Stevens, J., De Meulder, B. On Allotopia: The Spatial Accumulation of Difference in Bixiga (São Paulo, Brazil), Space and Culture
Volume 22, Issue 4, 1 November 2019, Pages 387-404
This article will unfold a longe durée spatial biography of the urban area of Bixiga (São Paulo, Brazil) to probe the particular role of space in the conflation of different cultural practices and territorial claims. The extended case study bridges indigenous, colonial, and postcolonial urbanization as they amalgamated an intricate assemblage of material and cultural strata. Combined historical urban analysis and fieldwork allow to uncover how the resulting urban milieu integrates discrepant urban worlds, perpetually iterating between centrality and marginality, innovation and degradation, oppression and resistance. Building on Foucault’s (1984) conception of heterotopia, Bixiga will surface as an allotopia, a place that accommodates, cumulates, and celebrates a multitude of differences. It sheds light, this way, on more insurgent histories of urbanism, where urban space is piecemeal forged through contentious struggles over space in the city. © The Author(s) 2018.