The Diasporic City

The diasporic city is a city whose process of becoming and thriving is completely inextricable from the continuous movement of people, commodities and capital. According to Cheryl (2006), the diasporic city is exemplified by the city of Toronto whose Afro-Caribbean community still maintains individual and collective ambivalence toward their places of origin through multiple connections towards these places that are inherent to the multicultural condition that makes up the diasporic city. This nostalgic ambivalence creates a surrounding for themselves and other inhabitants of the city that is characterized by the iconography of ‘other places’ and creates an environment in the city that stands at the overlap of other times, places and hopes.

The diasporic city contains other places within itself, there exists a constant presence of ‘here’ and ‘there’ as its multicultural communities continue to maintain long-lived transnational connections and it is these connections that seem to drive the existence and continual progression of the diasporic city. Therefore, without the multicultural condition created by the perpetual presence of ‘other places’ within the diasporic city, the city would almost certainly fall to its knees.

According to Cheryl (2006), the state of affairs and conditions created by the diasporic city, are livable and it contains the promise within itself to become a site of great promise and possibility. This is in spite of the existing correlation between ethnic/ cultural backgrounds and the condition created by unemployment and poverty. The diasporic city is not a site of great conflict that needs to be resolved rather it is a site where the nostalgic attachment to home displayed by its populace can be incorporated into municipal diasporic projects so as not to gloss this ambivalence to home displayed by its people (Chery, 2006, 105-107).

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