THAAP Conference - 2016
PEOPLE AND THE CITY
Dates: Nov 11, 12 and 13, 2016
In the grand evolution of life on the planet, human clusters formed, developed and grew resulting in the present ever-expanding cities that are as living as any other organism with people as its Life-Force. Without people a city or town would be a soulless mass of debris. People make a city happen; they bring it forth, give it character, endow it with art and culture, fulfill aspirations and suffer frustrations. They can make it a place of joy, a thing of beauty which in turn gives them a sense of identity and pride, or when, without the humane vision, they can turn the city into a place of horror from which it is difficult to escape. City changes with its people.
The phenomenon of large scale human settlements has, on the one hand, brought about rapid capital accumulation leading to spectacular developments in commerce, industry, travel, and communication, yet on the other it has generated a very high level of inequity among its residents. In Pakistan it has created an innumerable variety of growing and expanding villages, towns and cities; however, the administrative framework has failed to keep pace and continues to be a hangover from the colonial period. People’s participation is only perfunctory and that too is rigidly controlled. Unfortunately, even after decades of post-colonial rule the administrative ethos, in Pakistan, remains colonial, exploitative and demeaning; it continues to be feared and hated. The residents of the urban clusters in Pakistan have very little say in management, with no sense of ownership and in small towns the lower strata of administration, police and civic management have created an intolerable situation of fear, exploitation and graft.
When a city is filthy, as most of our cities are, when a large number of its citizens live without the basic amenities of life, when we tolerate this with lame excuse of lack of resources, when we see the ultimate degradation of humans as outcasts, treated as animals, when we see little children begging on cold nights, as we see them aplenty in Lahore, how can we remain untouched; that is not what the city came into being for. Justice and equity must be the stated destiny of a city.
The process of urbanization is irreversible and cannot be wished away. Cities continue to lure people with hopes of a better life and then abandon them to abject poverty. Huge metropolises – mega cities – carry social turmoil in their wake. Nevertheless, agglomeration of humans, from small town to the large metropolis, is an opportunity, a necessary step towards the future – it is entirely up to us to think about and design a better future.
THAAP Conference – 2016 invites scholars and thinkers from all walks of life, young and old, specialists and generalists, to send abstracts of their proposed research and papers in their own cities, on the theme – People and the City.
Send us a 300-word abstract of your proposed paper by MAY 02, 2016. A confirmation email will be sent to you when we receive your abstract. If you do not get the confirmation email within a week of sending your abstract, please assume that we have not received your abstract and send us the abstract again.
The Paper Selection Committee will inform the selected paper readers by May 20, 2016.
The full paper will be due by September 30, 2016. Travel Costs of selected paper readers (Economy Class Fare from point of origin to Lahore, Pakistan and return) and local hospitality will be provided during the Conference.