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Urban and Urbanization

The Pandemic, Southern Urbanisms and Collective Life

The global pandemic has occasioned an impulse to think in monumental terms – totality, catastrophe, portal. This essay commits to a different reading that stops the rush of planning and forecasting, projecting and forecasting. It offers collective life as an analytic that keeps the focus on the ways in which the urban majority is trying to survive and cope within structures of inequality that now bear both the new imprint of COVID-19 while equally holding the continuities of older forms of distancing and exclusion.


Gautam Bhan, Teresa Caldeira, Kelly Gillespie, and AbdouMaliq Simone

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