Workshop V | Sep 27-30, 2021 | Online (Bremen)

Sensing Change and Changing Seismographies in the City:” Workshop and Co-Lab on Urban Lifeworlds and Aesthetic Activism

GAA (German Anthropological Association) Conference 2021: Welten. Zonen. Atmosphären. Seismographien des Anthropozäns 

Convenors: Carolin Genz (HU Berlin), Aylin Tschoepe (University of Basel), Valerie Hänsch (LMU Munich), Paola Ivanov (FU Berlin)

In this session, we focus on transformative processes and multi-sensory practices in urban spaces by combining theoretical and methodological approaches. Uprisings, protests and struggles in cities visually, acoustically, materially and performatively intervene to experiment with alternative futures and new designs of possible worlds. For the first part, we invite papers investigating how a sense of change is constituted through aesthetic practices and their human and non-human entanglements. We seek to explore the relationships between aesthetics, its affective resonance and the reconfiguration of urban spaces. How do aesthetic practices shape public spaces and what kinds of imaginations and emotions do they create? How do they mutually inspire each other in networks of resistance and contribute to the re-appropriation of the city? Rather than focusing on an instrumental relationship between aesthetics and protests, we seek to foreground aesthetic activism and its relational practices that create alternative spaces, be they ephemeral or become stabilized. 

In the second part, we ethnographically explore potentials of collaborative research on urban settings. In the lab, we engage with changes relational to urban transformations. These changes can be seismographically identified through moments where boundaries can be perceived – spatially, temporally and performatively – in infrastructures, bodies, objects, natures, in everyday rhythms and practices. We interpret ‘boundary moments’ as those, where the ‘seismograph hits’. We capture changes through multimodal ethnographic visualizations in context with phenomena such as heritage, mobility, memory and identity. The lab will take place online and starts by introducing image-based urban ethnographic methods to explore boundary moments, and we will provide guidance to participants for an exploration in their neighborhood. Next, everyone will be offline on a self-led tour through their surrounding area, using proposed methods and attending to various ‘boundary moments.’ Ending up, we will come back together online on a collaborative virtual platform to reflect critically and map collectively, bringing our observations to a common (virtual) table.

For an overview of the conference see:

critical urban tour, tracking with Relive (Tschoepe 2020)

Workshop IV | July 24, 2020 | Online (Lisbon)

L19 _ Urban Co-Lab “Out of the Box 2.0“ digital collaboration on the study of urban lifeworlds through image-based urban ethnographic methods [UrbAn]

Organizers: Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe (Convener), Carolin Genz (Convener), Silvia Balzan

This lab is co-organized between the Urban Ethnography Lab and the Critical Icono-Ethnography Lab ( and aims to expand the network of scholars and practitioners of the urban. It will be held at the “EASA2020 Conference in Lisbon (online): New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe” and is connected to EASA Urban Anthropology Network (UrbAn).EASA2020 Lisbon (online): New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe 

On collaborative digital space, we workshop on the issues at stake in current urban research, and identify particularities and similarities through which we question dichotomies in scholarship.

The first session introduces an image-based platform on which we can discuss and build visual narratives through our research. Next, we will engage in what we refer to as “Urban Mosaic,” a collaborative technique to tease out spatial and/or conceptual issues, pose critical questions. It also will allow the group to draw connections that speak to shared concerns and interests when it comes to the study of the urban in our various regional and (inter)disciplinary fields. 

During the second session, we critically map and bring our experiences and observations to a common table in the form of a collective digital artefact. This brings us to a reflection on the issues and potential of collaborative research and the use of image-based methods to facilitate collaborative research projects. We will also consider the potential and pitfalls of the digital for collaborative/ participatory fieldwork (in times of crisis) and discuss shared interests of the lab group toward next steps this lab encounter can lead us to. 

For more information, please visit:

Workshop III | May 25, 2019 | Berlin

Out of the Box: Crossing Boundaries, Interdisciplinary Methods, Visual Communication

Organizers: Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe, Carolin Genz

Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe and Carolin Genz organize a workshop (Walkshop and Roundtable) as part of the alumni conference Beyond Borders by ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius next Saturday, May 25th, 2019 from 10-22 Uhr @ silent green Kulturquartier in Berlin-Wedding.

In this workshop, we will go beyond the proverbial “box” that limits our imagination and sets disciplinary boundaries toward the engagement of interdisciplinary methods. Berlin will be our urban laboratory as we focus on visual communication and embodied experiences in the city. We will explore techniques of observation and documentation through writing, mapping, tracking, sketching. Developed out of our experience as anthropologists/designers, participants receive a fieldwork box which accompanies them. 

The workshop consists of three parts: a short seminar (we touch upon methods from ethnography, design), a walkshop through a specific neighborhood of Berlin which we explore and document through the fieldnote materials, and a roundtable with collaborative mapping where we provide a platform for discussing and sharing information gathered during our site visit.


The conference is organized by the Bucerius Alumni Network and focuses on borders between communes, regions or states, borders in our minds and borders that we impose on ourselves, or that others impose on us. Borders that seem insurmountable, secured by fences or walls and borders between cultures and opinions that need to be overcome. In various formats, including discussions, films, exhibitions, workshops, and performances, the Zeit Stiftung alumni seek to approach the day´s topic “Beyond Borders.” Crossover music by Shkoon will end this exciting day! 

For more information on the programm please visit:

Workshop II | September 5 – 8, 2018 | Berlin

Beyond Urban Transformation. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Everyday Life
Organizers: Carolin Genz, Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe
KOSMOS Workshop “Beyond Urban Transformation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Everyday Life”, organized by the Urban Ethnography Lab and funded by the Excellence Initiative by Humboldt-University of Berlin, hosted at Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, September 5-8, 2018 in Berlin. In cooperation with Harvard University, the University of Toronto and Humboldt-University of Berlin the workshop brings together senior and junior scholars from urban anthropology, human geography and design to collaborate on researching how urban transformation can be studied ethnographically from the perspective of urban everyday practice along the topics of urban commons and resilience.

More links and information to the workshop:


PUBLIC LECTURE | Prof. Dr. Alexa Färber : “The city as promissory assemblage or: how to think and study the non-/transformative”


Urban transformation and beyond

KICKOFF Keynote: The city as promissory assemblage (Prof. Alexa Färber)

Parts and traps in participatory urbanism (Prof. Ignacio Farías)

Always transformation: Theorizing the dynamic city and challenges for ethnography (Prof. Talja Blokland)

Paradigm shifts in global urban transformation: Upping sticks and going on? (Prof. Tasleem Shakur)

DAY II: Doing Urban Ethnography

Decoding mapping as practice: an interdisciplinary approach in architecture and urban anthropology

Entering the Urban Field

Counter-Mappings in art and architecture (Diana Lucas-Drogan)

“REmap your morning trip”

Tower block tales (Sebastian Bührig)

RENT REBELS – Resistance against the sell-out of Berlin

DAY III: Urban Commons & Resilience

The production of common space (Prof. Stavros Stavrides)

Urban Commons Roundtable (Dr. Mary Dellenbaugh-Losse)

Workshop I | August 29 – 30, 2017 | Toronto

Ethnography in Urban Settings. Intersections. Methods. Visions.

Our first workshop Ethnography in Urban Settings: Intersections. Methods. Visions. took place on August 29th and August 30th, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. The workshop straddled the disciplinary boundaries of urban anthropology and human geography, with the intended purpose to promote rigorous experimentation with innovative ethnographic research techniques in urban settings at the intersection of social sciences, art, and design. For information on the detailed program find the PDF here: WORKSHOP_Program_Ethnography_in_Urban_Settings

More links and information to the workshop:

Fold-Up Mapping Booklet

30 Shades of Spadina Ave.

Sensory Mapping through Smellscapes

From the Imagination to the Materialization of Urban Data

Digital Mapping: Ethnography in Urban Contexts

Speaker Insights | Workshop “Ethnography in Urban Settings” Day II

Speaker Insights | Workshop “Ethnography in Urban Settings” Day I


Pictures & Concept (c) Carolin Genz, Toronto 2017

Workshop “Ethnography in Urban Settings”, Urban Ethnography Lab


Carolin Genz is an Urban Anthropologist. She holds a master degree in European Ethnology and Urban Cultures from Humboldt-University of Berlin (2009-2013) and is currently Research Fellow at the Department for Cultural and Social Geography at the Humboldt-University since 2015. Specifically, her research focuses on practices of production and appropriation of space, such as protest and network practices in the light of the housing crisis. As an anthropologist in the intersecting fields of human geography and urban studies, she constantly develops ethnographic methods to capture the socio-spatial constitution of the urban. Furthermore, she is an Associate Researcher in the Collaborative Research Centre 1265 “Re-Figuration of Spaces.”
Carolin Genz is a ZEIT-Stiftung alumna and participated in the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Summer School “History Takes Place,” which was held in Istanbul in 2013 with a focus on urban studies.

Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe is an anthropologist, urbanist, and architect. Since her doctoral studies at Harvard University (Urban Studies, Anthropology, Gender Studies), she is interested in methodological explorations at and beyond her acedemic and profesisonal training and pursues questions of new forms of urbanity and urban lifeworlds that arise from a multiplicity of contesting actors that take various material and immaterial forms as bodies, structures, infrastructures and objects. She organizes seminars, lectures and workshops around Urban Engendering and emancipatory urban practices. As postdoctoral scholar, she is currently involved in the interdisciplinary SNF project “Visual Communication in Urban Planning Processes” at the University of Basel and the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Switzerland, where she studies the role of collaboratively produced images in a network of actors who negotiate desires and visions of belonging to the city (
Aylin Yildirim Tschoepe is a ZEIT-Stiftung alumna and also participated in the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Summer School “History Takes Place,” which was held in Istanbul in 2013 with a focus on urban studies.