Counter-mapping as urban resistance

Dr Kristian Karlo Saguin, Dr Arnisson Andre Ortega, and Ma. Simeona Martinez

Funding period: 1 January 2022 – 1 June 2022
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: Department of Geography, University of the Philippines Diliman (Philippines) and the Social Sciences and Philosophy Research Foundation (Philippines)
Partner institution: Syracuse University
Dates: January, March and May 2022 (Quezon City, Philippines)
Lead organisers: Dr Kristian Karlo Saguin, Dr Arnisson Andre Ortega, and Ma. Simeona Martinez
Team members: Dr Yany Lopez, Leonardo Miguel Garcia, and Bernardino Dela Cruz Jr
Contact: Dr Kristian Karlo Saguin

Project website

Twitter @CountermapPH

Abstract: Counter-mapping is a concrete yet diverse strategy of resistance that challenges the cartographic power of spatial modes of urban dispossession, generates tools for collective mobilization, and experiments with alternative visions of inhabiting urban space. The seminar series seeks to synthesize lessons of counter-mapping and similar praxis-oriented initiatives by collaboratively documenting the plural creative practices involved in struggles against development aggression, evictions and demolitions across various urban contexts. It aims to produce solidarity spaces that connect academic institutions, communities, activist groups and organizations across multiple sites and scales.

Three sets of events – a virtual conference, roundtable discussion workshops and mapping workshops – that involve a broad range of groups conducting urban counter-mapping activities will be held in Manila in 2022. The virtual conference will bring together academic and non-academic participants and networks working on urban counter-mapping research and practice. The series of roundtable discussion and mapping workshops meanwhile will facilitate the sharing of tools, approaches, experiences and stories surrounding various counter-mapping work among different urban sectors. Exploring various counter-mapping contexts, techniques and applications across the world and engaging with various urban groups provides a platform for mutual learning and co-production that can coalesce around but necessarily extend beyond an urban politics of resistance.