The Settler Colonial City Project is a research collective focused on the collaborative production of knowledge about cities on Turtle Island/Abya Yala/The Americas as spaces of ongoing settler colonialism, Indigenous survivance, and struggles for decolonization.
The concept of “settler colonialism” has recently emerged as a name for a distinctive form of colonialism that develops in places where settlers permanently reside and assert sovereignty. While the settler colonial dimensions of American cities have been centered in contemporary urban activism, these dimensions have been, at best, only tentatively explored in contemporary architectural and urban studies. Investigating the settler colonial history and contemporaneity of cities on Turtle Island/North America (and similar examples beyond), we aim to foreground Indigenous knowledge of and politics around land, life, and collective futures, as well as settler colonialism as an unmarked structure for the distribution of land, possibilities of life, and imagination of those futures.
Chicago has been inhabited and sustained by Native Americans for millennia and into the present, when it has the third-largest population of urbanized Native Americans in the United States, and so it is a paradigmatic site for our work. In collaboration with the American Indian Center, the first urban-based Native community center in the United States, we will carry out a biennial program of interrelated public projects to engage, document, and interpret Chicago’s conjoined Indigenous and settler colonial histories. These projects will comprise platforms for exploration of those conjoined histories; bridges between Indigenous communities, urban communities in struggle, and formal actors in the built environment such as activists, architects, and planners; and legacies of the preceding in the form of political initiatives and publications.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Settler Colonial City Project worked in partnership with the American Indian Center of Chicago. This website is one of the results of this partnership. The following people and organizations were part of SCCP in Chicago:
Andrew Herscher (co-founder)
Ana María León (co-founder)
Some All None
Anjelica Hope Perez
Victoria See Kum Wai
The following people contributed their knowledge and insight to the work of the project:
Ayala Levin, Northwestern University
John N. Low (Pokagon), Ohio State University
Heather Miller (Wyandotte), American Indian Center
Tim Samuelson, Chicago Cultural Center
Meredith TenHoor, Pratt Institute
Funding support provided by the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Department of the History of Art at the University of Michigan, the Global Architectural History Collaborative, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
The Settler Colonial City Project labors in the traditional territories of the Council of the Three Fires—the Ojibwe, the Odawa, and Potawatomi. We recognize Indigenous sovereignty, the ongoing effects of colonization and colonial state violence, and the global struggle for self-determination of Indigenous communities.