About the project

Funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, Grant Agreement No. 101028867. The project began in October 2022 and will officially end in September 2024, although the team will continue to work on outputs.

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Urban poor and marginalised communities have suffered the impact of austerity policies, structural re-adjustment and increased precariousness since the 2008 financial crash; a problematic situation aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Irregular, low-income employment have become daily survival strategies for many ordinary people.

In this sense, transnational un-regulated migrants, and more generally racialised bodies, are the most vulnerable actors suffering in Southern European cities from informality and the application of national migration laws, surveillance/securitisation measures and local policies based on 'zero tolerance' models.

Interestingly, the night has become to many of them a space-time to escape or transgress surveillance: taking advantage of under-regulated local spaces, many (racialised) precarious actors - such as street informal vendors, sex workers, domestic workers and petty dealers - spend their nights avoiding police patrols in order to work, play, move or rest.

The demonisation of this (Informal) Nocturnal City through moral panics reproduced in media and public discourse is used to justify spatial displacement of undesirable (precarious) actors from central areas in post-industrial Southern European cities and their exclusion from policy-making.

However, new forms of collective action have emerged in Southern European cities during the last decade: informalised workers have organised themselves to fight and struggle against exclusion, police abuse and institutional racism enacted by the 'Fortress Europe' model.

Hence, 'darkness' (as a symbolic dimension) and 'the night' (as a space-time) conflictively gather, not only the moralistic rhetorics against the 'obscure', 'gloomy' and 'dangerous' Other, but also the hopes for radical change in the Southern region. 

INF_NIGHT will enhance debates in both the academic and urban policy and planning literatures concerning the informal night, through a transnational, policy-oriented study undertaken in Lisbon, Madrid and Rome.

Through a novel combination of conceptual frameworks based on three fundamental pillars (informality, nocturnal life and urban security), and articulating these three with debates on urban governance, INF_NIGHT aims to address the ways in which informal practices conducted during night are imagined, negotiated and (re)produced and how these fundamentally affect urban change in post-industrial Southern European cities.

Project team

Principle investigator

Dr. Begoña Aramayona is the principle investigator leading this Marie Curie Individual Fellowship Grant.

A broad network of scholars, public stakeholders, NGO members and urban activists based in the UK, Spain, Portugal and Italy, also supports the implementation and dissemination of this project.

Overall, INF_NIGHT aims to engage with this broader community beyond the production of academic outputs, producing impact on policy-making, awareness in the general public, and supporting the ongoing organisational processes led by informalised actors in the selected cities (Madrid, Lisbon, Rome).

The project gains great insights from the ongoing supervision conducted by Dr. Paula Meth and Dr. Valeria Guarneros-Meza.

The international advisory board composed by a selected network of scholars/activists in Madrid, Lisbon and Rome is also central to the project.

Although not restricted to the following names, we've had invaluable support from Dr. Jordi Nofre (CICS.NOVA Lisbon) and the LXNIGHT NetworkDr. Sabrina Marchetti (Ca' Foscari University of Venice) and La Laboratoria feminist-research network.

If you would like to receive further information about the aim, scope and future outcomes of INF_NIGHT project, or if you would like to be involve in any other way, contact the principal investigator.

If you wish to report any safeguarding concern, contact Dr Philipp Horn or Professor David Robinson.

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