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At the heart of this article is a detailed reconstruction of the complex history of activism in the Märkisches Viertel in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The satellite estate on the outskirts of West Berlin was the largest housing project in West Germany in the 1960s and, for many residents, a space of increasing marginality and insecurity. During the same period, the neighborhood became a new “front” for student activists, who collaborated with local residents on a series of grassroots community initiatives. The article retraces the new forms of political action that brought students and residents together in the Märkisches Viertel while highlighting the different ways in which residents made sense of their own precarity. In so doing, the article seeks to recenter our understanding of precarity as a geographically grounded process rooted in long-standing patterns of exploitation, displacement, and vulnerability. It also connects a renewed interest in the everyday political geographies of activism, solidarity, and resistance with a historico-geographical commitment to the archive as a theoretically generative space. At stake here, as the article concludes, is a commitment to advancing our understanding of critical pedagogies and the challenges that accompany the development of emancipatory modes of geographical practice.
Vasudevan, A. (2022). Tenant Trouble: Resisting Precarity in Berlin’s Märkisches Viertel, 1968–1974. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 112(6), 1537–1552. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2021.1990008