to co-create an understanding of an urban paradigm that embraces diverse urban social movements and initiatives, focusing on gaining control over the city through a transformed and renewed right to urban life. By centring human rights in an urban context, the journal seeks to present an alternative to a utilitarian public realm where inhabitants are merely reduced to passive consumers of services and resources.
We are inviting contributions from activists and researchers to address the following concerns within the scope of the journal “Urban Kaleidoscope.” We especially encourage contributions from Dalits, Adivasis, women, and individuals belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. Submissions can take the form of articles, essays, poetry, fiction (short and long formats), reviews, and artwork (including captioned photographs, cartoons, comics, and posters). The topics of interest are as follows:
- Right to Dignified Livelihood as Right to the City:
Pieces advocating for marginalized livelihood practitioners, such as urban farmers, fisherfolk, street vendors, rickshaw peddlers, waste pickers, factory workers, gig workers, informal sector workers, artisans, and other workers.
- Stories Exploring Urban Commons and Collective Powers:
Submissions exploring people’s rights to urban commons and their role in building collective powers to reshape the commons, such as maidans, rivers, floodplains, forest areas, streets, etc; Stories using the device of memory and history to delve into the realms of dissent (right to dissent), play (right to play), and collective meaning.
- Issues of Urban Mobility:
Discussions on challenges faced by pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users due to inadequate mobility-related infrastructure; Stories highlighting aspirations and resistance from people encompassing an intersectional understanding of the right to the city, including themes of gender, caste, class, disability, and mobility.
- Ecological Rights and Urban Environment:
Pieces discussing the violation of urban ecological elements, such as rivers, animals, hills, marine life, and forests, and their relationship with the city.
Initiatives aimed at restoring the balance of ecological rights should be highlighted.
- Right to Housing as Right to the City:
Stories shedding light on the experiences of the homeless and informal settlement dwellers; Exploration of spatial segregation and the impact of state-led violence through planning measures and mega events like G20.
- Intersectional Discussions on Rights to the City:
Depictions and discussions on how various rights, as mentioned above, intersect and intertwine in the pursuit of the right to the city.
- Alternative Practices of Urbanism and Governance:
Explorations of urbanism and governance practices that support participatory approaches to planning and localized self-governance.
- Ideas, Theories, Policy Experiments, and Citizen Initiatives:
Submissions that present ideas, theories, policy experiments, and on-ground citizen initiatives that show a path toward reclaiming the right to the city.
Guidelines for contributors
- Contributions can be in the form of articles, essays, reviews, poetry, fiction and artwork from citizen writers, community organisers, researchers and artists.
- We welcome contributions in both Hindi and English.
- The word limit for short pieces and long articles is 1200 words and 2000 words, respectively. Due to the space limitation, we prefer short pieces over longer ones.
- Please email your contributions to email@example.com by July 19, 2023.
- Young and new writers are encouraged to share ideas on how they would want to contribute to the journal so that the collective can support them through the drafting and editing process from the beginning.
- We accept contributions which have not been published in any form (in print or online) elsewhere before. However, Urban Kaleidoscope is a copyleft publication, and the articles we publish can be republished elsewhere with the permission of respective author-contributors.
*Urban Kaleidoscope is hosted at People’s Resource Centre, Delhi.
Although we have a small team to edit this newletter, if you are interested, it should help in furthering this effort. Join us in this transformative journey to unravel the intricate layers of urban life and forge a path towards just and livable cities for all. Leave a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com