The hum of property loss

Authors: Nicholas Blomley*, Simon Fraser University, Claire Shapton, Simon Fraser University, Drug War Survivors, DWS, Alexandra Flynn, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, Marie-Eve Sylvestre, University of Ottawa
Topics: Legal Geography, Political Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: property, precariously housed people, critical legal geography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 37
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper draws from an ongoing community-engaged research collaboration with the Abbotsford Drug War Survivors, a peer based group of precariously housed people, many of whom use drugs. It will be drawn from a series of focus groups with peers, reflecting on their personal experiences in securing and controlling their personal possessions, whether living outside, in shelters or supportive housing, or in private rental housing. Others, whether private or public agents, constantly steal, destroy, misplace, or seize their stuff through forms of devaluation, both of people, their possessions, and the relations that people have to their possessions. As one DWS member put it, the endemic loss of possessions becomes a constant ‘hum’.

Drawing from community engaged research methodologies, community members and paid researchers will work together to identify the central themes and concerns that DWS wishes to communicate, based on these focus groups, crafting a collective paper for final presentation.

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