Why are feminist theories and histories important for municipalist spatial practice? ‘New municipalist’ practice across the globe brings together the work of activists, citizens, and local politicians to radically reshape democracy, economies and urban spaces. While diverse, the ‘new municipalism’ of the 21st Century is seen as a significant location from which to resist neoliberal politics and particularly the gendered impacts of austerity urbanism, which attacks and undermines infrastructures of social reproduction. In this context, municipalist practices seek to re–make cities to be more equitable and just, by embodying and embedding feminist politics as a way of doing.
In their research, architectural theorists Kim Trogal (UCA) and Anna Wakeford Holder (SHU) re-visit histories of radical municipalism, tracing how socialist feminism reshaped not only political but also spatial practices. In the UK, these precedents and lineages of city making have been erased in dominant narratives, being largely overshadowed and overwritten by the last 40 years of privatization and neoliberal development.
This talk will explore the ideas of UK–based socialist feminists Sheila Rowbotham, Hilary Wainwright and Lynne Segal, in their work Beyond the Fragments reflecting on their entry into, and transformation of, radical municipalism in the 1980s Greater London Council (GLC). We argue for feminist political and economic infrastructures to enable feminist spatial practice.
Kim Trogal completed her architectural studies at the University of Sheffield, including a PhD in Architecture (2012) for which she was awarded the RIBA LKE Ozolins Studentship. She is co-editor of a number of books and special issues including: The Social (Re)Production of Architecture (2017), Architecture and Resilience (2018), Repair Matters (2019), Care and the City: Encounters with Urban Studies and Planning Theory (2021).
Kim Trogal was Visiting Professor at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien (Vienna), Austria (2019-20). She is visiting professor at the Sheffield School of Architecture (2021-23).
Anna Wakeford Holder is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture in the Department of the Natural and Built Environment. She brings critical feminist perspectives to her work as a designer, researcher and educator, with particular interests in the politics and knowledge practices of built environment, project commissioning, procurement, design and use, the interactions, alliances and democratic practices of activist groups, citizens, designers and the local state to effect social and environmental change within the current and historic conditions of capitalism. She is a director of the social enterprise architecture practice Studio Polpo and teaches at the Sheffield Hallam University.