Collaborative Research in Urban contexts

Fostering Women’s Autonomy:  Body and Land Politics’ Appropriation

This project was developed in response to the call for applications from the Secretary of Agriculture, Urban and Territory Development (SEDATU) in Mexico. The project aims to apply collaborative narrative-based workshops with women in informal settlements in Mexico City to inform a public policy that’s already emplaced to regularize land property rights. The proposal approaches land regulation in the urban scale by questioning the impact that land ownership has on reducing violence towards women and reconfiguring informal settlements governance’s dynamics. The project is supported on an ecofeminist perspective: reflecting on how women and nature have been dominated over time. The workshops seek to study the subordination dynamics of women and land vis-à-vis urban development projects.

Objectives and Approaches Proposed

1) Study the way in which the public sphere interacts with ‘marginal’ groups: The workshops will be both a platform for dialogue and exchange, and a means for bottom-up data collection to understand the power structures shaping informal settlements. Urban development tends to be limited by the formal-informal canon, however, that’s a self-fulfilled fantasy of the State. Informality represents other means of organization that are not inherently good or bad, but tightly linked to the context and public policy and programs need to understand their impact within present power structures beyond the State.

2) Address the challenges concerning the access and right to land property for women. First understand the links between gender-based violence, economic dependence and land ownerships of women in urban areas. Facilitate access to information regarding property rights, and incentive dialogue to expand the understanding of territory to their own body. The project seeks to foster women’s autonomy through the exchange of knowledge, and personal and collective narratives, the underlying objective is to de-construct the understanding of property and land dynamics in cities through the experiences and seeing of women.

Neighborhooding: Urban Recipes and Collaborative Mapping

Politics and activism have been understood historically through masculine experiences and interests, therefore, the spaces women have confined to have been ripped out from political meaning and incidence. Yet, the kitchen, the laundry room, the house, the bedroom, the intimate and private are political, as well as the means of expressing and dialogue between women. This proposal consists of taking the private to the public space to facilitate the re-appropriation of public space by women. Discourses and initiatives for women empowerment, justice, equality, and participation are boxed within existing participatory frameworks that don’t question established the regulatory structures. Concretely, the proposal questions normative participatory formats and recognizes the processes and means of daily/domestic life as acts of political resistance and participation.



Intervention in a public plaza with an infrastructure referring to an open kitchen and laundry area. The activity consists of talking about food and recipes, the maintenance and caring of the domestic space and linking it to the public space.


collaborative mapping of the neighborhood with descriptions and analysis of physical infrastructure as well as sensorial/emotional routes-narratives

a book of urban recipes: re-appropriating the recipes format as political, the participants will write down recipes to address urban issues in their local context

© 2020 by Regina Diaz