Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:

City Portrait. Johannesburg



international conference

June 25th – June 26th 2015

Badoer, aula Tafuri

San Polo 2468

Venice, Italy


organised by

Leonardo Ciacci

Paola Piscitelli


in collaboration with

Giovanna Marconi e Elena Ostanel

Cattedra Unesco SSIIM

con Giovanni Vio


abstract >

cartolina >

locandina >

speakers >



eventi collegati: proiezioni


June 23th – 24th 2015

Johannesburg before and after apartheid >>

Iuav - Tolentini

June 25th 2015

Johannesburg hungry and creative >>

La Casa del Cinema



The conference aims to explore possible trends of contemporary urban transformations, from the "city-into-being" par excellence.

What was supposed to be one of the beating hearts of the post-apartheid "rainbow nation", appears today as a "divided city", hit by a substantial neoliberal urban development that poses major challenges to old and new issues: on one hand, the fight against xenophobia, urban violence, crime, poverty, socio-spatial segregation, abandonment and illegal reuse of large parts of the urban structure; on the other hand, the challenges that emerge from the inhabitants who claim their ‘right to the city’, collecting, channelling and harnessing the evident vitality and creativity expressed by different sectors of a multi-ethnic society.

For all of this and though not ignoring the characters of uniqueness present in this specific urban context, Johannesburg represents an exciting terms for comparison as well as an important occasion to reformulate traditional categories of analysis and understanding of the social and urban space and to direct them towards possible operational dimensions for policies, plans and projects.




Thursday June 25

SharingSpace: The Intercultural City and Collective Space in Johannesburg

coordinated by

SSIIM UNESCO Chair, University Iuav of Venice


h. 15.00


Marcello Balbo Director of the SSIIM Unesco Chair, University Iuav of Venice

Giovanna Marconi SSIIM, University Iuav of Venice, SharingSpace: the Project

Loren Landau University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, city of migrations

Bibi Burger Stellenbosch University, From Kleinbegin to Maboneng: fantastical spaces in the film Ballade vir’nenkeling (2015)

Simona Morini University Iuav of Venice, Visibile and Invisibile Boundaries in the City Space

Elena Ostanel SSIIM, University Iuav of Venice, Practices of Invisibilization and Migration

Laura Burocco Escola de Comunicação da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro ECO/UFRJ People’s place in “Braamopoly” an urban regeneration project in the inner city of Joburg

Paola Piscitelli University Iuav of Venice, Unveiling Transactional Spaces in the City. Routes, Territories and Places Shaped by Mozambican Cross-Border Traders in Johannesburg"





Friday June 26

Johannesburg City Portraits. A Mosaic of Extremes

coordinated by Leonardo Ciacci and Paola Piscitelli


8.45  Coffee welcome




Alberto Ferlenga Director Iuav School of Doctorate Studies




Leonardo Ciacci Università Iuav di Venezia

Johannesburg in the narrative of Nelson Mandela, André Brink and Wilburn Smith

Paola Piscitelli Università Iuav di Venezia

Introduction to the panels and presentations



Re-representing Johannesburg. City visioning processes, urban development and governance in the “City of Gold”


Jennifer Robinson UCL-University College of London

City strategies as repeated instances: from Johannesburg to Lilongwe and London

Philip Harrison University of Witwatersrand

In the “belly of the beast”: An experiential reflection on urban governance in the City of Johannesburg

Svea Josephy University of Cape Town

Ponte City: city portrait

Roelof Petrus van Wyk University of the Witwatersrand

Johannesburg as a lively and hungry creative and cultural urban metropolis


11.10 >11.30  Coffee Break



Johannesburg, a “city on the move”


Loren Landau University of the Witwatersrand

Governing Mobility and Difference in Johannesburg’s Urban Estuaries

Federica Duca University of the Witwatersrand

A response to the obsession with splintering. Johannesburg spaces under review-relationally.

Alexandra Parker University of the Witwatersrand

The Masculine City: Johannesburg and mobility represented in film


12.30 > 13.00



13.00>14.30  Lunch



Informality in the “City of Extremes”


Tanya Zack Urban Planner

Wake Up This Is Joburg

Antonio Pezzano L’Orientale University of Naples

The Modes of Governance in Informal Trading Management in the Inner City of Johannesburg

Costanza La Mantia University of the Witwatersrand

Informality and the Rainbow City: spontaneous practices and socio-environmental rights in Greater Johannesburg

Marlene Wagner Architect

"A place under the sun for everyone" - Basis for planning through the analysis of formal and non-formal space practice, Cosmo City Johannesburg



Architecture and Built Environment in the “City-Into-Being”


Giovanni Vio University Iuav of Venice

The second life of architecture between apartheid and democracy

Andrew Makin Architect

South Africa - urban & rural: [re]constituting a dismantled society

Hannah Le Roux University of Witwatersrand

Portrait with coffee: incipient architectures in the frame of Jeppe






Reading di poesia e musica

Marco Fazzini Università di Ca’ Foscari, Venezia

Poetic Johannesburg



for more information

email johannesburgcityportrait@gmail.com